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Ginger Is An Effective Remedy For Heartburn, Science Says

Ginger Is An Effective Remedy For Heartburn, Science Says

Ginger is a widely used and versatile plant. It has so many potential health benefits that it has been studied in detail in relation to over 100 health symptoms or conditions. Ginger has traditionally been used to manage various gastrointestinal problems. It is widely known for its anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is also believed to help with digestion by promoting smooth intestinal movement.

Ginger has now been proven to be a remedy for heartburn. A recent study shows that the ginger root is more effective in managing and treating heartburn, a painful and uncomfortable disease that affects millions of people, than mainstream prescription medications.

Causes of heartburn

There are various causes of heartburn.  “Fatty foods, large portions, and late-night meals are the top three triggers that affect many people with heartburn.”

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A number of foods and drinks can cause the loosening of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). A weak LES is can be a factor in the cause of heartburn. Food and drinks that commonly trigger heartburn include:

  • alcohol, in particular red wine
  • spicy foods and black pepper, garlic, raw onions
  • chocolate
  • citrus fruits and citrus products (such as orange juice)
  • coffee, tea and soda
  • peppermint
  • tomatoes

Side effects of heartburn drugs

Many people who suffer from heartburn opt to take mainstream medication in an effort to alleviate their symptoms. However, recent research has suggested that people who take certain popular medicines for heartburn known as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) should do so with caution.

According to a study lead by Morgan Grams, an epidemiologist at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that PPIs appear to significantly elevate the chances of developing chronic kidney disease. The study involved more than 250,000 people. It is estimated that 15 million Americans use PPIs; common PPIs are Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid, meaning that many Americans are at risk.

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In the 1980s, when PPIs were first approved, they were viewed as being very safe. Concerns about their safety have been mounting and various evidence has suggested that the drugs may increase the risk of certain health problems such as: infections, bone fractures and maybe even heart problems.

Given the risks associated with taking PPI medications many people are looking for alternative solutions to help them with their heartburn. The following study shows that ginger is a real substitute for PPI prescription medications.

Study: Ginger as a treatment for heartburn

A study published in the journal Molecular Research and Food Nutrition found compares the efficacy of acid-blocking drugs (PPIs) with the ginger root. The study aimed to find out the anti-ulcer and anti-Helicobacter plyori (Helicobacter plyori is a bacteria that is commonly associated with ulcer formation) ability of ginger extracts when compared to mainstream acid-blocking medicine such as lansoprazole (a PPI).

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It was discovered that ginger performed six to eight times better than the drug (lansoprazole) did at inhibiting acid production. Moreover, it was also found that ginger has potent antioxidant properties. These antioxidant properties protect lipids from being spoiled and DNA from being damaged. Researchers concluded that ginger have “potential in-expensive multistep blockers against ulcer.”

While mainstream medical drugs removes stomach acid barrier, ginger does the opposite. It protects these barriers as it contains a proteolytic enzyme several hundred times more potent than the one found in papaya (papain). In addition to aiding with heartburn, ginger also has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic properties.  

Getting started with ginger

The University of Maryland Medical Center prescribes taking no more than 2g to 4g of ginger. This is equivalent to 1 tsp. to 2 tsp. of fresh ginger root or ¼ of the amount of powdered ginger. You should never take more than 4 gm of ginger daily.

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 Fresh ginger root can be taken in the following ways:

  • You can crush or grate the fresh ginger root and leave it to soak in water. You can then drink the water once the ginger has soaked sufficiently.
  • You can chew a fresh piece of ginger, but make sure that you don’t swallow it.
  • You can eat a ginger sweet.
  • You may also add pieces of ginger to a cup of tea (such as chamomile tea).
  • If you take ginger syrup or ginger capsules be sure to follow the dosage and instructions written on the package.

Be careful not to consume too much ginger as this may have adverse effects. Too much ginger may cause further heartburn or intervene with drugs that treat severe cases of heartburn. Be sure to consult your physician when trying ginger for heartburn.

Summation

“Given the fact that so many people use PPI medications, I think it is judicious to exercise some caution,” said Morgan Grams. Ginger has been proven to be a safe and real alternative to PPI medication. Ginger gives new hope to heartburn sufferers who do not want to risk the side effects of PPI medication but need an effective way to manage their heartburn disease.

Featured photo credit: Mail Online via dailymail.co.uk

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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