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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 August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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