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Last Updated on July 4, 2022

11 Health Benefits of Ginger That You Didn’t Know About

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11 Health Benefits of Ginger That You Didn’t Know About

For over 2000 years, Chinese medicine has recommended the use of ginger to help cure and prevent several health problems. It is known to promote energy circulation and increase our body’s metabolic rate.

Ginger is grown as a root and is a flexible ingredient that can be consumed in drinks (tea, beer, ale) or in cooking. It can be used to make foods spicy and even as a food preservative. But do you know the health benefits of ginger?

11 Surprising Benefits of Ginger

Here’s a list of some of the amazing benefits of ginger that you may not be aware of. Although some of these are still being debated, you could do your own research if you want to use ginger for medicinal purposes.

1. It Improves Blood Circulation

Compounds found within ginger-like gingerols and zingerone are known to help warm up the body, thus creating improved circulation. The amino acids in ginger assist in increasing circulation and decreasing the possibility of cardiovascular diseases.

There are also many positive side effects of improved circulation that include more key nutrients, minerals, and oxygen being spread throughout the body, and the promotion of cell growth and healthy organ function

It assists in pain relief. Gingerol, a key compound found in ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help block the chemical COX-2 produced in the body that creates the sensation of pain.

Drinking ginger tea is recommended for those individuals suffering from gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis and for use by athletes post-workout to prevent swelling. For those who suffer from migraines, ginger can help by blocking the prostaglandins that are responsible for causing headaches.

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2. It Helps Ease Menstrual Cramps

One of the health benefits of ginger is treating the symptoms associated with menstruation: cramps, fatigue, and PMS. Ginger tea helps relax the muscles, thus reducing any cramps associated with this time of the month. Women who often have heavy or irregular periods will find relief with ginger tea.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it also alleviates bloating. Studies show that consuming 750-2,000 mg of ginger powder over a course of 3-4 days has helped relieve pain for over 600 women. [1]

3. It Helps Fight Nausea and Digestive Tract Ailments

Ginger is perhaps most famously known for its ability to ease nausea or stomach-related ailments. Active properties like volatile oils and phenol compounds help relieve an upset stomach. Women who are suffering from morning sickness are also recommended to slowly sip a cup of ginger tea to settle their stomachs.

Research studies have shown that ginger has a success rate of 75 percent in curing morning sickness and stomach flu. [2]

This same natural remedy is prescribed for patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and suffering nausea as a result. If you suffer from motion sickness, drinking a cup of ginger tea before you hit the road should help make your journey more bearable.

4. It Helps Strengthen Your Immune System

Due to containing antioxidants, ginger helps keep colds at bay, and when you do get sick, it lessens the duration of your illness. It helps break down the toxins in your body quickly, thus allowing your body to get rid of them faster.

Research studies have shown that to treat cold and flu symptoms in adults, steep 2 tbsp of freshly shredded or chopped ginger root in hot water, two to three times a day. [3]

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Ginger also contains chromium, zinc, and magnesium, aiding the immune system. Not only this, but it has antibiotic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties that can help prevent many common health ailments and infections.

5. Colon Cancer Prevention

A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells. [4]

Working with mice that lack an immune system, research associate professor Ann Bode and her colleagues found slower rates of cancer growth in mice given thrice-weekly feedings of gingerol – the main active component of ginger.

According to Bode, plants of the ginger family have been credited with therapeutic and preventive powers and have been reported to have anti-cancer activity.

6. Ovarian Cancer Treatment

According to case study findings released by the University of Michigan, ginger powder induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells. It is effective at controlling inflammation, and inflammation contributes to the development of ovarian cancer cells. By halting the inflammatory reaction, the researchers suspect, ginger also stops cancer cells from growing.

As Jennifer Rhode, M.D a gynecologic oncology fellow at the U-M Medical School reports, “in multiple ovarian cancer cell lines, we found that ginger induced cell death at a similar or better rate than the platinum-based chemotherapy drugs typically used to treat ovarian cancer.”

7. Helps With Weight Loss

According to a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, ginger plays an important role in promoting weight loss.

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A literature review that was conducted in 2019 also found that ginger had a positive effect on weight loss. The ability of ginger to promote weight loss has been linked to various mechanisms such as its power to increase the number of calories that individuals burn. [5]

8. Helps With Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common health problem that affects millions of people across the world. It is the degeneration of joints with various symptoms such as stiffness and joint pain.

A study conducted back in 2011 found that combining ginger with cinnamon, mastic, and sesame oil can reduce stiffness and pain in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. [6]

9. May Lower Blood Sugars

While this is a new area of research, various studies have shown that ginger has powerful anti-diabetic ingredients.

A study conducted back in 2015 of 41 participants with diabetes consumed two grams of ginger powder every day. This lowered their blood sugar level by 12 percent. [7]

10. Improves Brain Function

Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can promote the aging process. These two are the key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and other ailments linked to cognitive decline. There is evidence that ginger promotes brain function.

A 2012 study found that daily doses of ginger improved working memory and reaction time among middle-aged women. [8]

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11. Helps in Lowering Cholesterol Level

High levels of cholesterol has been linked to a high risk of heart disease. The foods that you consume regularly greatly influence your cholesterol levels.

A 2018 research study found that people with hyperlipidemia who consumed 5 grams of ginger powder every day saw their cholesterol levels drop by 17.4%. [9]

Conclusion

There are many health benefits of ginger. How it can be taken is up to you, some people will say that 2 tablespoons of shredded ginger in a cup 2-3 times a day are ideal when you are feeling under the weather.

A lot of people will mix ginger and honey to help soothe a cold and drink it many times a day. Naturally, it’s used in cooking and candy, so it’s difficult to measure to say exactly how much you should consume.

But with all these benefits, and with it so readily available, it’s really something we shouldn’t even try to avoid. In fact, you could even mix it up with other ingredients such as green tea.

Reference

More by this author

Samantha Aloysius

Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology.

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