Ginger is one of the healthiest and most delicious spices on the planet. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family making it to be closely related to tumeric. The Yoruba tribe call it atare, Igbos jinja while the Hausa call it cithar. Garlic has always been used in ancient medicines, it has usefulness in combating cold, flu, aiding digestion just to mention a few.
Garlic is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain. Ginger contains gingerol, a substance with powerful medicinal properties. It provides a variety of vitamins and minerals.
In 100 grams (g) of fresh ginger root contains
- 79 calories
- 17.86 g of carbohydrate
- 3.6 g of dietary fiber
- 3.57 g of protein
- 0 g of sugar
- 14 mg of sodium
- 1.15 g of iron
- 7.7 mg of vitamin C
- 33 mg of potassium
Other nutrients found in ginger include
- vitamin B6
Ginger can be used to add flavor to our food, snacks that contain ginger include gingerbread, cookies, ginger snaps, ginger ale, and a wide variety of savory recipes.
1. It has Anti-Inflammatory properties
Ginger contains chemical compounds which makes it to be effective as an anti inflammatory agent. It is also effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain . It has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. Conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatism which are usually associated with pains and inflammation can be reduced using ginger.
A study carried out showed that combining ginger, mastic, cinnamon and sesame oil reduced pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients when applied topically.
Ginger does not have an immediate impact, the effect comes gradually.
2. It can be used for treatment of indigestion
Ginger contains phenolic compounds which helps to relieve gastrointestinal (GI) irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production, and suppress gastric contractions as food and fluids move through the GI tract all of which help to aid digestion.
Indigestion (dyspepsia) is characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach due to delayed emptying of the stomach. Ginger helps to speed up emptying of the stomach in people with this condition.
Ginger also have significant effects on the enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase, and to increase motility through the digestive tract. This makes it to be useful in helping to prevent colon cancer and constipation.
3. It can be used to reduce menstrual Pain
Some women usually have menstrual pain during their menstrual cycle, this pain is described as dysmenorrhea .
One of the crude uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain.
Ginger can reduce pain as effectively as the drugs piroxicam and ibuprofen used for treatment of menstrual pain.
4. It can be used for treatment of Nausea
Ginger has been shown to be effective against nausea , a feeling that you want to vomit. There is some evidence that it may be as effective as drugs sold in the pharmacy.
Ginger may also relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy .
Morning sickness refers to the nauseous feeling that pregnant women may have during the first three months of pregnancy, which is a result of the increased hormones in the body. The use of ginger is very effective when it comes to morning sickness.
Although ginger is considered safe, please talk to your doctor before taking large amounts if you are pregnant.
5. It serves as an antibacterial
Ginger contains gingerol, the bio active substance, which can help to lower the risk of infections. Its extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria such as
- Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of skin infections
- Staphylococcus pneumoniae, which can cause serious lung infections
- Haemophilus influenzae, the common cold
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes hard-to-treat hospital infections
- Salmonella, a cause of food poisoning
- Escherichia coli, a common cause of urinary tract infections
It is very active against the oral bacteria linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums, such as gingivitis and periodontitis .
6. It is effective against cold and flu
Drinking ginger tea during cold weather brings relief because it helps to keep warm. Ginger have diaphoretic effect that is it promotes sweating, working to warm the body from within.
To prepare fresh ginger tea at home, slice fresh ginger and steep it in a cup of hot water. Add a slice of lemon or a drop of honey; this adds flavor and additional benefits, including vitamin C and antibacterial properties.
This makes a soothing natural remedy for a cold or flu.
7. It helps to improve brain function
Ginger has been shown to improve cognitive functions and improvement of memory. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can increase aging process which is a major cause of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Some studies in animals suggest that the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that occur in the brain.
8. It can lower blood sugars
Ginger have been shown to have powerful anti-diabetic properties. It helps to reduce body weight, body fat mass, decrease blood sugar levels and increased insulin levels. It helps to improve HbA1c.
It helps to reduce complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy that are associated with diabetes.