Benefits of Ginger

From Michael Mastrucci (@themacrodiabetic)

A popular ingredient in cooking (especially in Asian and Indian cuisine) that I’ve been using quite a bit as of late…and one that’s been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes, this spice provides an array of wonderful health benefits including:

Cardiovascular Health
It’s possible that regular intake of ginger can help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood-clotting, and help maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Cold & Flu Relief
A popular way to consume ginger (aside from cooking) is in tea form as its diaphoretic (raising internal temperature). A simple way to get the benefits from ginger tea is to slice 20-40g of fresh ginger (always better than store-bought powder) and steep it in a cup of hot water.

The root (Rhizome) can be consumed fresh, powdered, as a dry spice, in oil form, or as juice. It’s part of the Zingiberaceae family, which means it also contains anti-oxidative/inflammatory attributes. The phenolic compounds in ginger are known to relieve GI irritation, stimulate bile/saliva production, and suppress gastric contractions as food/fluids move through the GI tract.

Data suggests ginger may exhibit anti-inflammatory effects through modulation of calcium levels through heat and pain sensitive receptors.

Taking ginger for motion sickness may help to reduce feelings of nausea, though it doesn’t appear to prevent vomiting if terribly ill. Additionally, ginger is safe to use during pregnancy in relieving nausea, and can be taken in the form of lozenges or candy.

Pain Reduction
The University of GA held a 74-volunteer study and found that daily ginger supplementation actually reduced exercise-induced soreness by 25%. It’s also been found to reduce symptoms of dysmenorrhea.

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