Most people think of ginger only as a fragrant and delicious spice used in Asian cooking. But ginger really is much more than that – it is a very powerful spice with many health benefits.
Ginger has its origins in southeastern Asia and it has been used for thousands of years in China, India and the middle East. Ginger is the underground root or rhizome of the ginger plant, Zingiber Officinale. The color of the ginger can vary, depending on the variety – it can be yellow, red or white ginger.
Here are 10 benefits of ginger – reasons why it is such a nutritional powerhouse:
- Ginger is very good for the digestive system. It can be used to settle digestive upsets, it has a relaxing and soothing effect on the intestinal tract, and it helps to promote the elimination of intestinal gas.
- Ginger is a powerful antioxidant, which protects our cells from the damage of free radicals. (read more about anti-oxidants and free radicals)
- Ginger can help soothe a sore throat, and as a natural expectorant it can help expel mucous from the respiratory tract. The combination of ginger and pure honey works well in healing colds and flu.
- Gingerols, very powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, are the main component in ginger. These compounds give ginger its unmistakable flavor. Studies have shown that gingerols can be very effective in reducing or eliminating pain and swelling in osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Other studies suggest that gingerols could also inhibit the growth of cancer cells. (read more about inflammation here)
- Studies have shown that ginger can be used to prevent symptoms of motion sickness – including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and cold sweats.
- During pregnancy, ginger can provide safe and effective relief for nausea and vomiting.
- Besides having the ability to warm us up on a cold wintery day and boosting our immune system, it can help to promote healthy sweating. Healthy sweating can be particularly beneficial when dealing with colds and flu.
- Fresh ginger can be eaten before a meal to help improve appetite and get digestive juices going.
- Absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients can be improved by consuming fresh ginger.
- Ginger is beneficial for heart health, as it improves circulation, helps reduce cholesterol levels, and improves blood pressure.
So whether you are fighting a cold, dealing with digestive upset, or need to improve your appetite – consider trying ginger as a natural remedy. Ginger tea can be made easily by steeping one or two slices (1/2” thick) of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water. Or you could add a small chunk of peeled fresh ginger to your green smoothie for a surprising flavor twist.
Are you interested in more information about healthy food alternatives to improve your overall health and energy? Are you looking for ways to boost your immune system before winter sets in? I can help…. contact me and let’s talk!
This blog was shared courtesty of Cathy Ormon, CHC
Cathy Ormon is a Certified Health Coach, a Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She works with men and women who are considering retirement, to build their health from where they are today, enabling them to live the future retirement of their dreams! Cathy is passionate about building optimal health, wellness and energy through good nutrition and healthy lifestyle. Cathy’s website is: www.cathyormon.com, Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/CathyOrmonHealthCoach
Photo Credit: Model – Virginia Schmidt, Photographer: Jonelle Pollock
Fit Day – Nutrition of Ginger
Food Matters article – Benefits of Ginger
World’s Healthiest Foods