WHAT IS GINGER ROOT, EXACTLY?
Ginger is a tropical, flowering plant that originated in Southeast Asia. Ginger’s root is known for its potency and pungent taste, adding flavor or spice to a variety of dishes and beverages. You might know it best for its role in the signature flavor of ginger snaps, gingerbread, and ginger ale! Other than for culinary purposes, ginger is commonly used for fragrance in soaps and beauty products. Besides flavor and smell, ginger root has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Let’s look beyond the nutritional facts and check out these 9 surprising health benefits of ginger root!
WHY YOU SHOULD USE MORE GINGER
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, sharing pharmacological properties with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Due to this, ginger root extract is often an ingredient in supplements and topical creams designed to reduce joint pain and relieve arthritis.
Relieves Muscle Pain
In addition to relieving joint pain, gingers root’s anti-inflammatory properties make it effective in relieving muscle soreness and inflammation from exercise. Consider adding ginger to your post-workout meal to ease achy muscles before your next gym session.
Strengthens Immune System
Ginger is well known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, inhibiting mucus production, clearing congestion and killing bacteria. It’s also an excellent remedy for colds and flus, calming symptoms of coughs, sore throats and bronchitis.
Studies suggest ginger is a safe and possibly effective remedy to ease the stomach pain and dizziness associated with nausea. It has so been proposed that ginger is effective in treating morning sickness in some pregnant women. In addition to stomach discomfort and morning sickness, ginger is also believed to be effective in reliving nausea and vomiting after surgery and for those going through chemotherapy.
Reduces Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps are painful sensations ranging from dull to severe, affecting many women before and during their menstrual period. Menstrual cramps seem to be related to the excess production of hormones in the body that produce uterine contractions, resulting in cramping. Ginger root has been shown to reduce the production of these hormones and alleviate pain without the side affects and stomach discomfort that can result from painkillers like Ibuprofen.
Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Studies suggest that ginger root can lower cholesterol and prevent blood from clotting. This may be beneficial to those trying to lower heart disease risk, as high cholesterol can lead to clogged arteries, and blood clots can lead to stroke or heart attack. Ginger may also help to lower blood pressure, another indicator of heart disease.
Treats Respiratory Disorders & Asthma
Ginger helps to break down mucus, making it easier for your body to expel air. It’s anti-inflammatory properties help relax the muscle cells in the lungs similar to that of a non-steroidal bronchodilator, but without a lot of the serious side effects.
Aids Chronic Indigestion
Chronic indigestion is defined as recurrent pain or discomfort in the stomach, with difficulty digesting food. It’s believed that one of the major factors leading to chronic indigestion is the delayed emptying of the stomach. Ginger has been shown to speed up the emptying process, relieving symptoms associated with indigestion such as bloating, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting.
Improves Brain Function
Many brain disorders including depression, anxiety, ADHD, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are linked to chronic inflammation of the brain. This chronic inflammation is linked to oxidative stress, which results when there are more free radicals in your body than there are antioxidants to combat them. Ginger root is an anti-inflammatory high in antioxidants, allowing it to protect your brain by fighting off the free radicals in your body.