All the healthy reasons you should incorporate ginger into your diet

Winter is coming, and there are many health benefits to eating ginger when dealing with colds and viruses.

Incorporating ginger into your diet can have numerous health benefits (photo credit: Hippopx)
Incorporating ginger into your diet can have numerous health benefits
(photo credit: Hippopx)

Ginger has been used by various cultures for thousands of years as a home remedy. It’s cheap, available, tasty and has many health benefits. 

Ginger root has long been considered an effective solution to a variety of problems and diseases. Even from a nutritional point of view, it completely returns the money spent on it. A whole cup of chopped fresh ginger root has only 80 calories, less than 18 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of fiber and protein. Putting a tablespoon of it in any recipe will add less than 5 calories but a lot of health benefits with vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

It doesn’t look appetizing, but it’s useful in many different ways: fresh, dried, powdered, peeled, oiled or extracted. Ginger, just like hot pepper, contains capsaicin, so it tingles a little with its spiciness but blends well with a variety of foods so you can adapt it to your taste preference.

Ginger can reduce nausea

Have you sniffed some ginger root when traveling? Studies show that ginger can soothe stomach aches and travel sickness, pregnancy sickness or even nausea after chemotherapy. 

 Ginger tea has many uses when it comes to fighting infection and illness. (credit: Hippopx) Ginger tea has many uses when it comes to fighting infection and illness. (credit: Hippopx)

Thai research has shown that ginger even works like the active ingredient in over-the-counter medications with dimenhydrinate, which is used to treat nausea in pregnant women. Yet tell your doctor if you take it in large quantities because it contains bioactive compounds that can make other medications ineffective.

May reduce gas and treat constipation

Ginger may also ease other stomach problems due to zingibain, a digestive enzyme which helps the body break down protein. The enzyme helps the food you eat pass through the system more easily which reduces sensations of bloating, gas or constipation.

After a full meal, slowly sip a cup of tea that contains a few slices of sliced ginger soaked in hot water for a few minutes and sip it slowly. Don’t drink commercial ginger ale which doesn’t contain real ginger; it’s mostly corn syrup which contains fructose.

Ginger proven effective in fighting infections

When you feel that a cold is approaching, you should preemptively treat the blow and start with preventive consumption of this wonderful root. Fresh ginger juice will help you fight off viruses.

Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that fresh ginger may be effective against a common respiratory virus, RSV which is currently affecting many kids in the States. 

The less good news is that researchers think that dried ginger was less effective than fresh ginger to cure colds. Be sure to purchase a root with smooth, flawless skin. The more the bark looks like the root itself, the less fresh and effective it is.

Excellent against cramps during menstruation

Research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that ginger is as effective as ibuprofen in relieving period pain. Study participants took a 250-milligram ginger powder capsule four times a day for three days immediately after the start of their period and reported a significant relief in the feeling of pain. 

You can also get pain relief by drinking 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger root in hot water together with honey or lemon.

Can ginger be used to fight inflammation?

Ginger is also an antioxidant that will help reduce inflammation, according to a University of Georgia study. Daily supplements of ginger reduce muscle pain caused by inflammation or use a muscle balm. Ginger oil is heated enough to improve circulation in tired muscles.

It could help you lose weight

Most herbs and spices are beneficial for weight loss since they enrich the taste of low-calorie foods without adding calories. Ginger is no different. 

A review published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences conducted by researchers from China showed that the components of ginger can act against obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and disorders associated with these diseases thanks to its role in fat burning, carbohydrate digestion, insulin secretion and appetite suppression. 

Another study published in the journal Metabolism found that men who drank a hot ginger drink (made from ginger powder and hot water) after a meal felt fuller. Researchers wrote that results showed the potential role of ginger in healthy weight management, so put ginger powder on yogurt with berries or sip ginger tea.

Ginger may protect against colon cancer

A study published in 2011 in Cancer Prevention Research suggested that adding ginger may help prevent colon cancer, especially for those at increased risk of developing it, thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect on the intestines.