Ginger is one of the healthiest spices on the planet, packed with nutrients that are super good for you. It’s also one of the yummiest. That spicy, fresh flavor… delicious! And that deliciousness just makes it easier to get all the awesome benefits of ginger on a regular basis.
So, what exactly are this benefits – and how can you incorporate ginger in your life more frequently?
Check this out!
Health Benefits of Ginger
As we mentioned, ginger is loaded with nutrients. The most important to mention is probably gingerol – the main bioactive compound in ginger. It’s responsible for many of ginger’s medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
But it works as part of a team. Here are some of the other nutrients in ginger:
- Vitamin B3 and B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin C
So, what’s ginger good for? We’re so glad you asked!
1. Soothe an Upset Stomach
There’s a reason your mom reached for the gingerlale when you had a tummy ache as a kid. One of the best known benefits of ginger is its ability to calm a troubled digestive tract.
This includes things like indigestion, nausea and vomiting, gas, morning sickness, even sea sickness. This is thanks in part to certain enzymes in ginger that can help the body break up and expel gas and relieve discomfort. It also seems to have beneficial effects on the enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase, which are important for your digestion.
2. Relieve Pain
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, don’t forget, and research shows that this can help relieve pain in a number of different situations!
Research shows that ginger can help relieve pain associated with:
3. Lowers Cholesterol
High levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Luckily, research tells us that ginger can help reduce that risk by lowering those levels.
Various research studies show that a daily ginger supplement can lower cholesterol markers, reducing total cholesterol and blood triglycerides, and that’s a very good thing!
4. Lowers Blood Sugar
Lowering your blood sugar is an important factor in keeping diabetes at bay, and research shows ginger can help with that!
One study in particular found that people who took powdered ginger every day for 3 months experienced:
- lower fasting plasma glucose
- improved insulin sensitivity
- lower triglicerides
- lower total cholesterol
For those who already have diabetes, research shows ginger can also be helpful. A study done in 2015 found that a daily ginger supplement significantly reduced the levels of fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A-I and malondialdehyde in diabetic patients!
5. Boost Your Immune System
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in ginger can improve the immunity of the body. By adding more ginger to your diet, you’re strengthening your immune system and giving your body the ability to better fight disease. This means even the common cold can be beaten back with ginger!
6. Fight Cancer
Because of its antioxidant properties, ginger has the ability to fight free radicals in your body – the harmful molecules that lead to oxidative stress and can eventually cause cancer!
Check this out: in a 2013 trial, researchers gave 20 participants either 2 g of ginger or a placebo for 28 days. The participants were all at high risk for developing colorectal cancer. Those who were given the ginger supplement had fewer negative changes in healthy colon tissue and reduced cellular proliferation, indicating ginger has serious potential for warding off cancer!
Adding Ginger to Your Diet
There’s always the option of chewing on a slice of fresh ginger – seriously, so good – but if that’s not your thing, there are literally countless ways to add more ginger to your life!
These are some of our favorites:
- Add powdered ginger to your morning cup of joe
- Brew a spicy ginger tea with fresh ginger and a slice of lemon
- Add some fresh ginger to your morning smoothy for an extra zest
- Make some ginger snap cookies
- Add some ginger to your stir-fry
- Make a fresh ginger and lemon salad dressing
And, if cooking isn’t your thing, or you’re looking for something even more convenient, a daily ginger supplement will do the trick as well!