What comes to mind when you hear about ginger? An ancient natural spice commonly used for various delicacies and also for relieving flu and coughs come in mind. You cannot definitely miss ginger in marinating meat or even fish. How about including it in your favorite smoothie?
Ginger is an underground stem, a rhizome that comes from the family Zingiberaceae. Ginger shares a common family with Turmeric, myorga and cardamom.
Many refer to it as a root spice, actually it is the stem
which is used. The most important compound found in Ginger is known as gingerol. It is the main bioactive compound that contributes immensely to its numerous nutritional and health benefits.
Ginger could be used as fresh, dried, as an oil and even in a powdered form.
Let us look out for some health benefits of ginger…
1. Commonly Known To Ease Colds And Coughs
Many people often take in ginger to relieve colds or flu. Its juice is extracted and consumed. Others peel, wash and add a little bit of sugar or honey to it before it is chewed. The sugar or honey is due to the bitter taste that it leaves behind.
2. Improves Digestion
It is believed that ginger relieves chronic indigestion, mostly caused by the delay in emptying of the bowels. Ginger is known to increase the rate at which the bowels are emptied. Ginger has a lot of fiber and antioxidants that aid in active digestion. Also, there are enzymes present in ginger that helps to expel the gases that form in the intestinal tract during digestion.
3. Good For Maintaining Healthy Hair
Many shampoo and conditioners on the market have ginger as an active ingredient. This is because of the many benefits that ginger has on the hair. Applying ginger to your scalp reduces dandruff and other scalp infections. It strengthens the hair strands and stimulates the hair follicles to promote good hair growth. It generally prevents the hair from damage.
4. Reduces Severe Menstrual Pain
Ginger is known to reduce severe menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea). It is as effective as paracetamol and other pain relievers in terms of relieving pains. However, it works best when used in its powdered form.
5. Treats Nausea
It is greatly known for curbing nausea, especially in pregnant women (morning sickness). It can significantly help reduce the symptoms of nausea.
6. Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects
It is effective for reducing muscle and joint pains. Especially in osteoarthritis patients, it helps reduce pain and stiffness in joint. It also helps to curb exercise-induced muscle and joint pains.
7. Anti-aging benefits
It contains some antioxidants that help to maintain the youthful appearance of the skin. Ginger rids the skin of harmful toxins and provides the body with nutrients that enhance the skin.
8. Weight Loss
Ginger has obesity-suppressing effects. It helps to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. This should be accompanied with exercises to aid faster weight loss.
Ginger has provides many other health benefits to the body. It lowers blood sugar levels and also helps reduce the risk of heart diseases. It greatly improves the brain’s function, preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. It also reduces the risk of cancer.
How To Use Ginger
* Can be used as a spice in meals as it gives a nice aroma to food aside its numerous health benefits.
* Can be used as an ingredient in smoothies for a nice refreshing taste.
* For coughs and Colds, peel and wash ginger very well. Sprinkle some little amount of sugar on it and chew. It can be chewed raw. The sugar only makes the chewing easier because ginger leaves a bitter taste. However, honey can be used as a substitute for the sugar.
* Ginger can be put in cold water to infuse nutrients into it. Also it’s juice could be extracted and refrigerated. A fair amount of the juice can be taken with warm water every morning.
* Ginger powder can also be used to prepare tea.