by Tracey Pollack
Spicy and sweet, ginger is as good for your meals as it is for your body and mind. For centuries, ginger has been at the root of medical traditions all over the world for its abundance of healing benefits. Today, modern science is supporting this ancient belief in this soothing, satisfying superfood. Its magical medicinal benefits come from its main bioactive compound known as gingerol, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers. Ginger adds a zesty zing to everything, from spicy dishes like stir-fries, sushi and soups to sweet treats like fruity smoothies and heart-warming holiday gingerbread. Whether you go for ginger fresh, dried, powdered or pickled, discover how this age-old remedy can be the recipe for better health.
Tames Tummy Troubles
When you were younger, did your parents settle your upset stomach with a glass of ginger ale? Looks like your parents knew best because ginger has been used in cultures for thousands of years to treat troubled tummies, banish bloating, eliminate gas and calm cramps. Ginger is also a remedy for nausea, which leads many to chew on crystalized ginger or pour a cup of ginger tea to ease the queasiness caused by pregnancy, chemotherapy, motion sickness and surgery.
Makes Sore Muscles and Arthritis Less of a Pain
The next time your muscles are sore or your joints begin to ache, head to the spice cabinet instead of the medicine cabinet. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, so it reduces the inflammation that causes soreness, swelling and stiffness. Ginger has become a recommended remedy for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and muscle strain since it helps improve joint mobility and extends your range of motion. As a result, a dose of ginger is a natural pain reliever, which makes it a real relief from relying on pain pills and prescriptions.
Balances Blood Sugar Levels
If your blood sugar is up to no good, ginger may help bring it down to a healthier level. Studies have found that adding ginger to your diet can help regulate blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. By using ginger to control your blood sugar levels, you can take control of the condition.
May Curb Cancer Growth
Cancer is a growing problem, but ginger may be the answer as it’s been shown to slow the growth of some cancers, including breast, ovarian, colorectal, gastric and prostate cancers. Its anti-cancer capabilities come from its antioxidants, which help the body get rid of the free radicals that damage your cells and cause chronic conditions like cancer. Along with reducing these free radicals, ginger comes to the rescue to help suppress the growth of tumors. And for those undergoing chemotherapy, ginger can help make nausea easier to stomach.
Betters Your Brain
If you’re trying to keep your brain sharp, it’s wise to keep ginger in mind. Along with improving your memory and enhancing your cognitive performance, ginger can protect your brain against cognitive decline as you age. See, the antioxidants in ginger help reduce the inflammation that causes neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and dementia. To keep your brain at its best, going for ginger is a good idea.
With its world of health and healing benefits, it’s worth warming up to ginger.