When it comes to maintaining good health and healing disease, nutrition cannot be overlooked. Many people are quick to rush out and use various medications and prescription drugs in an effort to help ease their health woes, but all too often, this just leaves them feeling frustrated and riddled with side effects.
Instead, consider a natural approach. If you fuel your body each day with great nutrition, you’ll already be one step ahead of the game. If you are eating right each day, you’re actually going to be taking a step towards the prevention of future problems. Remember, often prevention is the best medicine. If you don’t get sick in the first place, you don’t have to heal yourself.
This said, when you do fall ill and have issues you are facing, it’s always important to seek out natural nutritional methods as these will typically enhance your health without causing the unwanted side effects you’re dealing with.
One of the best natural healers that you should consider adding into your lifestyle is ginger. Ginger is a powerful food that many regards as a spice and while it will work excellent as a spice in your cooking and help to flavor your food, more importantly, it can give your body a jumpstart.
So what can ginger do for you? Let’s take a closer peek.
A Brief Primer On Ginger
Before we get into the benefits of ginger, let’s first talk a little about what ginger is in the first place. Many of you have heard and used ginger in one form or another. You may have purchased ground ginger powder from your grocers’ store and used it then in your cooking. Or, you may have purchased pureed ginger in the cooler section at your local store and used that if you prefer.
Ginger, which goes by the official name Zingiber Officinale is a plant that is closely related to turmeric and cardamom.
It has a relatively strong, distinct taste and usually works very well in combination with garlic. Ginger can be paired with many things from main meat-based dishes, soups, stews, and even desserts in some cases. So there is no shortage of ways to add it to your diet plan.
It’s also available for purchase as an essential oil and many people do use it topically to help with a variety of different health concerns.
Ginger itself, being a plant does come with some nutritional stats, however, you would need to eat a lot of it for that to really add up. Most people are much more interested in the health properties that ginger supplies than the calories or macros.
But if you were to somehow consume 10 grams of raw ginger (around 0.35 ounces), you would take in 8 calories, 1.8 grams of carbs, 0.2 grams of protein, virtually no fat, and 0.2 grams of dietary fiber.
Because it is so low in macros and calories, it is considered a calorie-free food and can be added to your diet in any portion sizes desired.
What’s more important about ginger however is the nutrients that it provides. When you use ginger, you’ll take in potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, iron, calcium, zinc, as well as riboflavin and thiamin.
It’s also a powerful source of antioxidants, which allows it to earn the title of being a superfood as well.
So what benefits can you expect to reap? What ailments when it comes to your health can it assist with? Here’s a list of possibilities.
Perhaps the most commonly seen benefit of ginger is with the assistance of nausea. If you’ve ever had the flu and have been throwing up, or have been pregnant, you may have been instructed to serve yourself some ginger tea. Many pregnant women also find that simply chewing on some ginger is a good way to keep their stomach from turning when the morning sickness hits.
Research¹ has indeed confirmed that among pregnant women who are suffering from severe morning sickness, those who take ginger notice an improvement in symptoms without any unwanted side effects. When pregnant, taking prescription medication is often out of the question so having such a great natural treatment such as this is very beneficial.
Some patients who are also undergoing chemotherapy find ginger to be especially soothing to their stomachs as well, so that’s another added benefit that you can consider.
Dealing with any sort of bacterial infection? If so, ginger can be of assistance. Ginger can help to end unwanted bacterial infections and is often used to help those who are suffering from conditions such as jock itch and athletes foot.
It would appear that ginger is most effective at helping to eliminate fungus infections, so those are the primary types you’ll want to focus on controlling.
Relief Of Stomach Ulcers
If you’ve ever had a stomach ulcer, you know just how painful and debilitating this condition can be. For some, stomach ulcers are enough to make them keel over and not be able to move, so finding fast and effective relief is key.
Stomach ulcers often come about due to having an internal stomach environment that is too acidic and not taking care of your gut health. So as a preventative mechanism, make sure you are using a good probiotic such as P3-OM to help those good bacteria thrive and focus on a diet that isn’t too acidic in nature. This means reducing your consumption of red meat and other animal-based products and eating as much fresh produce as you possibly can.
It can also be helpful to practice better stress controlling strategies as well, stomach ulcers are due to the over-buildup of stress in the body.
The good news is that ginger not only helps to treat those who are dealing with stomach ulcers heal faster, but it may also help to prevent the formation of stomach ulcers in the first place.
Research has shown that this appears to be especially beneficial to those who are taking aspirin on a regular basis as a medical treatment. As it will help to lower the levels of inflammatory proteins and decrease the activity of the enzymes that can lead to ulcer formation.
So for those who have sensitive stomachs and who are dealing regularly with ulcers, it can be a very wise idea to makes sure they get ginger on to their menu on a weekly basis.
Help With Easing Menstrual Pains
The next thing that you’ll find ginger can assist with is regulating menstrual pain. If you’re a woman who is often battling her female body each and every month, using ginger may help you better cope.
Period pain, be it cramps, bloating, or just a feeling of being unwell can really knock you off your feet and for some women, making it very challenging to even go about their day-to-day lives. The good news is that ginger can offer some quick and very effective relief.
Some women will commonly turn to over the counter pain medications, which can be fine when used on an occasional basis, but it’s always better, if possible, to use natural remedies instead. And research has confirmed² that ginger can be just as good at relieving menstrual pain than those pain killers anyway. Plus it’s cheaper, so it’s a win-win.
Reduction Of Cancer Growth
In those who are suffering from cancer, ginger can provide real benefits. In a disease such as this, your body is going through so many changes and many of the treatment methods do come with very strong side effects. So the more often you can take a natural approach to help heal your body, the better.
New and exciting research is showing that ginger may provide wonderful benefits to those who are dealing with cancer by inhibiting the growth and spread of this disease.
So far it appears to be most effective on ovarian, pancreatic, as well as prostate cancer. However, as more research is being done, we are seeing even more promising results from this natural remedy³.
Helps To Better Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Keeping your blood glucose levels stable will be a very important thing for anyone who’s dealing with pre-diabetes, diabetes, or who is just concerned over the possibility of suffering from diabetes later in life.
With our western diets being so full of sugar, processed foods, and other fast and convenience foods, our current blood glucose levels are suffering from serious fluctuations. This is leading to all kinds of problems – not just the development of diabetes.
There are many natural methods that can help regulate blood sugar however, which may include adding cinnamon to your foods or, as research shows, incorporating ginger into the meal.
Ginger may help to reduce fasting blood sugar levels by up to 12% and also improve overall long-term blood sugar control by at least 10%4.
Help With Joint And Muscle Pain
Those who are dealing with arthritis pain, be it rheumatoid arthritis or just regular osteoarthritis may find that ginger offers them new hope in combating this condition. Joint pain, especially when it’s very debilitating such as with these conditions is not only frustrating but can dramatically reduce what day-to-day tasks you can handle.
Usually, this joint pain is brought on by high levels of inflammation in the body and since ginger is great for reducing inflammation, it can provide relatively quick relief.
The only catch is, if you want to maintain control over your joint pain, you will need to continue taking the ginger for as long as you want that relief. Ginger won’t heal arthritis but it can help you better manage it.
Likewise, some athletes find that adding ginger to their protocol after a particularly long and hard training session may help to relieve some of the muscle pain that can come from the damage created during that session5. Even those who are battling injury may find a faster healing rate by incorporating ginger into their plan more regularly.
Decreased Cholesterol Levels
Concerned about heart health? You should be. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death right now amongst the world’s population so doing everything you can to protect yourself against it is a very wise move.
High cholesterol can come from a variety of factors but usually, the biggest contributing cause is a poor diet plan. In our western society, poor diets are the norm, so it’s no surprise that heart disease is on the rise at alarming levels.
High cholesterol can also come about due to unwanted stress as well as a sedentary lifestyle, so those are two additional things you’ll want to keep in check.
By using ginger in your plan however, you are effectively able to lower the bad levels of cholesterol in your bloodstream and improve your overall triglyceride profile. This can then help to reduce your risk of heart problems and may help to offset your risk for heart disease.
Some research6 is actually showing that ginger can be just as effective as prescription drugs when it comes to decreasing high cholesterol levels. So it is definitely something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Enhanced Brain Health
Brain health is something else that is a big concern for many and if you have family members who have suffered from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, chances are you are looking at everything you can do to help ensure your brain stays in top shape.
With the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that ginger brings to the body, it should come as no surprise that it’s a great natural remedy for keeping the brain strong as well.
Research7 has been conducted on the impact of regular ginger consumption on the brain and we are seeing that it can help to lower the rate of cognitive decline that takes place and helps to protect against an aging brain.
So there you have a closer look at the many ways that ginger can help to boost your health and heal various medical conditions. Using ginger does take some work on your part as you need to find ways to incorporate it into your recipes, but if you really aren’t into that, you may look at supplemental ginger instead. You can now buy ginger in capsules that you can then take to help give yourself a good dose of it and reap the protection that it can provide.
Using fresh ginger is a more cost-effective method. However, if you are really stuck for ideas, do keep in mind you can always brew yourself a cup of ginger tea by boiling it in hot water for 30 minutes and then drinking the water that is left.
Please make sure that you aren’t overlooking all that ginger has to offer. It is one of the best natural treatments with no risk of side effects out there. So it makes perfect sense to start including in your diet today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the health benefits of ginger?
Ginger offers a wide variety of different health benefits but some of the main ones involve improving digestion and gut health, lowering inflammation in the body, and helping to promote better brain and cognitive health.
What does ginger do to the body?
Ginger acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent and also is a rich source of antioxidants so it’s a great way to help provide long-term healing and disease protection.
What are the side effects of ginger?
Because ginger is an all-natural treatment, the side effects are very minor and rare. Most people will respond very well to incorporating ginger into their diet plan with no real side effects being noted. If they do experience side effects, this may include abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and heartburn.
1. Viljoen, Estelle, et al. “A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting.” Nutrition journal 13.1 (2014): 20.
2. Ozgoli, Giti, Marjan Goli, and Fariborz Moattar. “Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea.” The journal of alternative and complementary medicine 15.2 (2009): 129-132.
3. Rhode, Jennifer, et al. “Ginger inhibits cell growth and modulates angiogenic factors in ovarian cancer cells.” BMC complementary and Alternative Medicine 7.1 (2007): 44.
4. Khandouzi, Nafiseh, et al. “The effects of ginger on fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin a1c, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein aI and malondialdehyde in type 2 diabetic patients.” Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research: IJPR 14.1 (2015): 131.
5. Black, Christopher D., et al. “Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise.” The Journal of Pain 11.9 (2010): 894-903.
6. Alizadeh-Navaei, Reza, et al. “Investigation of the effect of ginger on the lipid levels. A double blind controlled clinical trial.” Saudi Med J 29.9 (2008): 1280-4.
7. Zeng, Gao-feng, et al. “Protective effects of ginger root extract on Alzheimer disease-induced behavioral dysfunction in rats.” Rejuvenation research 16.2 (2013): 124-133