The medicinal use of ginger has been known for centuries, some say for at least 2000 years. Ginger originated in Asia but is much valued in India, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and other areas worldwide. The rhizome, the root-like stem that grows underground, is the most commonly used part of the plant for both medicine and cooking. Ginger has been shown to have over 40 pharmacological effects. And it’s a good source of antioxidants, including gingerols, shogaols, and zingerones. Ginger contains antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties with a broad spectrum.
Nutrition Facts of Ginger
Ginger has a low number of calories and no cholesterol. It is a good source of vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and selenium. It also has dietary fiber, vitamin C, copper, and potassium. A 100 grams of the fresh ginger root (2) contains: (4, 5)
- 0.2 grams of fat
- 13 milligram of sodium
- 18 grams of carbohydrates
- 1.8 grams of protein
- 2 grams of fiber
- 0.6 milligram of iron
- 43 milligram of magnesium
- 415 milligram of potassium
- 5 milligram of vitamin C
Health Benefits of Ginger
There are many health benefits of ginger (1), including:
Ease Nausea and Vomiting with Ginger
Ginger has been used to treat motion sickness (3) and symptoms of nausea for a long time. It may work by blocking serotonin receptors, responsible for nauseous feelings.
Relieve Pain with Ginger
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieves different types of pain, such as menstrual pain (6), toothaches, migraine, and arthritis. It reduces pain by preventing prostaglandin production.
Lower Blood Sugar with Ginger
Ginger lowers blood sugar levels (1, 7) by suppressing the factors that cause diabetes. It also helps insulin to work better in your body.
Improve Brain Health with Ginger
Ginger contains compounds that improve brain function and protect against age-related damage. These compounds include gingerols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels with Ginger
Ginger may help lower cholesterol levels by preventing cholesterol absorption in the intestine. It also helps increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Prevent Infection with Ginger
Ginger extract (3), used in mouthwash, has been found to inhibit the development of various oral fungi, including Candida yeast. The majority of candida yeast in the mouth is harmless and asymptomatic.
Lower Blood Pressure with Ginger
The blood-thinning properties of ginger can help lower blood pressure (2). It also helps improve circulation and lower inflammation.
Improve Muscle Recovery with Ginger
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties (6) that help to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness. It also helps improve blood circulation, which aids in muscle recovery.
Aids in Weight Loss with Ginger
There is a strong belief among scientists and researchers that ginger can be safely used to increase metabolism and help with weight loss (1, 7). Some studies have found that consuming thermogenic ingredients like ginger may boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent and increase fat burning by 16 percent. It may even help counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that often occurs during weight loss.
Prevents Cardiovascular Disease with Ginger
Ginger has been shown to improve the bronchodilating effects of isoproterenol, a type of asthma medication, suggesting that ginger may be a safer alternative in treating asthma.
May Help With Cancer
Cancer researchers have discovered that ginger has a positive effect in the fight against cancer. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition has demonstrated that it may effectively manage prostate cancer. It has shown anti-tumor properties that may help cure difficult-to-treat cancers, including lung, ovarian, colon, breast, skin, and pancreatic. However, many more studies are necessary to verify this hypothesis.
Ginger May Improve Immunity
Ginger increases the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infections. It is also a natural antioxidant that protects cells from getting damaged.
Ginger Aids in Digestion
Ginger is often used to help with digestion. It is thought to increase saliva and other digestive fluids, relieving indigestion and related issues such as burping. Additionally, ginger inhibits H. pylori, which may help prevent ulcers while also protecting the gastric mucosa. Ginger has been shown to work better than a placebo in relieving morning sickness. There is evidence that ginger has a significant effect on the complications caused by chemotherapy.
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- The Amazing and Mighty Ginger – Herbal Medicine – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
- Health Benefits of Ginger (webmd.com)
- Health Benefits of Ginger | EatingWell
- FoodData Central (usda.gov)
- Ginger root, raw nutrition facts and analysis. (nutritionvalue.org)
- 12 health benefits of ginger (singlecare.com)
- Ginger Benefits | Johns Hopkins Medicine