Ginger is typically a tropical plant and its yellow root with a zesty and peppery flavor, is what you are most likely familiar with. Ginger has been defined a superfood meaning that is rich in healthy compounds that can boost the general health of your body; as a matter of fact, ginger is packed with medicinal properties that actually makes this root being unique and used all over the world in both culinary and curative applications.
Ginger anti-inflammatory effects on your body
The health benefits of ginger are mainly due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and treat inflammatory conditions. Although inflammation is a normal, healthy immune response to injury and infection, when it’s chronic the inflammation is believed to be a major contributor to conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer and may be the cause of the chronic fatigue. That’s why you should increase your intake of foods that reduces body inflammation such as ginger and other superfoods like turmeric, leafy greens like kale and berries. The active constituents responsible for many of the natural anti-inflammatory effects that ginger provides are gingerol, shogaol, and paradol. These constituents positively affect the inflammation levels in your body. Let’s see briefly how it works.
In our body there are two types of cytokines (small proteins released by cells to communicate with other cells in the body): pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory. Pro-inflammatory are responsible to start and keep active the cellular inflammation whereas the anti-inflammatory are responsible to block it. Ginger has been shown to be able to inhibit the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines; therefore, ginger can decrease the inflammation in your body.
Finally, according to a 2011 study published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it seems that Ginger root by helping decreasing inflammation on the body, can improve the cognitive functions as well.
Ginger settles the stomach and reduces nausea
Another powerful ginger benefit is its ability to support digestive health and prevent common problems like dyspepsia, a condition of impaired digestion characterized by symptoms like pain, heartburn, fullness, short breath and discomfort. If you’ve ever drunk ginger tea in an attempt to settle your stomach, you already know that ginger can help soothe your nausea and help to digest a heavy meal. This happens because a warm cup of ginger tea could help your stomach empty faster so food doesn’t just sit there making you feel upset.
The most active ingredients in ginger are the pungent ones, particularly gingerols and shogaols. They acts peripherally, within the gastrointestinal tract, by increasing the gastric tone and motility due to anticholinenergic and antiserotonergic actions. This combination of functions explains the widely accepted ability of ginger to relieve symptoms of functional gastrointestinal disorders, often associated with decreased gastric motility.
How to incorporate ginger in your diet
There are several ways to get ginger into your diet. As a matter of fact, raw ginger root is commonly sold in the groceries but you can also easily find the powder and the oil version.
Fresh ginger root: This is the most potent form of ginger and also the most versatile. You can slice it and put in hot water for tea, mince it into stir-fry dishes, add it to your smoothies or salad dressings.
Ginger capsules: This is the easiest way to get ginger into your diet, especially if you aren’t a fan of its taste! The ground ginger powder is added to a capsule for easy daily consumption.
Ginger tea: You can make ginger tea using fresh ginger or ground ginger. But you can also buy ready-to-go ginger extract tea bags at the store.
Ginger chews: Ginger chews are like ginger candies. Make sure to check the other ingredients such as sugars amount.
Ginger oil: Ginger oil can be taken internally or rubbed topically to treat local pain. Ginger essential oil has many soothing properties and is useful to use for massages.
In moderation, ginger is generally safe and unlikely to cause any adverse side effects in most people. Because of its potent curative compounds you should never exaggerate on quantity consumption. Common symptoms you may experience, especially if you’re taking a big amount of ginger are heartburn and diarrhea. Also, if you are considering to take it regularly, speak to your doctor, as ginger can interfere with some medications.
If you find yourself having digestive issues on a regular basis, especially if it interferes with your everyday life or if you have any questions about digestive issues and gut health you’re welcome to schedule an appointment with me at the clinic located in Davenport, Iowa.
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