Ginger is one of the most flavorsome and potent spices. It is used heavily in cooking in many cuisines and has been used in natural medicines for centuries. There are so many health benefits of ginger that it really does deserve pride of place in your collection of herbs and spices.
Among the various health benefits of ginger, the potential for lowering cholesterol levels is perhaps one of the most exciting discoveries. People with high levels of LDL lipoproteins run an increased risk of developing heart disease. What we eat can influence the levels of LDL in our blood. Evidence in both humans and animals has shown ginger can be responsible for a significant lowering of LDL cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels (both considered "bad" cholesterol).
The anti-inflammatory effects of ginger can assist in the battle against osteoarthritis, a common health problem women in particular develop once they hit age 30+. The condition degenerates the joints of our bodies, causing symptoms such as stiffness and joint pain. Studies have shown a combination of ginger, cinnamon, sesame oil and mastic can help to reduce stiffness and pain in patients suffering from the condition.
It seems ginger is very effective in dealing with forms of nausea, especially seasickness and morning sickness - and you thought that was just an old wives' tale! In fact, it can be just as effective munching some raw ginger as taking OTC or prescriptive medication. Just 1 to 1.5 grams of ginger can significantly lower symptoms of nausea, but talk to your doctor before eating large amounts of the stuff.
Studies have revealed ginger can lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. More than enough reason to cook a mouth-watering curry with plenty of fresh ginger at least once a week! Just 2 grams of ginger powder per day was able to reduce fasting blood sugar by 12% in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Ginger can be effective in the treatment of day-to-day progression of exercise-induced muscle pain thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, as studies have shown. Consume just 2 grams of the yellow goodness every day for a period of 11 days and see how it shoos away your muscle pain.
Dyspepsia or chronic indigestion causes sufferers recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of their stomach. It seems when our stomachs are emptied at slower speeds than normal, chronic indigestion can develop. Studies have shown ginger speeds up the emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people suffering from dyspepsia and other stomach discomforts.
Originally coming from China, ginger is a flowering plant from the Zingiberaceae family and is closely related to turmeric, galangal and cardamom. Medicinally, the most powerful of these spices is gingerol. It's the main bioactive compound in ginger, containing powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents that can assist in fighting flu and the common cold.
Taken at the start of a woman's menstrual cycle, ginger can be very effective against menstrual pain, as studies have shown. Reducing menstrual pain is one of the great health benefits of ginger, which can be as effective as conventional painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol.
Do you use ginger other than for cooking? What do you use it for?
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