We all know ginger. A delicious ingredient prevalent in many Asian cuisines, ginger is a spicy, sweet, delicious root that has been used as an ingredient and medicine for centuries.
Not only is ginger one of the best-tasting spices in the world, but it is also rich in the healthiest vitamins and minerals, boasting all sorts of health benefits for your body.
It’s no wonder ginger has been used as a cure-all in traditional medicine historically. It appears to aid in all sorts of bodily functions and provide numerous benefits.
Let’s break down some of the top benefits of eating ginger and how ginger benefits the human body.
One of the most well-known medicinal uses of ginger is as a nausea reliever and stomach settler. If you have ever been offered ginger ale when you had an upset stomach, this is why.
Ginger has been found to be effective for treating several forms of nausea, from basic upset stomachs to chemotherapy-related nausea.
Amongst the best uses of ginger is its effect on pregnancy-related nausea, also commonly referred to as morning sickness. This review of 12 pregnancy nausea studies found that ginger significantly reduces pregnancy-related nausea.
Just keep in mind that women who are nearing labor or have a history of miscarriages should avoid ginger. Ginger may cause vaginal bleeding and other vaginal issues that may complicate birth.
If you find yourself struggling with nausea, drinking a ginger beverage or taking a ginger supplement may give you the relief that you need to get back on your feet.
Decreased Blood Sugar and Improved Heart Health
While the research is still very young, it appears that ginger may have powerful effects on blood sugar.
In a 2015 study, type 2 diabetics that were given 2 grams of ginger powder every day saw their blood sugar decrease by 12%. While plenty of research is yet to be done, the early signs are very encouraging for diabetics and pre-diabetics looking to decrease their blood sugar levels.
Nutritional Benefits of Gingerol
Ginger has been used as a medicinal root throughout its history. Ginger has been used to treat the common cold and flu, nausea, and upset stomach for centuries.
The main component of ginger that gives these medicinal benefits is gingerol, a natural oil in ginger that also gives ginger its vibrant smell and taste.
Gingerol has been found to be an incredible anti-inflammatory and is also rich in antioxidants. This helps ginger reduce oxidative stress that accumulates in the body and helps to prevent all sorts of chronic illnesses.
Assists in Weight Loss
If you are trying to lose some extra weight, then ginger may be a helpful tool to aid you in your weight loss journey.
The exact reasons ginger is effective at helping with weight loss are still a mystery, and there is research being done to conclude exactly what ginger does to promote weight loss. Current theories suggest ginger may boost metabolism or that the anti-inflammatory properties of gingerol could be the mechanism by which ginger promotes weight loss.
Whatever the reason, studies do seem to show that ginger affects weight loss. A review of several studies done in 2019 found that ginger supplementation was able to reduce body weight and waist-to-hip ratios in overweight and obese subjects.
Animal studies also seem to indicate a link between ginger supplementation and weight loss. In studies on rats and mice, those given ginger extracts saw reductions in weight despite being fed high-fat diets.
Research is still being done, but it is safe to say that ginger might be a helpful remedy for you on your weight loss journey.
Helps Alleviate Menstrual Pain
Ginger has been traditionally used to treat pain and soreness, and one of the best uses as a pain reliever has come as a menstrual pain reliever.
In one study, women were either given ginger, ibuprofen, or mefenamic acid (two common NSAIDs) to treat their menstrual pain for the first three days of their period. The study concluded that ginger was equally as effective as painkillers.
Other studies have also concluded that ginger is as effective as certain painkilling compounds like acetaminophen and caffeine. Still, more studies are needed to determine the exact effectiveness of ginger as a pain reliever for menstrual cramps and sore muscles.
May Lower Cholesterol
High levels of cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol), have long been linked to an increased risk of heart problems and diseases.
In a 2008 study on cholesterol levels, three grams of ginger in capsule form each day led to a 10% decrease in cholesterol in 45 days. Another study in 2018 found participants taking 5 grams of ginger paste per day saw a 17% decrease in LDL cholesterol in three months.
More research is being done, but if you are looking for ways to decrease your cholesterol levels, then ginger may be a helpful boost for you to try. If you suspect you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about their medical advice to help alleviate your symptoms.
Might Fight Off Certain Infections
Gingerol appears to have antibacterial properties on top of all of the other amazing benefits that gingerol provides. Several studies have shown that ginger extract prevents the growth of several kinds of bacterias.
A 2008 study shows that ginger may kill the bacterias that cause periodontitis and gingivitis, two of the most common gum diseases. Another study found ginger is effective in fighting the respiratory syncytial virus.
Consuming ginger may help your body fight off certain types of infections and aid your immune system in keeping you healthy.
May Protect Against Alzheimer’s
One of the key factors thought to influence the development of Alzheimer's and cognitive decline is the build-up of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in the human body.
Antioxidants are thought to inhibit inflammation in the body, and ginger is rich in antioxidants.
Ginger may also assist in better brain functioning on its own as well. A 2012 study showed that giving women who were given a daily supplement of ginger improved their working memory and reaction times.
Ginger and ginger root have many health benefits. Everything from settling motion sickness to aiding muscle pain relief from osteoarthritis symptoms is included in the possible health benefits of ginger.
Eating a diet rich in ginger is relatively easy—simply substitute ginger as a spice or add ginger juice to any recipes that you love, like stir-fries or salad, for a spicy, sweet addition. You can even drink more ginger tea with lemon and honey or try ginger capsules to boost your ginger intake.
There are plenty of ways to get more ginger in your diet, but a fun new way is our ginger prebiotic soda at VINA. Our ginger flavor contains real ginger to give you a boost of ginger to feed your body.
Eating a higher amount of ginger in your diet can give your body a major health boost. Try consuming more ginger to see what benefits your body can get.
Keep on checking us here at VINA out for more health tips and tricks!
Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled Trials | NIH
Effects of preoperative administration of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) on postoperative nausea and vomiting after laparoscopic cholecystectomy | NIH
A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting | NIH
The Effects of Ginger on Fasting Blood Sugar, Hemoglobin A1c, Apolipoprotein B, Apolipoprotein AI and Malondialdehyde in Type 2 Diabetic Patients | NIH
Biological properties of 6-gingerol: a brief review | NIH
The effects of ginger intake on weight loss and metabolic profiles among overweight and obese subjects: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials | NIH
Ginger Water Reduces Body Weight Gain and Improves Energy Expenditure in Rats | NIH
Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea | NIN
(PDF) Investigation of the effect of ginger on the lipid levels: A double blind controlled clinical trial | NIH
Effects of Ginger on LDL-C, Total Cholesterol and Body Weight | NIH
Antibacterial effect of Allium sativum cloves and Zingiber officinale rhizomes against multiple-drug resistant clinical pathogens | NIH
Antibacterial activity of -gingerol and -gingerol isolated from ginger rhizome against periodontal bacteria | NIH
Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines | NIH
Zingiber officinale Improves Cognitive Function of the Middle-Aged Healthy Women | NIH