Nutritional content of ginger

Ginger belongs to the same family as turmeric and cardamom, and from ancient India and China to Greece and Rome, the rhizome (root) of ginger has been revered. Gingerbread, ginger beer and preserved ginger are all familiar products, but ginger is more than a seasoning – its medicinal properties have been valued and used throughout the ages.

Contents

Identifying ginger

The ginger plant is a creeping perennial with thick, tuberous underground stems that can grow up to one metre in height. Cultivated mainly in tropical countries, Jamaican ginger – a paler variety – is regarded as the best variety for culinary use. According to Chinese tradition, dried ginger tends to be hotter than fresh.

Origins

Native to South-east Asia, India and China, ginger has been an integral component of the region’s diet and valued for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties for thousands of years. The Romans first imported ginger from China, and by the mid-16th century, Europe was receiving more than 2000 tonnes per year from the East Indies. The top commercial producers of ginger now include Jamaica, India, Fiji, Indonesia and Australia.

Types of ginger

You can buy ginger in a variety of forms, including:

  • Whole fresh roots, which provide the freshest taste
  • Dried roots
  • Powdered ginger, which is a dried root that has been ground
  • Preserved or ‘stem’ ginger, which is made from fresh young roots that have been peeled, sliced and cooked in sugar syrup
  • Crystallised ginger, which is also cooked in sugar syrup, then air-dried and rolled in sugar
  • Pickled ginger, which is made by thinly slicing the root and pickling it in vinegar. In Japan this is known as gari, and often accompanies sushi to refresh the palate between courses

10g serving of fresh ginger

4 calories 0.2g protein 0.1g fat 0.8g carbohydrate 0.2g fibre

The benefits of ginger tea

Ginger tea is great to drink when you feel a cold coming on. It’s a diaphoretic tea, meaning it will warm you from the inside and promote perspiration – so it’s just as good when you simply need to warm up.

To make ginger tea for nausea
Steep 20-40g of fresh, sliced ginger in a cup of hot water. Add a slice of lemon or a drop of honey to sweeten, if you like.

Other uses of ginger

In English pubs and taverns in the 19th century, bartenders would put out small containers of ground ginger for people to sprinkle into their beer – and it was the ancient Greeks who prized ginger so highly that they mixed it into their bread, creating the first ‘gingerbread’.

Medicinal benefits

The many curative properties of ginger have been widely researched. When used on the skin, it can stimulate circulation and soothe burns. As a diaphoretic, it encourages perspiration and can therefore be used to help treat feverish conditions such as influenza or colds.

Helps relieve pain

The root, the part of the plant most widely used in alternative forms of medicine, is rich in volatile oils that contain the active component gingerol. This potent anti-inflammatory compound is believed to explain why people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. Gingerols inhibit the formation of inflammatory cytokines, or chemical messengers of the immune system.

Soothes digestive system

Ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating discomfort and pain in the stomach. It’s regarded as an excellent carminative, a substance that promotes the elimination of excessive gas from the digestive system, and soothes the intestinal tract. Colic and dyspepsia respond particularly well to ginger.

Alleviates mild nausea

Ginger root has also been anecdotally reported to reduce the symptoms associated with motion sickness, including dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweating. Ginger has been used to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with mild pregnancy sickness. However, check with your GP or midwife to ensure it is appropriate for you.

How to select and store

Fresh ginger can be purchased in most supermarkets, and the mature roots have a tough skin that requires peeling. Fresh ginger can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks if left unpeeled. Whenever possible, choose fresh ginger over dried – it is superior in flavour and contains higher levels of gingerol. The root should be fresh-looking, firm, smooth and free of mould, with no signs of decay or wrinkled skin. If you choose dried ginger instead, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place for no more than six months.

Safety

Although regarded as safe for a broad range of complaints, ginger is a potent herb that acts pharmacologically, so it may be unsuitable for some. Ginger also contains moderate amounts of oxalate, so individuals with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should avoid eating too much ginger. If you’re unsure or concerned whether it is safe for you to consume ginger, always consult your doctor.

Recipe suggestions

Double ginger gingerbread men are a classic for all the family.

Add spice to a slice of cake with triple ginger & spice cake.

Grated or finely chopped, ginger adds a certain zing to a stir-fries such as stir-fried pork with ginger & honey or beef stir-fry with ginger.

Ginger also goes well with fish, like in our salmon & ginger fish cakes, Moroccan spiced fish with ginger mash or baked sea bass with lemongrass & ginger.

Jams and chutneys, like our rhubarb & ginger jam or apricot & ginger chutney also benefit from added spice.

Desserts are a perfect way to showcase ginger – try our plum & ginger tart, triple ginger cheesecake or chocolate & ginger torte.

This article was updated on 23 September 2019 by Kerry Torrens.

Kerry Torrens BSc. (Hons) PgCert MBANT is a Registered Nutritionist with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food.

Jo Lewin works as a Community Nutritionist and private consultant. She is a Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) registered with the UKVRN. Visit her website at www.nutrijo.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @nutri_jo.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

8 Incredible Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is a flowering plant and its official name is Zingiber officinale. The rhizome, more commonly known as the root, is what you are likely familiar with. The root is spicy and peppery in flavor, with loads of medicinal properties. It’s used all over the world in culinary and clinical applications—both for good reason.

Ginger has been called a superfood time and again, but what makes it so powerful? This root has the following eight superpowers.

1. Stimulates Digestion

You know that feeling after you eat a meal when it seems like a brick is in your stomach? You wonder if your body is actually digesting your food or if it’s just going to sit in there forever? Or what about feelings of indigestion with uncomfortable burping and acid reflux? Heartburn is real and painful!

Ginger is your new best friend for supporting everything regarding digestive health. Functional dyspepsia is the clinical term used to describe upper abdominal discomfort like acid reflux that is thought to be related to slowing of the digestive system. Ginger has been shown to be help these issues.

Ginger helps increase the body’s ability to empty food from the stomach more quickly—known as gastric emptying. With this increased motility in the digestive system, it’s less likely that heartburn or indigestion will occur. In fact, one study of healthy participants showed that taking ginger capsules (1200 mg) with a meal stimulates digestion so much that gastric emptying speed was doubled! Imagine the relief that would come from food leaving your stomach twice as quickly.

The more efficient your digestion is, the more energy you will have because researchers have found that approximately 60 percent of your body’s energy goes to metabolism. If ginger can improve digestion, your metabolism will improve and energy will be more available. This is possible because the quicker you can digest your food, the faster you will absorb the vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. You will also have less undigested food in your digestive tract; food consumes energy when left undigested. So not only does ginger stimulate digestion by improving symptoms of dyspepsia and speeding gastric emptying, but it also benefits your overall energy levels.

2. Lowers Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (known as hypertension) is a common symptom of the standard American diet, which is high in processed foods. According to the Mayo Clinic, when hypertension is left untreated it can lead to damage to your arteries, heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. Doctors frequently prescribe blood pressure medications to their patients, but what if you could reduce your blood pressure naturally?

Ginger has been shown to improve blood pressure (in conjunction with medication) by acting as a vasodilator—it expands your blood vessels. This is helpful for increasing circulation in the body, which reduces the overall blood pressure throughout the body. Ginger also contains potassium, a mineral that research has found can help lower blood pressure. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), ginger contains 415 mg of potassium per 100 g. That’s more than a banana (a food known for being high in potassium), which only contains 358 mg per 100 g.

3. Reduces Nausea

Nausea is no fun. Whether it’s from motion sickness, morning sickness, post-surgery effects, chemotherapy, or pregnancy, nausea is not an experience anyone wants. And when you do experience an upset stomach, you’d give anything to make it end! Enter ginger. Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for nausea related to pregnancy and chemotherapy.

Ginger has also been found to reduce the amount of nausea you might otherwise experience when feeling seasick. After surgeries, it’s common for some people to experience nausea and vomiting. The good news is that researchers have found ginger to be an “effective means for reducing postoperative nausea and vomiting.” Not only does ginger provide relief from post-surgery nausea, it can also help cancer patients. In a study of both adults and children undergoing chemotherapy treatments, ginger was found to be effective in providing relief from the nausea that accompanies those treatments. Based on the scientific evidence, ginger is definitely worth a try when you’re experiencing nausea of any kind.

4. Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation occurs naturally even in healthy individuals. It’s a natural and healthy response to protect the body from injuries or sickness. However, when inflammation is excessive or chronic, it can be very damaging. In fact, researchers have found that chronic inflammation is at the root of many common diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.

The active constituents in raw ginger—gingerol, shogaol, and paradol—are responsible for many of the natural anti-inflammatory effects that ginger provides. Ginger has been shown to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (small proteins released by cells to communicate with other cells in the body). Pro-inflammatory cytokines are responsible for the upregulation of inflammatory reactions, meaning that these reactions happen more often in the body. This is directly related to increased inflammation in the body. Since ginger has been shown to reduce the levels of inflammation that those pro-inflammatory cytokines can produce, it’s only natural that inflammation will decrease, too. This is a big deal! Because inflammation can run so rampant in the body—especially with a poor diet—ginger is a great way to help reduce the overall amount of inflammation in the body. If you’re experiencing an inflammatory condition, ginger is a natural and powerful anti-inflammatory remedy to try.

5. Antibacterial Properties

If you aren’t convinced of the medicinal properties of ginger yet, you will be now! Researchers have found that ginger is an effective antibacterial for many drug-resistant bacteria in clinical applications. In their study, the researchers stated that “ginger has great potential in the treatment of many microbial diseases .”

The antibacterial benefits don’t stop there. In oral health, two types of ginger have been shown to inhibit the growth of pathogens that contribute to periodontitis (inflammation of the gums that is caused by gum bacteria). The antibacterial properties that ginger possesses show that food truly is medicine.

6. Blood-Sugar Regulator

Diabetes is the most common disease of the endocrine system. Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90 percent of diabetes diagnoses. One of the causes of diabetes is chronic hyperglycemia—the clinical term for high blood sugar. If you can regulate your blood sugar levels, you will be less likely to experience chronic hyperglycemia that can lead to diabetes over time. One study showed that supplementing with ginger reduced fasting blood sugar levels as well as hemoglobin A1c levels.

If you can keep your A1c levels below 5.7 percent, then you are in the normal range. Since ginger reduces blood sugar levels and A1c, it’s safe to say that ginger helps regulate the mind-body system to keep blood sugar levels in check and prevent chronic hyperglycemia.

7. Reduces Menstrual Pains

Many women know how debilitating menstrual pain can be. There are over-the-counter pain medications dedicated to this specific pain, but ginger may also provide relief.

One study found that ginger is as effective as ibuprofen in reducing the pain associated with dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) in women. Menstrual cramps in the abdomen and lower back are common in dysmenorrhea. That’s great news for women! Next time you experience cramping during your menstrual cycle, give ginger a try.

8. Positively Affects Cholesterol Levels

As stated earlier, ginger is helpful in reducing blood pressure, but it’s also beneficial for cholesterol levels. Ginger has been found to reduce cholesterol levels—specifically reducing low-density lipoproteins (LDL). According to the American Heart Association, “LDL cholesterol is called ’bad’ cholesterol. Think of it as less desirable or even lousy cholesterol, because it contributes to fatty buildups in arteries.” That fatty buildup is known as atherosclerosis and it, it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

How to Use Ginger

Knowing all these health benefits of ginger is great, but how can you easily incorporate ginger in your daily routine? Ginger is pretty spicy, so you may not enjoy its taste. Luckily, there are many options for those who love ginger and those who may be new to the root.

  • Fresh ginger root: This is the most potent form of ginger, but also the most versatile. You can slice it and steep it in hot water for tea, mince it into stir-fry dishes, juice it, add it to your smoothies, or even take a slice and suck on it! Dried ginger or ginger juice is great for a mid day snack.
  • Ground ginger: Ground ginger can be used in similar ways to fresh ginger. It can be steeped in hot water for tea or added to your favorite recipes. Powdered ginger is also great to use for baking.
  • Ginger capsules: This is the easiest way to get ginger into your diet—especially if you aren’t a fan of the taste! Ginger capsules, or ginger supplements, are simple. The ground ginger powder is added to a capsule for easy consumption at any time of day.
  • Ginger tea: As mentioned, 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. These are great to have on hand if feel nauseated or want to settle your stomach after eating.
  • Ginger chews: Ginger chews are like ginger candies and tend to be more mild in flavor and can be taken anywhere. Make sure to check the ingredients to make sure you’re not consuming unwanted ingredients like corn syrup.
  • Ginger oil: Ginger oil can be taken internally or rubbed topically to treat pain. Ginger essential oil has many soothing properties and is useful to use for massages.

With all the health benefits ginger has to offer and all the different ways you can consume ginger, it’s a no brainer to start incorporating it into your daily life!

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center’s Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

Ginger has been revered as a culinary and medicinal spice in many traditional cultures. It is also a very powerful remedy with numerous purported health benefits — from reducing nausea and PMS symptoms to fighting inflammation and boosting testosterone. Read on to learn more about all its health potential, dosing, and side effects.

What is Ginger?

What do we know?

As stated by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCIH), there is some information about the use of ginger for nausea and vomiting. Much less information is available about its other uses and purported health benefits .

The NCCIH points out that ginger may help relieve pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting, according to some evidence. It may also help to control nausea related to cancer chemotherapy when used in addition to conventional anti-nausea medication .

On the other hand, it’s unclear whether ginger is helpful for postsurgery nausea, motion sickness, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis .

Today, ginger is also available as a supplement. Ginger supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use. In general, dietary supplements lack solid clinical research. Regulations set manufacturing standards for supplements but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before supplementing.

Some evidence suggests that ginger may reduce pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting, but it’s unclear whether it’s helpful for many other conditions.

Where does it come from?

Ginger is a spice originated from the rhizomes of the plant Zingiber officinale. It is commonly used in many Asian, Ayurvedic, and middle eastern dishes. Ginger use dates back to 3,000 years ago in India.

In fact, ginger is one of the most commonly consumed dietary condiments in the world .

What is it used for?

It’s been used for thousands of years as a remedy for diverse health issues, such as colds, nausea, pain, arthritis, migraines, and high blood pressure .

Ginger is also an antioxidant that might fight microbes and reduce inflammation.

This spice is a relative of curcumin and cardamon, which all belong to the same plant family.

Active Components of Ginger

Over 100 active compounds have been identified in ginger, fresh or dried!

Gingerols are the major compounds in fresh ginger and less so in dry ginger.

Shogaols are produced from gingerols during the drying process and are present in higher amounts in dried ginger .

Ginger also contains zingerone, zerumbone, pungent oleoresins, some terpenoids and flavonoids .

All of these compounds are antioxidants, while some of them have anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antimicrobial, and liver-protecting activities. However, these properties were only investigated in cell-based studies. It’s unknown if the active compounds in ginger will have these effects in humans. Further research is needed .

As far as ginger root supplements go, a recent analysis of 10 supplements randomly purchased in health stores showed that their active compounds greatly vary. One supplement was high in one active component and low in another, while for the next supplement it was the opposite. Plus, ginger supplements still aren’t standardized to a specified amount of one of the active ingredients .

Ginger contains a complex mix of hundreds of active compounds, which may greatly varry in supplements.

Purported Health Benefits of Ginger

1) Overcoming Morning Sickness

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCIH), the largest amount of information is available for this purported benefit. The NCCIH states that some evidence suggests ginger may help with :

  • Pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting
  • Nausea related to cancer chemotherapy when used in addition to conventional anti-nausea medication

Indeed, ginger is a popular natural remedy for morning sickness during early pregnancy. And according to a review of 6 studies, about 1 g/day reduces morning sickness five-fold if used for at least 4 days in a row .

The effects of ginger on nausea are linked to the vagus nerve, the activation of which is usually beneficial. However, over-activating some serotonin receptors (5-HT3) in the vagus nerve pathway to the gut causes nausea and vomiting .

Ginger reduces nausea and vomiting probably by blocking excess serotonin and vagus nerve activation in the stomach and gut, based on tissue and cellular studies. Many chemotherapy drugs cause nausea by increasing gut serotonin, which ginger is hypothesized to help counteract .

However, more evidence is needed to determine the effectiveness of ginger for chemotherapy-triggered nausea.

Ginger likely reduces morning sickness in pregnancy, but its effects on chemotherapy-induced nausea are unclear.

2) Reducing Nausea from HIV Medication

HIV medications also cause nausea. Ginger (1 g/day) given before the medications improved both mild and severe nausea in a study of 105 HIV positive people after 2 weeks .

3) Improving Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Ginger improved osteoarthritis symptoms in some studies. In one large study of 261 people with osteoarthritis, a standardized ginger extract reduced the symptoms over 6 weeks. The extract was safe and caused only mild stomach upset .

In another study of 75 people with osteoarthritis, ginger was effective only short-term, but the benefits were not sustained. The discrepancy could also be due to the different ginger extracts used. More research is needed to determine if ginger alone can help people suffering from osteoarthritis .

4) Soothing Menstrual Cramps

Ginger reduced PMS and menstrual pain in 6 small, low-quality trials, according to which ginger was more effective than placebo and not different from a painkiller commonly used for menstrual cramps (mefenamic acid, an NSAID) .

However, the included studies are few, and each one was conducted differently. All suffered from major flaws like poor study design or small sample size. Thus, we can’t draw any solid conclusions about the effects of ginger on menstrual cramps from them .

These studies used the powdered form of ginger at 750 mg – 2,000 mg/day. It was most commonly used during the first 3 days of menstruation.

Some evidence suggests that ginger, taken by mouth, can reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and soothe painful menstrual cramps.

5) Vertigo

In one study of 8 healthy people, 1 gram of ginger by mouth appeared to reduce symptoms of vertigo (lightheadedness), including nausea. Larger trials are needed .

Possibly Ineffective for Muscle Soreness from Exercise

Despite some conflicting findings, most research reveals that ginger probably does not help prevent or lessen muscle soreness during or after exercise .

According to a few studies, ginger dose of roughly 2 g/day may modestly reduce muscle pain from heavy exercise if taken for at least 5 days .

However, most studies suggest that ginger is likely ineffective at improving exercise-triggered muscle soreness, particularly if taken only during and after exercise. More research is needed .

Insufficient Evidence for:

The following purported benefits are only supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of ginger for any of the below-listed uses.

Remember to speak with a doctor before taking ginger supplements. Ginger should never be used as a replacement for approved medical therapies.

6) Stomach Discomfort

Ginger has a long history of use for digestive disorders. It is thought to increase gut flow to boost digestion and alleviate painful stomach spasms, but solid evidence to support this purported benefit is lacking .

Ginger helps with indigestion. In 126 people with indigestion, a combination of ginger and artichoke improved digestion, nausea, bloating, and stomach pain after 4 weeks .

It increased stomach emptying in a study of 24 healthy people. Each person took 1,200 mg of ginger in capsule form before a meal .

Ginger improved digestion, increased antioxidant enzymes, and reduced cortisol in rats with irritable bowel syndrome .

Most active components in ginger enhanced digestion in animal studies. Since ginger has over 100 active components, some of them could also relax the gut in animal studies, which could help with painful stomach spasms .

Ginger probably doesn’t help with gallbladder issues. It didn’t have any effect on the gallbladder in a small study of 19 people .

Although ginger is traditionally used for digestive issues, clinical studies to support this use are lacking.

7) Inflammation

According to a large analysis of 9 clinical studies, ginger strongly reduces the inflammation marker CRP in the blood. The dose ranged from 1 to 3 g per day, supplemented over 2 – 3 months .

It seems to be the pungent components in ginger, also known as oleoresins, that have the strongest anti-inflammatory effects based on animal and cellular studies.

One of ginger’s pungent components blocked a pathway (NF-κB) that reduces the activity of inflammatory genes in immune cells .

Like NSAIDs (aspirin and Advil), ginger blocks the inflammation- and pain-causing COX enzymes. This way, ginger reduced the production of inflammatory chemicals (called leukotrienes and prostaglandins) in cells and test tubes .

Ginger stopped the release of inflammatory cytokines in immune cells. It could reduce the important inflammation-causing TNF-alpha, as well as IL-1 beta .

Some other purported ginger benefits – such as reducing pain, cramps, and arthritis – are also thought to be tightly linked to this anti-inflammatory activity.

8) Pain Relief

Ginger shows some promise for relieving pain naturally, according to a review of 7 studies that focused on athletes. However, the evidence has been inconclusive .

Ginger worked as well as the popular painkiller diclofenac (an NSAID also known as Voltaren) in a study of 43 people .

In the study, participants took a ginger extract (340 mg) for 4 weeks. Unlike diclofenac, ginger didn’t damage the stomach lining or cause digestive discomfort. However, this study had a small sample size and tested the effects of ginger over a short period of time. Large-scale, long-term studies are needed .

Despite some promising early findings, more research is needed to determine whether ginger can relieve pain and inflammation.

9) Liver Protection

May Protect from Drugs and Heavy Metals

Ginger (500 mg/day) helped protect the liver from toxic antituberculosis drugs in a study of 60 people with tuberculosis .

Ginger helped slow down aging-related liver damage in old rats. It was compared to alpha-lipoic acid, which had even stronger effects .

It may protect from the detrimental effects of heavy metals and drugs on the liver. It protected both the liver and kidneys against cadmium toxicity in poisoned rabbits and from aluminum toxicity in rats. It also prevented liver damage and scarring from painkillers such as piroxicam in mice .

May Help with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Ginger (2 g/day) improved liver health, reduced liver enzymes, inflammatory cytokines, and improved insulin resistance in 44 patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease after 12 weeks .

Ginger essential oil prevented liver disease and maintained healthy lipid levels in obese mice fed a high-fat diet. It also improved fatty liver disease and high triglycerides in rats by “turning off” fat-producing liver genes .

Researchers think ginger may help protect the liver, but this remains uncertain. It’s been researched in people exposed to toxins and in patients with fatty liver disease.

10) Boosting Cognition

Ginger extract enhanced cognition and working memory in a small study of 60 middle-aged women (DB-RCT). All women took 400-800 mg of the extract for 2 months. Ginger’s antioxidant action may be the key to its nootropic effects. However, we can’t draw any conclusion from a single clinical study. Additional large-scale studies are needed .

11) Sperm Quality and DNA Protection

Ginger protected sperm DNA against oxidative damage in a study of 100 infertile men. All men took 500 mg of ginger powder daily for 3 months, after which their sperm DNA quality greatly increased .

Ginger’s potential DNA-protective effects are not important only for fertility. Ginger essential oils also reduced DNA damage from a mold toxin (aflatoxin B1) in cells .

12) Boosting Testosterone in Men

More than 20 years ago, scientists discovered the link between ginger and testosterone for the first time. Ever since the studies have been scattered in the scientific literature. According to a recent review, ginger is able to boost testosterone levels in men, especially in those who are under oxidative stress .

In one open-label study of 75 infertile men, 3-month ginger supplementation increased testosterone by 17%. It also increased testosterone-boosting hormones, sperm count and sperm motility. Some parameters were up by 50% .

Ginger affects several pathways that, theoretically, lead to increased testosterone. These include the following :

  • Boosting testosterone production by increasing LH in the brain and cholesterol in the testes
  • Combating oxidative stress in the testes
  • Boosting antioxidant enzymes
  • Increasing blood flow in the testes and their weight
  • Preserving testosterone receptors

A major limitation of the above study is its open-label design, which creates room for bias and other issues.

And although ginger is generally considered safe, its testosterone-boosting effects have not yet been confirmed in large clinical studies. Proper, double-blind clinical trials are needed to determine the effects of ginger on testosterone in men.

According to a couple of small studies, ginger might improve cognition in women and reproductive health in men. More research is needed.

13) Heart Health & Sugar Control

Ginger can reduce an important inflammation marker (CRP), increase HDL and reduce triglycerides, according to a review of 9 clinical studies (SR). Taken together, this means that ginger may protect the heart from high cholesterol and inflammation. However, much more research is needed .

In rats, ginger lowered blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels .

6-Gingerol protected blood vessel cells from oxidative stress, which may help prevent hardening of the arteries. We can’t draw any conclusions from cell-based studies .

A review of 9 clinical trials revealed that ginger can reduce fasting blood glucose and HbA1c, a marker of long-term glucose levels .

Lacking Evidence (Animal Research):

No clinical evidence supports the use of ginger for any of the conditions listed in this section.

Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.

14) Allergies and Asthma

Animal studies hint that ginger may be better for Th2 dominance. Zerumbone, an active ingredient in ginger, enhanced the Th1 and reduced the Th2 response in mice with allergic asthma. It decreased the production of various Th2 immune substances, helping rebalance the immune system and reduce allergies. Ginger-treated mice had asthmatic symptoms, mucus, and lung inflammation .

Additional animal studies have attempted to support this traditional ginger use. Ginger helped improve asthma symptoms by suppressing the Th2 immune response and airway inflammation in mice. It could even affect the activity of genes that perpetuate Th2 dominance, possibly with long-term benefits .

Ginger relaxed the airways under asthmatic attack in a tissue study .

Clinical studies are lacking to back up this purported benefit.

15) Eczema

6-Shogaol, a ginger compound, reduced eczema in mice. TNF-alpha plays a role in eczema symptoms, such as redness and skin eruptions. Interestingly, eczema is a mixed Th2/Th1 condition, and ginger managed to keep all inflammatory immune substances and pathways under control .

For example, TNF-alpha, which is typically a Th1 substance, is high in people with eczema. Eczema is an example of a Th2 condition with some Th1 characteristics. Ginger can reduce TNF-alpha levels, along with other Th2 products. So eczema is still more Th2 dominant, which helps to explain these potentially beneficial effects of ginger on eczema overall .

However, clinical studies are lacking to back up this purported benefit. More research is needed to determine the effects of ginger on eczema.

16) Stomach Protection

Ginger increased protective prostaglandins in the stomach lining in 43 osteoarthritis patients who used NSAIDs long-term. NSAIDs cause stomach damage by reducing prostaglandins in the stomach, which otherwise help maintain healthy stomach mucus.

Stomach damage is a big issue with long-term NSAIDs use. Ginger might turn out to be useful in people who developed stomach issues from NSAIDs, but further clinical trials are needed .

In cellular studies, antioxidants in ginger blocked the growth of stomach-ulcer-causing H. Pylori, mainly by fighting free radicals. Animal and human studies have yet to explore the effects of ginger on H. Pylori .

17) Antioxidant Effects

Many active components in ginger and its essential oil, such as gingerol and shogaol, are potent antioxidants. Some scientists suspect that they can scavenge free radicals throughout the body and neutralize, which is hypothesized to be crucial for preventing numerous chronic diseases .

Researchers say this antioxidant activity underlies the immune-balancing and tumor-fighting benefits of ginger, demonstrated in animal and cell studies .

Shogaol activated the detox hub – Nrf2 – in brain cells, which may potentially protect from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s .

When added to anti-tuberculosis therapy in 69 people, 3 g of ginger daily boosted antioxidants and reduced inflammation. Thus, this research team considers that ginger might help combat inflammation, the biggest lung-damaging factor in tuberculosis, which warrants further clinical trials .

18) Obesity

In one study, ginger could keep mice on a high-fat diet from gaining excessive weight. It enhanced fat burning and improved their exercise endurance by activating the PPAR delta pathway. However, it’s completely unknown if ginger impacts weight and fitness in humans. Clinical studies are needed .

19) Microbes

Ginger could kill viruses, bacteria, and yeast in numerous cellular studies. Clinical studies would need to confirm the safety and effectiveness of ginger for various types of infections. Ginger did enhance the effects of anti-tuberculosis drugs in humans, but no clinical studies have explored it yet as a stand-alone remedy.

Effects on the Flu

In one cell study, only fresh ginger prevented the common cold virus from entering human cells. In another study, the dried ginger worked just as well. It’s still unknown whether ginger can help fight the flu in humans .

Potential Antibacterial Effects

Ginger tinctures were antibacterial in cell studies, helping to fight many disease-causing bacteria such as :

  • Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of skin infections
  • Staphylococcus pneumoniae, which can cause serious lung infections
  • Haemophilus influenzae, the common cold
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes hard-to-treat hospital infections
  • Salmonella, a cause of food poisoning
  • Escherichia coli, a common cause of UTIs

Ginger extracts also blocked the growth of 19 strains of stomach-ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori, including the drug-resistant ones, in the lab .

Yeast and Fungus

In cells, ginger could kill 13 types of fungus that cause human diseases .

Ginger tincture blocked the growth of Candida in test tubes .

Cancer Research

Active compounds in ginger could reverse some of the hallmarks of cancer in animal and cellular studies. We can’t draw any conclusions from them, however. Clinical studies have not confirmed these effects. Many compounds appear to have cancer-killing effects in cells only to turn out to be ineffective or dangerous in humans .

Cell-Based Cancer Research

Compounds from a specific steam distilled ginger extract caused cancer uterine cells to die (via apoptosis). This extract reduced the activity of cancer-causing Bcl2 genes by 90% and increased the activity of cancer-fighting genes (p53) .

Zerumbone, another ingredient in ginger, triggered pancreatic cancer cell death by acting on the same cancer-fighting pathway (p53). It could also enhance the effects of radiation, making colorectal cancer cells more sensitive to it .

Pungent components from fresh ginger blocked the growth of liver and bone cancer cells. Their antioxidant action rendered the cancer cells less invasive .

Gingerol blocked cancer blood vessel growth in mice with melanoma and stopped breast cancer from spreading in cells .

It also stopped skin, stomach, pancreatic, ovarian, and colon cancer cells from making new blood vessels, which slowed down their growth and spreading. Zerumbone from ginger was mostly responsible for these effects, as it could block an important cancer pathway (NF-κB) in these cell studies .

Ginger Safety & Side Effects

Risks and Side Effects

According to the available evidence and NCCIH, ginger is believed to be safe when used as a spice. However, have in mind the following :

  • Some people are sensitive to ginger.
  • Ginger may cause stomach discomfort, heartburn, diarrhea, and gas in some people.
  • Some experts recommend that people with gallstone disease use caution with ginger as it may increase bile flow.
  • The effects of long-term supplementation are unknown.
  • Solid research about the substances ginger may interact with is lacking. Limited evidence suggests ginger may reduce the activity of liver enzymes that break down nutrients and drugs. Ginger may interact with blood-thinning medications. Consult your doctor before taking ginger supplements .
  • Some studies have found no evidence of harm from taking ginger during pregnancy, but it’s uncertain whether ginger is always safe for pregnant women. If you’re pregnant and are considering taking ginger, talk with your healthcare provider.

Ginger is likely safe when used as a spice. Talk to your doctor before taking ginger supplements–particularly if you are pregnant.

Ginger Use & Dosage

Typical Dosing

Ginger dosage varies between 400 mg – 2 g day, depending on the intended use and formulation:

  • Ginger dry extracts are stronger than ginger powder or fresh ginger. The typical dose rarely exceeds 1g/day. For boosting cognition, 400 – 800 mg/day was used in clinical studies
  • Capsules with dried ginger usually contain about 1 g of ginger, a dose that worked well as a digestive aid in studies
  • 1 g/day was used for reducing nausea in studies
  • 750 mg – 2 g/day could reduce menstrual and PMS symptoms
  • 2 g/day of dried or fresh ginger has been researched for reducing inflammation.
  • Ginger tea or a water extract is used for fighting the common cold and for digestive symptoms.
  • Fresh ginger could ward off cold viruses in cellular studies .

At a high dose, ginger may cause acid reflux and stomach upset. While ginger is generally safe up to 10 grams daily, some people may be more sensitive to it.

Remember to speak with your doctor before taking ginger supplements.

Takeaway

Used in many Asian and Middle Eastern dishes, ginger is a spice that has a long history of use. It’s likely safe when used in food, but the benefits and risks of supplementation are far less certain.

According to the existing evidence, ginger likely helps reduce pregnancy-related morning sickness. It also probably helps reduce nausea and vomiting from HIV medications.

Solid evidence shows that ginger may also soothe painful menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis symptoms, and vertigo.

On the other hand, ginger’s anti-inflammatory, digestive, and antioxidant effects have yet to be properly researched. Until more research comes out, many purported benefits of ginger remain unproven.

Who doesn’t love some ginger? Ginger is a staple in favorites like gingerbread and ginger snaps. Most Asian cuisine would simply not be as delightful without its sweet yet spicy flavor. Not only is ginger absolutely delicious, but it packs a few health punches as well. It’s incredible some of the things that ginger can do for you. The best part, it is completely natural without any dangerous side effects. Ginger can pretty much do it all! Simply finding ways of adding more ginger to what you eat can make a huge impact on your life.

9 Life Changing Health Benefits of Ginger Powder

Ginger truly is a superfood. Every day, scientists seem to be discovering new health benefits that ginger can provide. You will be amazed by everything that ginger can do in your body.

1.Managing Nausea

We all tend to get a little queasy sometimes. Ginger can be a great natural solution to help you feel better when dealing with indigestion or nausea. It has actually been used for this purpose for thousands of years. Many pregnant mothers have used it as a healthy way to ease morning sickness and others who struggle with motion sickness have also found it helpful. If you want to take ginger as a cure for any of these issues, it is very simple. Mix some ginger powder in some water still or carbonated, or apple juice and drink it. This simple drink will help keep your stomach settled and feeling at its best.

Ginger is able to ease gastrointestinal disorders by relaxing the smooth muscle in your gut lining to help your body move food throughout the digestive system. This keeps your digestive system working the way that it is supposed to and keeps your body feeling great. Many people use ginger as an aid to help them with chronic digestive issues.

2.Preventing Stroke and Heart Disease

Ginger is an incredible superfood that is highly beneficial for your cardiovascular system. It has been found to prevent blood clots and lower your cholesterol. In other studies, ginger was found to reduce your blood pressure. The combination of all of these benefits work together to prevent major cardiovascular system problems such as stroke and heart disease. Just adding a little more ginger powder into your diet can make a huge impact on your overall health.

3. Immune System Boost

Ginger is extremely effective at boosting your immune system and fighting bacterial infections. Researchers have discovered that Ginger has the impressive ability to kill Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, two bacteria that are very common in hospitals and can cause complications to people whose immune system has already been compromised. Before going into a hospital for any type of examination or surgery, you will want to fill your diet up with plenty of ginger to provide your immune system with a great boost and protect it from any bacteria that will want to attack your body.

4. Fungal Infection Treatments

Ginger has been found not only to have antibacterial properties, but anti-fungal properties as well. Many women use ginger to help fight yeast infections. Ginger is known for having the chemicals shagelol and gingerol, which have been discovered to very actively, fight against fungus.

Not only does eating ginger help cure yeast infections, but skin fungus as well. A simple natural remedy for skin fungus is to simply take ginger powder and mix it with water to create a paste. Once they are thoroughly mixed, take a cotton swab and rub the mixture on the fungus. Let the mixture sit before washing it off. Do this daily until the fungus is gone. This all natural treatment is surprisingly effective and so simple to do.

5.Anti-Inflammatory

Ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease inflammatory disorders such as gastritis, esophagitis, and hepatitis. Not only does it ease these problems, but hit can aid arthritis and rheumatism as well. It not only eases any of the pain that is caused by these diseases, but it helps the inflammation caused by them as well. It may be as effective at stopping inflammation as most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

6.Pain Reducer

Ginger can help relieve pain. The gingerol in ginger acts on your vanilloid receptors, which are located on your sensory nerve endings. When it acts on them it affects the pain pathways, which relieve any inflammation that may be causing the pain in the first place. Many NSAIDs are known to help relieve pain, and since ginger is as effective as some of those NSAIDs, it only makes sense that ginger would help to reduce pain as well.

Its anti-inflammatory properties have also been discovered to help slow the effects of Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the degeneration of the joints in the body, causing joint pain and stiffness. In one study, they found that people struggling with osteoporosis who consumed more ginger powder were able to handle their pain with and not rely on pain medication as much.

7.Potential Cancer Fighter

Okay, so there is still some research that needs to be done on this, but preliminary studies have shown that ginger could potentially be able to fight cancer. This is likely due to its anti-inflammatory properties that we have already discussed. It has also been shown to offer anti-tumor activity that could help defeat cancers that are difficult to treat such as lung, ovarian, colon, breast, skin, and pancreatic cancers. It has also been shown to prevent the toxic effects of certain cancer drugs. Many doctors have begun to recommend that cancer patients consume more ginger in addition to their conventional cancer treatments.

8. Diabetes Treatment

Ginger not only could help prevent type II diabetes, but it could be used as a treatment as well. Ginger helps to regulate insulin release and improves your body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and fats. This is especially helpful for diabetics. Ginger has also been found to help reduce glucose levels in the blood as well as help balance cholesterol levels. When all of these levels are balanced and the insulin is being properly released into the body, diabetics are able to manage their diabetes better and it does not have to be a constant struggle. Simply finding ways of bringing ginger powder into your diet can help anyone who is at risk of diabetes or is currently managing their diabetes.

9. Improved Brain Function and Memory

The antioxidants found in ginger are known to help reduce oxidative stress this as well as its anti-inflammatory properties can slow the aging process in the brain. Not only can ginger help slow down mental decline, but it can boost memory as well. In one study, researchers found that ginger helps improve memory function and reaction time in middle aged women.

Adding Ginger Powder into Your Diet

You don’t need to make massive changes to your diet in order to get that extra bit of ginger into your diet. Simply adding a half-teaspoon of ground ginger to your morning smoothie or oatmeal can do the trick. Ginger also tastes delicious with vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes. If you want, find a recipe that you enjoy that has ginger in it. We think that these cookies are pretty awesome. There are also many Asian dishes that greatly rely of ginger for flavor. With all the health benefits of ginger, just a little bit can go a long way. See the difference that ginger can make to your overall health.

14 Amazing Benefits Of Ginger Powder (Sonth) For Skin, Hair And Health Jayshree Bhagat Hyderabd040-395603080 May 30, 2019

Dry Ginger powder is also known as (Sonth/Soonth/Saunth) in Hindi, ‘Sonti’ in Telugu, (Chukku or Sukku) in Tamil, ‘Chukku’ in Malayalam, ‘Shunti’ in Kannada, ‘Sonth’ in Bengali, ‘Soonth’ in Gujarati and ‘Suntha’ in Marathi. This comes from fresh ginger that is dried before being used. It is a fine off-white powder that has a strong aroma and pungent flavour. This is mostly easy to store and has a long shelf life of a year. Find out here what are the benefits of dry ginger powder.

Benefits Of Ginger Powder

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Let us look at the top 14 best ginger powder benefits:

Table Of Contents

1. Culinary Uses

  • Dried ginger powder is used in spices and masalas for gravies, curries, marinades, stews etc.
  • Mix cinnamon, fennel, cardamom and cloves to make masala tea with powdered ginger
  • Marinades for Tandoori starters, vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
  • Used to flavour ginger breads.
  • Dried ginger root powder is also used for food preparations for expecting women and feeding mothers.
  • Dried ginger powder is used for adding flavor to a variety of baked dishes like ginger cookies and ginger candies (1).

2. Toner

Boil two teaspoons of dry ginger powder in 4 cups of water. Reduce this till it becomes half. Strain and cool; now add few drops of lavender or rosemary oil. Mix all these ingredients well and store it in a glass bottle. Refrigerate this toner and apply with cotton on the face. This protects the skin, removes impurities, hydrates it, reduces dryness and tones it (2).

3. Stomach Irritation

Dry ginger powder together with sugar cane juice is used to cure stomach irritation. Consume this mixture everyday early in the morning to get relief from stomach irritation (3).

4. Headache

One of the best benefits of ginger powder is relieving headache. The most common problem of headaches can be cured by applying the powder paste on the forehead. This therapy is used to cure headaches. You can also apply the paste on your throat to relieve throat pain (4).

5. Chest Pain

Chest pain can be cured by using dry ginger powder. Mix dry ginger powder and sugar in tender coconut water. Drink it to cure chest pain (5).

6. Anti-Inflammatory

Dry ginger powder contains anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe arthritis. Add 2-3 tablespoons of this powder in water and bring it to a boil. Drink this water to cure the swollen joints. You can also apply the paste on the swollen knee joints to get relief from pain (6).

7. Common Cold

Ginger powder is one of the common ingredients found in your kitchen which helps treat the symptoms of common cold (7).

  • Consume raw ginger or powdered ginger tea several times a day to get relief from cold.
  • You can also make a paste of dry ginger powder, clove and salt and consume this twice a day to cure cold symptoms.
  • Another method to cure this is to mix dry ginger powder with jaggery to cure a running nose.

8. Metabolism

Dry ginger powder contains thermogenic agents that are useful to burn fat and treat obesity. Take this powder to increase metabolism rate that will burn off stored fat in the body. This is also useful to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body (8).

9. Ginger Powder For Weight Loss

One of the effective benefits of ginger powder is aiding in weight loss. Ginger powder tea is the best remedy to lose weight. Add ½ teaspoon of dry ginger powder in a cup of hot water. Dissolve this properly and drink this everyday for weight loss. This tea can also be sweetened with honey, if required (9).

10. Flatulence

  • Mix dry ginger powder, a pinch of asafoetida and black salt in warm water to clear flatulence (10).
  • Mix dry ginger powder with half a teaspoon of carom seeds and 2-3 drops of lemon juice. Make a thick paste and dry it in the shade. Consume 1 gm of this every morning and evening with salt to clear flatulence.

11. Urinary Infections

Dry ginger powder can be added to milk and sugar to get rid of urinary infections (11).

12. Ginger Baths

Take 1 tablespoon of dry ginger powder and mix it with an equal amount of baking soda. Slowly and gently rub your body for cleansing it (12).

13. Migraine

Take 2 tablespoons of dry ginger powder with warm water before the onset of migraine pain (13).

14. Acne

Ginger powder has anti-inflammatory (14) and anti-bacterial properties to help unclog pores and kill acne-causing bacteria.

Mix milk powder and dry ginger powder to make a smooth paste. Apply on clean face and neck and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Wash and apply facial moisturizer. Use this once a week to clear acne and breakouts. This mask will rejuvenate your skin and renew the skin cells to give your skin a youthful glow..

Hope you found the article on benefits of ginger powder informative. Also share if you know any other ginger powder uses. Do leave us a comment below.

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Jayshree Bhagat

Love you stylecraze for this platform. Hy there, I am Jayshree from Mumbai, director of Milestone plm solutions pvt ltd-vasai. I basically love to read and write about make-up, beauty & fashion in ma spare time. That’s my hobby you can call. Hope you love my blog and articles. Do leave your valuable feedback! Stay Beautiful!!

People have dug up Zingiber officinale, a.k.a. the root more commonly known as ginger, for its health benefits and spicy flavor since the beginning of time. But just because it’s been around awhile doesn’t mean it’s a cure-all for your health. Here, we clarify the myths versus the facts on this trendy spice that’s best known for bringing the heat.

1. It can reduce your risk of diabetes.

Scientists have linked some active compounds in ginger with improvements in insulin and metabolism. That said, if you’re at risk for diabetes, adding extra to sugary gingerbread cookies won’t do you any favors! Keep both dried and fresh ginger on-hand for flavoring smoothies and veggie-based stir-frys and soups. While some chemical compounds in ginger may decrease over time, the drying process enhances other beneficial ones.

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2. It’s a natural way to relieve period pain.

Out of all of the research done on ginger’s pain-relieving properties, results show it helps with menstrual pain the most. Sipping ginger tea can also soothe nausea during that time of the month. However, if you usually take acetaminophen or ibuprofen, it may not work as well. Check with your doc before trying any supplement in extract or pill form, since it may interact with other medications you’re taking.

3. It’s an anti-inflammatory.

Like other produce, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains, ginger contains antioxidant-like compounds called phytonutrients that may reduce cell damage. The root can also prevent inflammation from starting by reducing cell-signaling activity. With that in mind, adding ginger to already good-for-you, nutrient-dense meals is the key to unlocking those properties.

4. It can settle an upset stomach.

The idea that ginger can help with some light tummy trouble isn’t new. In fact, research has linked multiple digestive benefits to ginger, specifically acting on parts of your GI tract responsible for feelings of nausea, stomach upset, and vomiting. It may also help move food from the stomach to the small intestine for digestion and absorption. That said, ginger cannot prevent food poisoning or counteract ingestion of a harmful substance, so contact your physician ASAP if something requires urgent medical attention.

5. It can also curb morning sickness.

And speaking of an upset stomach, pregnant women in particular should take note: Ginger may help reduce symptoms of morning sickness! In fact, research supports the safety and efficacy of ginger during pregnancy, with some improvement in symptoms when compared to a placebo.

ALLEKOGetty Images

6. It may help prevent heart disease.

The same anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can also reduce the risk of chronic disease. A 2016 review even linked regular ginger intake with lower cholesterol and blood sugar compared to a placebo. But just like diabetes, eating ginger can’t offset an otherwise poor diet high in saturated fat and added sugar. You’ll still have to consume more veggies, 100% whole grains, lean proteins, fish, legumes, and beans in order to reduce your risk.

7. It may lower your risk of cancer.

The cell-protecting properties of ginger can lower the long-term risk of certain cancers. That’s because the spice and other flavorings may reduce cellular activity that causes DNA changes, cell death, and proliferation of cancer cells. It could also help sensitize tumors to treatments like chemo and radiation. While ginger’s not a cure-all for any chronic disease, using it regularly with loads of other spices and plant-based foods can help benefit health overall.

8. It can help you lose weight.

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Some small studies have linked ginger intake — when combined with other plant extracts — to some benefits in weight loss. And there’s definitely some promising animal research linking ginger to weight management. But as with anything else, ginger is no magic weight-loss pill! Other components of a healthy, balanced diet matter just as much when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.

The Bottom Line

Ginger can be a delicious way to flavor any anti-inflammatory diet plan. Plus, swapping the spice for added salt, sugar, or saturated fat may help us lose unwanted pounds! Use ginger for seasoning veggie-heavy meals and snacks, not solely for health benefits.

Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Good Housekeeping Institute Director, Nutrition Lab A registered dietitian with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University, Jaclyn “Jackie” London handles all of Good Housekeeping’s nutrition-related content, testing, and evaluation.

Top 20 Proven Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is an ancient spice with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The top health benefits of ginger include its ability to help with arthritis and osteoarthritis, relieve nausea and pain, prevent cancer, improve respiratory conditions, and reduce flatulence. Ginger also helps boost bone health, strengthen the immune system, and increase appetite. This spicy root is also good for enhancing sexual activity, mitigating obesity, and relieving the pain related to menstrual disorders.

Ginger, also known as Zingiber officinale, is a flowering plant, whose root or rhizome is used as a spice. It can be consumed in many forms, fresh, dried, powdered, and in the form of oil and juice. Ginger is a common ingredient in Asian cuisines where it is used to build flavors in curries, dressings, and soups. It is also used in sweets and alcoholic beverages such as ginger cookies, ginger beer, and wine.

Today, ginger is on the FDA’s list of generally safe foods and is often used to mask the taste of bitter medicines such as cough syrups.

Ginger roots can be used to make a healing cup of tea. Photo Credit:

Ginger Nutrition

Most of the benefits derived from ginger are because of the presence of an active constituent called gingerol in it. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, it is also rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and protein. In terms of minerals, it has sodium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Vitamins in it include vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, riboflavin, and niacin.

There are many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds like pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, capsaicin, curcumin, caffeic acid, and salicylate in it. Also, the presence of active compounds like shogaol, zerumbone, terpenoids, flavonoids, paradol, and zingerone in ginger provide many health benefits.

Health Benefits of Ginger

The various health benefits of this amazing root are given below:

Relieves Nausea

Ginger has long been used as a preventive measure for motion sickness and seasickness. A study published in Nutrition Journal reveals that ginger helps in relieving nausea during pregnancy, but was not as effective in treating problems of vomiting. Significantly, it did not show any side-effect, an important factor when treating pregnant women. Cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy can benefit from this root as it will relieve the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Its quick absorption and rapid regulation of body functions cure nausea in people who have undergone surgeries, without any side effects. Nausea is also a symptom of migraine. By curing it, ginger can also help in managing migraines.

Treats Cold and Flu

Ginger is traditionally used in many Asian countries against cold and flu. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that fresh ginger shows antiviral properties against respiratory tract infections. It can be used in the form of tea for providing relief to sore throat and coughing.

Aids in Digestion

Ginger finds a prominent mention in Chinese medicine as a facilitator of the digestive process. While many of its benefits are established part of traditional medicinal history, a review published in 2019 in the journal Food, Science & Nutrition asked for more human studies to understand effective dosage. The study, however, agreed that there was substantial anecdotal evidene, backed by clinical trials.

The elevated sugar levels after a meal may cause the stomach to reduce its natural rate of emptying its contents. It helps in regulating high sugar levels and soothing the stomach, thus, maintaining its regular rhythm. Along with that, it has a number of compounds that improve the absorption of nutrients and minerals from the food we eat. This is why ginger is frequently used as an appetizer or an aperitif since it can stimulate the appetite while preparing the digestive system for an influx of food.

Removes Excess Gas

Ginger is a very strong carminative, meaning that it induces excess gas elimination. Excess gas does much more than leaving you in an uncomfortable situation. Too much gas built up in your system can go upwards and put pressure on delicate organs in the torso. Chewing on a small piece can help force the gas out in a healthy way and also prevent additional gas from building up again.

Stomach Ulcers

Ginger prevents the occurrence of ulcers, which are generally characterized by bleeding and acute gastric irritability. According to a study published in 2016 in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics, ginger is very effective in inhibiting the growth of H. pylori bacteria, which is a major ulcerogenic, thus keeping your stomach healthy. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can create havoc in the body and leave you restless forever. Anti-inflammatory properties of ginger aid in treating these issues.

Reduces Arthritis Pain

Ginger is known to boost bone health and relieve joint pain associated with arthritis. It contains gingerol, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, according to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. It can improve movement in osteoarthritis, knee inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis, as cited in a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism journal. Along with that, it also suppresses the inflammatory compounds like cytokines and chemokines at the source before they begin to affect the body.

Relieves Asthma

Ginger has been used traditionally as a medicine to treat respiratory disorders. Recent studies on it have also seconded its anti-inflammatory property. Zerumbone, an active compound, helps relieve asthma. Research shows that the allergic airway inflammation is majorly caused by Th2 dominance and the spicy root is successfully able to suppress it.

Liver Protection

People suffering from tuberculosis can benefit from ginger, as it helps prevent hepatotoxicity. Animal studies show that it also protects against the liver-damaging cadmium poisoning caused due to the significant ingestion of cadmium. Its essential oil exerts a protective effect against the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurring because of obesity.

Prevents Obesity

Animal studies show that ginger can aid in accelerating weight loss and managing obesity by helping boost your metabolism. It increases exercise endurance capacity so that you work out well and get back into shape to fit in that outfit you were so excited to wear.

Anticancer Potential

A study published in Tumor Biology found that compounds like gingerol, found in ginger, aid in the prevention of cancer. They have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent carcinogenic activity in the colon that can lead to colorectal cancer.

According to a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, gingerol inhibits the growth of ovarian cancer cells. The paper recommended the use of gingerol for the treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer. Another study published in the journal Chemico-Biological Interactions showed that gingerol could be very effective for treatment against skin cancer.

It is not just gingerol that is highly effective in the treatment of cancer. Multiple researches show that zerumbone, another compound found in ginger, is also positively linked to the prevention of gastric, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer as it functions as an anti-angiogenic and antitumor drug.

Improves Cognition

Research suggests that ginger could delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. According to a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ginger improved cognitive function in middle-aged healthy women. This shows that it can be used to improve cognitive decline among the elderly. Along with powerful nutrients, ginger mitigates the risk of brain damage and keeps your memory intact.

Relieves Muscle Pain

Ginger is well-known for reducing muscle pain and soreness caused due to exercising. The anti-inflammatory properties of this root are to be credited for this benefit.

Prevents Menstrual Cramps

Ginger helps reduce the levels of prostaglandins in the body, hence it aids in relieving cramps. Scientists believe that high levels of prostaglandins contribute to increased menstrual cramps. Cramps are the body’s way of alarming an individual to some type of danger or damage. In this case, prostaglandins, which are hormones that function as chemical messengers, are the key activators of symptoms such as cramps, pains, and fevers. According to a report published in ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology, it can also help reducing the severity of mood and behavior during PMS.

Boosts Heart Health

Ginger protects cardiovascular health by lowering the LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL cholesterol levels. It also reduces the risk of blood clotting, thereby helping regulate hypertension and keeping your heart healthy.

Controls Diabetes

Ginger helps regulate the blood sugar levels in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Glycemic and lipid abnormalities lead to long-term complications in diabetics, as per a research study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology Metabolism in 2017. Therefore, to improve your insulin resistance and control diabetes, consider adding this root to your diet. Another study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine in 2014 demonstrated “daily consumption of 3 one-gram capsules of ginger powder for 8 weeks is useful for patients with type 2 diabetes.”

Detoxifies the Body

Ginger causes the body to sweat. Sweating cleans out the pores and allows your body to eliminate toxins. Research has also shown that sweat includes a germ-fighting compound, named dermcidin. It is positively connected to reduced bacterial and viral infections by creating a sheen on the skin. Thus acts as a protective layer of proteins.

Prevents Infection

Ginger is known to inhibit bacterial, viral, and fungal infection, owing to the presence of gingerol in it. It also helps in maintaining oral health by killing the pathogens in the mouth and keep the teeth and gums intact. Its antibacterial properties help ward off pathogenic bacteria that cause urinary tract infection (UTI), bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Treats Diarrhea

Ginger has been used since ancient times to cure diarrhea since it prevents stomach spasms and gas that contribute to and stimulate it. In China, the powdered form is given to those with diarrhea and this traditional practice is followed for thousands of years; scientists have concluded that these ancient treatments are indeed beneficial for this condition.

Skin Care

Ginger can help in alleviating the symptoms of eczema, owing to its anti-inflammatory properties. By adding ginger tea, or the juice to your diet, you can easily bid goodbye to many chronic skin conditions like dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis.

Increases Sexual Activity

A known aphrodisiac, ginger was used in many cultures to arouse desire and enhance sexual activity. The book Ginger: A Versatile Healing Herb mentions the use in Ayurveda as an aphrodisiac. Its scent has a unique allure that helps in increasing fertility and establishing a sexual connection. This root also helps increase blood circulation, hence blood flows more easily to the mid-section of the body, an important area for sexual performance.

Uses of Ginger

  • Fresh raw ginger root is a staple ingredient in Asian cuisines. It is used in curries, soups, rice, noodle, and stews.
  • Pickled ginger is offered with sushi as a palate cleanser.
  • World over, it is also used to flavor beverages such as tea, specialty coffees, lemonades, cocktails, and even smoothies.
  • Ginger cookies, candied ginger, and the gingerbread man are popular holiday favorites.
  • Ginger Tea – You can make your own ginger tea by steeping grated ginger in boiled water. It is a natural cure for a sore throat, coughs, and colds.
  • Ginger juice and ginger chews are other home remedies, often given to alleviate nausea and digestive problems.
  • Ginger is often used in herbal products such as soaps, shampoos, massage oils, and perfumes.

Ginger supplements are available in most pharmacies in the form of:

  • Dried ginger root
  • Capsules
  • Extracts
  • Syrups
  • Powder form
  • Essential oils

How to Buy?

Select a root that is wrinkle-free or has minimal wrinkles and taut skin. Make sure the skin is not thick and bruised. The best way to check is by scraping it with your nail. The aroma of the fresh root is peppery, sharp, and strong, so inhale the fragrance and enjoy shopping!

How to Store?

It can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. However, you should peel, cut or grate it only before using it. If you want to store a cut piece of the root, dry it first so that it doesn’t rot away.

Side Effects

The commonly observed side effects of ginger are as follows:

  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach upset
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Breathing issues

Risks

  • Acid-reflux: It may worsen acid reflux in some people.
  • Gallstones: It can increase bile production, which may cause the stone to create a block in bile flow. The National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health recommends that people with gallstone disease exercise caution when using ginger as it can increase the flow of bile.
  • Blood-thinning: It should not be eaten with blood-thinning medicines or aspirin as it may affect blood clots.
  • Pregnant women: Though it is generally considered safe, women with a history of miscarriage should consult a doctor before making any dietary change.

History and Origin

Ginger is one of the oldest remedies in herbal and aromatic traditional treatments, especially in China, India, and the Middle East. In China, it has been used for over 2,000 years for curing inflammation and diarrhea. Native to the Indo-Malaysian rain forests, ginger favors lush, moist, tropical soils for cultivation.

Its cultivation may have begun in southern Asia, but it has now spread to East Africa and the Caribbean as well. The perennial plant grows bright red flowers that come in different shapes such as torch and honeycomb. It is often used in seasonal festivals in the South Pacific for the decoration of stalls, houses, and even dresses.

Interesting Fact

Queen Elizabeth I of England, a fan of this rhizome, was the one to invent the gingerbread man in the 16th century, and it is now loved by millions of children (and adults) around the world. The gingerbread man was presented at a Royal ball. Some of the cookies were made to resemble the guests present.

Why is ginger good for you?

Ginger may have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and other healthful properties. Below are some of the possible medicinal uses of ginger.

Reducing gas and improving digestion

Share on PinterestConsuming ginger may help improve digestion.

Several studies have investigated ginger’s effects on the gasses that form in the intestinal tract during digestion.

Some research indicates that enzymes in ginger can help the body break up and expel this gas, providing relief from any discomfort.

Ginger also appears to have beneficial effects on the enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase, which are important for digestion.

In addition, ginger may help increase movement through the digestive tract, suggesting that it may relieve or prevent constipation.

Which other foods may help with digestion? Find out here.

Relieving nausea

Some research indicates that ginger can help alleviate morning sickness and relieve nausea following cancer treatment.

One small study from 2010 examined the effects of ginger root powder supplements on nausea in 60 children and young adults who underwent chemotherapy. The analysis showed that the supplement led to reduced nausea in most of the people who took it.

Authors of a 2011 review of studies arrived at similar conclusions. They reported that taking a divided daily dosage of 1,500 milligrams (mg) of ginger extract helped alleviate symptoms of nausea.

They also called for further studies in humans to fully understand the effects of ginger on nausea and other gastrointestinal issues.

Here, learn which foods can help relieve nausea.

Easing a cold or the flu

Many people use ginger to help recover from a cold or the flu. However, the evidence supporting this remedy is mostly anecdotal.

In 2013, researchers studied the effects of fresh and dried ginger on one respiratory virus in human cells.

The results indicated that fresh ginger may help protect the respiratory system, while dried ginger did not have the same impact.

Also in 2013, a small study set out to investigate the popularity of herbal medicine as a cold or flu treatment.

After polling 300 pharmacy customers in two different locations, the researchers determined that 69% of those polled used herbal medicine and that most of this group found it effective.

However, while ginger was among the most popular ingredients in these remedies, some of the participants may not have used it.

Which foods and drinks can help ease a sore throat? Find out here.

Relieving pain

Researchers behind a small study, which included 74 volunteers, found that a daily dosage of 2 grams (g) of raw or heated ginger reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by about 25%.

Meanwhile, a 2016 review of studies concluded that ginger may help reduce dysmenorrhea — pain right before or during menstruation. However, the authors acknowledge that the included studies were often small or of poor quality.

Can any foods affect pain from gout? Learn more here.

Reducing inflammation

One group of researchers concluded that taking ginger by mouth is “modestly efficacious and reasonably safe” for treating inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.

However, they noted that the studies included in their meta-analysis were small and may not represent the general population.

Meanwhile, a 2017 review of 16 clinical trials determined that the phytochemical properties in ginger may combat inflammation. These authors also called for further research into the most effective dosages and types of ginger extract.

What is the anti-inflammatory diet?

Supporting cardiovascular health

There is some evidence that ginger extract may help with cardiovascular disease.

For example, one review found that a dosage of 5 g or more can cause significant, beneficial antiplatelet activity.

The authors acknowledge that many investigations included in their analysis did not involve human participants or that participant numbers were too small to ensure reliable results.

However, they suggest that, with further research, ginger could prove to be a safe form of treatment for cardiovascular disease.

Meanwhile, one small study found that ginger extract helped reduce the occurrence of heart abnormalities among rats with diabetes. The authors noted that this reduction may stem, in part, from the antioxidant properties of the extract.

Lowering cancer risk

Ginger does not provide protein or other nutrients, but it is an excellent source of antioxidants. Studies have shown that, for this reason, ginger can reduce various types of oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress happens when too many free radicals build up in the body. Free radicals are toxic substances produced by metabolism and other factors.

The body needs to eliminate free radicals to prevent them from causing cellular damage that can lead to a range of diseases, including cancer. Dietary antioxidants help the body get rid of free radicals.

In a 2013 trial, researchers gave 20 participants either 2 g of ginger or a placebo for 28 days. The participants all had a high risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Biopsies showed that the participants who had consumed the ginger had fewer negative changes in healthy colon tissue. This group also had reduced cellular proliferation. The findings indicate that ginger could play a role in preventing colorectal cancer.

Which other foods provide antioxidants? Find out here.

The Health Benefits of Ginger

You’ve probably sipped ginger ale to remedy a stomach ache, or topped sushi with some pickled slices, but there are even more ways to take advantage of all the health benefits of ginger. It has both a powerful flavor and powerful nutrition.

What Is Ginger?

Ginger comes from the underground root, or rhizome, of the Zingiber officinale plant. It can be dried into a powder or consumed fresh, both with similar health benefits—whether you sip ginger water, turn it into ginger juice, a ginger smoothie, ginger tea, or a ginger stir-fry. The spicy flavor of ginger comes through a bit more when you use the fresh root, so a quarter teaspoon of ground ginger is roughly equivalent to a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger.

A teaspoon of fresh ginger contains only two calories, but it’s no lightweight. In addition to its long history as a remedy for upset stomachs, this spice has some hard science behind it. Here are the health benefits ginger offers.

Act as an anti-inflammatory. “Ginger root contains a number of compounds such as gingerols that are able to prevent or reduce immune cell synthesis of cytokines that cause inflammation,” says David W. Hoskin, Ph.D., a professor at Dalhousie University in Canada. Ginger could help people with diseases caused by chronic inflammation, says Hoskin, and those anti-inflammatory properties might also protect against cancer. (Pair ginger with turmeric, which also has anti-inflammatory benefits, for extra defense.)

Aid recovery after intense exercise. Training for a big event that will challenge your muscles? Eating ginger before a tough workout could help you feel stronger afterward, suggests a study published in Phytotherapy Research. People who consumed about four grams (just over two teaspoons) of ground ginger daily for five days before an intense session of resistance exercise were stronger 48 hours post-workout than those who consumed placebos instead.

Reduce LDL cholesterol. Your heart will thank you for adding this spice to your diet. A study review published in the journal Phytomedicine revealed that people who supplemented their diet regularly with more than 2,000 mg per day (just a little more than one teaspoon) of ground ginger reduced their artery-clogging LDL cholesterol by about 5 points.

Help you control your blood sugar. Ginger can help people with type 2 diabetes improve their condition over time, suggests a study review published in the journal Medicine. People with type 2 diabetes who consumed between just under a teaspoon and just over two teaspoons of ground ginger daily for eight to 12 weeks improved their hemoglobin A1C, a marker that indicates average blood sugar level over the past three months.

Soothe nausea during pregnancy. In a study review published in the journal Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers analyzed eight common remedies for nausea in pregnancy and concluded that ginger is the best choice to reduce both nausea and vomiting. Ginger could help you after the baby arrives, too. Women who took a ginger supplement after a C-section recovered their ability to eat sooner than those who popped a placebo, according to research published in Scientific Reports.

Reduce nausea from medical procedures. For people facing cancer treatment or surgery, ginger can help relieve nausea, too. A study review published in BMJ Open suggests that people who are given ginger before a laparoscopic surgery or an obstetric or gynecological surgery have a reduced risk of nausea and vomiting compared to those who are not given ginger. Ginger can also help chemotherapy patients feel better even when experiencing some nausea, accoridng to research published in Nutrients.

Ease symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Ginger’s tummy-protecting effects may extend to people with a diagnosed gastrointestinal condition (which, FYI, a lot of women do have). People with ulcerative colitis (an inflammatory bowel disease) who consumed 2,000mg of ground ginger (just a little more than one teaspoon) per day for 12 weeks experienced a reduction in the severity of their disease and an increase in quality of life, according to a study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

How to Use Ginger Root

When it comes to uses of ginger root, this spicy ingredient does more than just give a kick to your fruit and veggie juices. You can add grated ginger to marinades and sauces.

Make ginger juice: Try McQuillan’s quick trick: Grate ginger root over a half piece of a paper towel, and then gather the edges. Squeeze the bundle of ginger over a small bowl to collect the juice. Then add that to a curry dish, butternut squash soup, or tea.

Use ginger root as a topping. Julienne ginger root and saute it over medium-high heat with a bit of oil in a nonstick pan until crisp and slightly browned, says McQuillan. Sprinkle the crisp shreds over anything you like-its great on stir fries, she adds.

Add ginger to a salad. Add minced ginger root to homemade salad dressings, such as olive oil and apple cider vinegar, suggests Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, M.S., R.D.N., a registered dietitian nutritionist at Black River Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin.

For more inspiration for how to use ginger root, try these six tasty recipes starring ginger, these warming, cold-weather ginger recipes, or make the hot or iced ginger tea below.

Hot Ginger Tea

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces thinly-sliced ginger root
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Add the ginger slices and water to a small pot.
  2. Boil and then strain. Add honey to taste.

Lime and Ginger Iced Tea

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 limes, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. Boil water, ginger, and lime zest for 6-8 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in honey, and let steep for 1 hour.
  3. Stir in lime juice, and serve over ice or chill to serve.
  • By Julie Stewart

You’ve probably heard of ginger as a remedy to ease an upset stomach—remember drinking ginger ale when you had a stomach bug as a kid? Some of us even turn to ginger to calm prerace jitters or aid indigestion.

Lately, the zesty root is popping up everywhere—there are even ginger-flavored energy gels, chews, and drink mixes available for athletes—and some people are swapping lemon water for ginger water or mixing ground ginger into water, tea, or postworkout smoothie as a “detox.”

The Claim:

Drinking ginger water or ginger water mixed with lemon is an effective way to reduce nausea and inflammation and detoxify the body.

The Evidence:

Because detoxification happens through your organs and body processes—not from something you ingest, Jones explains, there is no scientific evidence that ginger water has detoxifying benefits.

That said, drinking ginger water can have other health benefits, especially for athletes. Adding ginger to your water may ease or prevent stomach issues if you feel sick before, during, or after a particularly intense workout. That’s because gingerols—the chemical compounds found in ginger—aid the digestion process to help alleviate nausea, according to a study published in Phytochemistry.

“Ginger is known for easing stomach distress and many athletes experience frequent GI issues. Research is limited, but ginger has also been linked to having potential anti-inflammatory properties, increasing satiety, easing anxiety, and controlling blood sugar,” Nedescu explains. Research shows that taking in 1,500 mg of ground ginger daily in small doses may be beneficial for nausea.

And because it’s natural, it’s a good choice for those undergoing chemotherapy treatment or during pregnancy, says Jones.

Some of us can also experience postexercise appetite suppression, so ginger water that contains added sugar can be helpful after a race or tough workout to replenish carbohydrates while lessening nausea, says Jones.

Ginger also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can benefit all athletes, especially those with joint pain, according to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, where subjects with knee pain were given either ginger extract or a placebo twice daily. Those who took the ginger supplement reported a 13 percent higher reduction in pain than those given the placebo. Researchers found that those who consumed 2 grams of raw ginger daily were 25 percent less sore one day after performing eccentric exercises—the “lowering down” part of exercises such as leg lifts, pushups, or bicep curls—than those who didn’t.

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One undisputed benefit? Hydration. “If adding fresh ginger to your water helps you hydrate more, then that is likely the most beneficial aspect of drinking ginger water,” says Nedescu. Since the taste of ginger can be polarizing (you either love it or hate it), Jones says incorporating ginger water into your diet can be a good way to reap the health benefits without the bitter taste, since it’s diluted in water.

As for any other health claims, some studies, (such as one published in the Saudi Medical Journal that found those who consumed 3g of ground ginger per day saw reduced levels of triglycerides and LDL, bad, cholesterol, which can up stroke risk) have shown ginger to benefit blood glucose and cholesterol levels, as well as menstrual cramps, but more research is needed, Jones says.

The Verdict:

There isn’t much research on ginger water in particular as opposed to pure ginger, so you don’t need to suddenly rush to add it to your morning routine. But there certainly are some health benefits of ginger you can reap, and it won’t hurt you to incorporate it into your diet. So if you’re curious—or simply like the taste of ginger—go for it, Nedescu says.

Try adding up to 4g raw ginger a day, which studies have found to be the suggested safe maximum dosage, though Jones says 2g is the more-commonly recommended dosage for decreasing nausea.

To make measuring easy, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger (which translates to about 2 grams) is a safe amount to mix in to water, tea, or even a smoothie if using ginger to calm nausea or provide potential anti-inflammatory benefits, Jones explains. Minor side effects such as heartburn or a burning sensation in the mouth are possible. To prevent this, avoid drinking it on an empty stomach, Nedscu says.

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One way Nedescu suggests to drink it: Add ginger, lemon, a pinch of salt, and honey to water for a great homemade sports drink.

Jordan Smith Digital Editor Her love of all things outdoors came from growing up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and her passion for running was sparked by local elementary school cross-country meets.

The medicinal uses of ginger have been well-known by herbalists for over 2,000 years, and modern science is still taking advantage of the many ginger properties to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and nausea, among other common ailments. By examining the history of its use, it is clear that ginger has many health benefits. However, it is also important to understand ginger nutrition when incorporating it into your diet. Here, you will find the most prominent ginger root vitamins and their benefits.

Ginger’s Vitamins

Ginger root nutritional content includes vitamins B and C:

Ginger Vitamin C Benefits

This is a water-soluble vitamin that is stored in the body in very limited amounts. All excess vitamin C is excreted through urine. Because of the limited amounts that your body retains, it is important to incorporate vitamin C in your daily diet. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, has healing properties, aids in collagen formation, and is also key in helping to absorb and metabolize other nutrients.

Ginger Vitamin B Benefits

Ginger contains two different forms of vitamin B. The first, vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is water-soluble and not stored in the body. It is important to eat B3-rich foods in your everyday diet because this vitamin helps your body make energy from fat, proteins, and carbohydrates. The second B vitamin present in ginger is vitamin B1, also known as thiamin. This vitamin is also important in helping your body to utilize proteins and carbohydrates to make energy.

How to Make the Most of Ginger’s Vitamins

While ginger is often used in cooking for flavoring foods, it should be noted that the B and C vitamins in this herb are sensitive to heat and can be destroyed during the food preparation process. These ginger root vitamins can also be damaged by prolonged storage or exposure to light. In order to reap all the benefits of this Asian root, eating fresh, raw ginger is highly recommended.

Ginger’s Vitamins and Daily Requirements

Ginger in its raw form contains 5.0 mg of vitamin C per 100 g, 0.025 mg of vitamin B1 per 100 g, and 0.75 mg of vitamin B3 per 100 g. For men over the age of 18, approximately 90 mg of vitamin C is recommended on a daily basis, while women are recommended to consume 75 mg.

For your daily dose of ginger root vitamins, supplement with other foods and herbs that are rich in vitamins C and B.

With respect to vitamin B1, adult men are recommended to consume 1.2 mg daily, while adult women should consume 1.1 mg. Daily recommendations for vitamin B3 is reflected in 16 mg for men and 14 mg for women. These dosages may vary if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Vitamins in Ginger vs. Other Herbs

While ginger does contain vitamins C and B, other common herbs are richer in the same important vitamins. For example, chamomile and rose hip are significant sources of vitamin C. However, these herbs are most commonly taken as infusions, and it is important to note that heat may deplete much of their vitamin C stores. Camu Camu, on the other hand, is considered the best known source of vitamin C, beating oranges with about 30 times more ascorbic acid content.

Considering the significance of B vitamins in helping your body produce energy from fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, as well as the role of vitamin C as an antioxidant, it is important that you are receiving the correct doses of these vitamins daily. Taking into account the many other ginger health benefits, this wonderful root deserves to be considered as a tool for maintaining good health.

Adrak (Ginger): Nutrition facts, health benefits, side effects and cooking tips

Ginger or adrak as it is commonly known in Indian kitchens is a multipotentialite. No, seriously. The health benefits are numerous, the uses multiple, calories non-existent and risks or side effects negligible. It can be added whole, crushed, grated, diced or juiced to your food. It can be added to drinks, vegetables, eaten as an achar (pickle) and for some die-hard fans the dried sweet ginger or ginger lozenges even masquerade as a dessert.
Nutrition facts about Ginger or Adrak
Ginger provides a variety of vitamins and minerals. In 100 grams of fresh ginger root, there are:

79 calories 17.86 g of carbohydrate
3.6 g of dietary fiber
0 g of sugar
3.57 g of protein
33 mg of potassium
1.15 g of iron
14 mg of sodium
7.7 mg of vitamin C
Ginger also contains other nutrients like:
– vitamin B6
– magnesium
– zinc
– phosphorus
– riboflavin
– niacin
– folate
It is important to remember that ginger is consumed in very small quantities, usually about 5-10 grams a day in a family of four if used for regular purposes like flavouring tea or when making curries. So, most of the nutritional benefits are also cumulative and seen over time.
Health Benefits Of Adrak or Ginger
Digestion – Passed down through the generations, one of the most commonly known benefits of ginger is that it helps relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulates saliva and bile production. In simple words, it helps you to digest your food easily and reduces flatulence.
Nausea – This is pure gold for pregnant women. Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger lemon tea is a proven home remedy for nausea. It also helps if suffering from motion sickness or morning sickness.
Sore Throat – Ginger juice mixed with a dash of honey provides almost instant relief from a sore throat and phlegm. 3-4 teaspoons a day and one is as good as new within a couple of days. Pregnant women especially those suffering from hot flashes or living in hot climates, need to be cautious when taking this as ginger is ‘heaty’ in nature or has ‘garam taseer’.
Reduces Inflammation – Since generations, ginger has been used to treat inflammatory conditions. It has also been found to positively aid people suffering from inflammation due to osteoarthritis. In pregnancy, it can help with swelling in the body and feet.
Heals muscular pain and cramps – Ginger based hot tea has been found to reduce muscular pain caused due to exertion or during a hard session of exercising. It also helps with menstrual cramps. In pregnancy, it can help alleviate lower back pain and abdominal cramps.
Regulates cholesterol – Ginger reduces cholesterol, lowers risk of blood clotting and helps maintain healthy blood sugar level. In short, it keeps your heart happy.
Note: When buying ginger, look for a smooth stem with less wrinkles and a sharp smell. When you snap it, the center should be crisp and hairless. Avoid stems with strands of ginger hair.
Side Effects of Ginger or Adrak
By and large ginger when used in small quantities (1-3 grams per day) provides varied benefits during pregnancy and even post-pregnancy. However, some caution is advised.
As already stated ginger is ‘heaty’ in nature. So, if you are spotting or bleeding during the pregnancy, stop all consumption of ginger immediately.
Also, keep quantities lower in the first trimester when miscarriages are more likely to occur.
Women with gestational diabetes need to be cautious in their use of ginger as it affects blood sugar levels.
Women with any prior history of miscarriages, clotting, bleeding, vaginal spotting must stop ginger altogether.
Sometimes if ginger juice is consumed on an empty stomach, it can cause acid reflux or heart burn. So it is best used mixed with other foods to offset this.
Cooking Tips For Ginger or Adrak
Ginger Tea: One of the most common uses of ginger is to add flavour to regular Indian ‘chai’. A steaming hot cuppa is the perfect way to start the day. Pregnant women may want to eat a charred toast with their tea to keep away the nausea.
Ginger Lemon Tea: Boil some fresh ginger in water. Add a dash of lemon and honey and sip away. This is the perfect way to soothe your soul and a sore throat too. Especially beneficial to take away any minor aches and pains in the lower back and abdominal region. For pregnant women this is also the perfect way to make up for the daily water intake that is so essential.
Ginger in vegetables: A simple way to add ginger to your diet is to cook it with your vegetables. Since the flavour is quite sharp it is best to cook it in some oil / ghee rather than use it raw as a garnish.
Ginger pickle: Cut and dice fresh ginger into thin slices. Add salt and a dash of lemon – the color will turn pink from the creamy gold it generally is. For those who like things really spicy, add some finely chopped green chillies as well. Store in the refrigerator for upto 10-12 days. Perfect when the pregnancy urges hit!
Ginger Ale: Mix a cup of grated ginger with a cup and half of sugar and half a cup of water. Boil till you get a syrup and strain. Add a cup of lemon juice and 1 liter of regular soda. Your ginger ale is ready and serves upto 8 people. Caffeinated drinks or those loaded with sugar are generally not considered healthy for pregnant women. Homemade ginger ale makes a great substitute.
Ginger Juice: You can add small pieces of ginger to any juice that you are drinking. It pairs deliciously well with sugarcane juice and vegetable juices.
While many Ginger supplements are also available, a diet filled with nutritious food helps the mothers’ overall well-being as well as that of the fetus.

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