Known and loved across the globe for its rich flavour, ginger is not just a zesty addition to juices, stir fries and sweet treats, but also offers some fantastic health benefits...
A superfood in its own right, this unassuming rhizome may provide relief from a variety of conditions, from nausea to high blood pressure. Discover some of the many health benefits of ginger below.
Found to increase the prevalence and severity of many common diseases, inflammation is a challenge that many of us will face throughout our lives. However, ginger might be one of the keys to reducing its impact. The consumption of raw ginger has been found to reduce the production of cytokines, a type of protein that causes inflammation.
Reducing The Effects Of Nausea
You might experience nausea for a number of reasons, whether you’re early on in your pregnancy, susceptible to motion sickness or feeling the effects of medical treatments such as chemotherapy. It’s an uncomfortable, and sometimes debilitating sensation, but some of the compounds found within ginger, including gingerols and shogaols, have been found to reduce its severity. Studies support ginger as a safe option during pregnancy and chemotherapy, but, as always, it’s best to consult with your doctor.
Consuming ginger has been found to help increase the speed of gastric emptying (the process of food leaving your stomach to enter the intestines), reducing the total time that food spends in your stomach leaving you feeling lighter and more energetic. Ginger can also reduce some of the symptoms of functional dyspepsia, such as acid reflux and general upper abdominal discomfort, making a delicious meal all the more satisfying.
Lowering Blood Pressure
As diets high in sodium and fat become commonplace in the western world, the prevalence of high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, continues to grow. Ginger contains high levels of potassium, which has been found to help lower blood pressure. Although bananas are often thought of as a food with one of the highest potassium levels, ginger actually contains more potassium per 100 grams. Ginger has also been trialled as an additional treatment alongside standard blood pressure medications, with promising results.
A truly versatile natural substance, ginger has also been found to hold antibacterial properties, helping to combat some fungal and drug-resistant bacterial strains. In particular, gingerols, one of the compounds within ginger, have been reported to hold antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It has been used within the food industry as a natural preservative, while a study conducted in South Korea also found that two different varieties of ginger can help to reduce inflammation in the gums caused by bacteria.
How Can You Incorporate Ginger Into Your Diet?
From herbal teas to its freshly grated form, there are so many ways to add a touch of ginger to your diet. Consider some of the following options next time you’re in the kitchen:
- Adding ginger to freshly squeezed juice, as in our Pineapple and Ginger Digestive Tonic
- Infusing your favourite soup with a touch of ginger (we love this Okra and Roasted Tomato Noodle Bowl)
- Sipping on a Warm Chai with SLEEP Inner Beauty Support, which also contains ginger.
- Grating a centimetre or two of fresh ginger into an Asian-style stir fry
- Steeping ginger in hot water with a touch of honey
- Incorporating ginger into your favourite sweet treats
- Enjoying pickled ginger with fresh sushi or sashimi
What's your favourite way to enjoy ginger?