Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is surprisingly the most widely used dietary condiment in the world today. It’s actually part of the plant family that includes turmeric and cardamom, which may explain why the health benefits of ginger are so extraordinary.
1. Stroke and Heart Disease
Two of the biggest killers on the planet may be kept at bay with regular ginger use, especially when eaten with other key superfoods. Garlic, ginger and onions all have an anti-blood-clotting ability, yet when they’re eaten together they’re a powerful mainstay against heart attacks and stroke!
2. Indigestion and Nausea
Whether we’re talking about curing a simple tummy ache or severe morning sickness, ginger has been used for thousands of years as an effective digestive aid and natural remedy for nausea. Recently, Taiwanese researchers discovered that three capsules (1.2 grams total) of ginger can actually help the stomach release its contents into the small intestines in people with dyspepsia — a condition in which 40 percent of patients suffer from abnormally delayed gastric emptying.
Proper food transport (and nutrient absorption) from the mouth out through your colon is the mainstay to health. If food gets stuck somewhere in between, it can ferment, rot or (even worse) cause obstruction, which is a life-threatening emergency.
4. Compromised Immunity and Respiratory Function
Ayurvedic medicine has praised ginger’s ability to boost the immune system before recorded history. It believes that because ginger is so effective at warming the body, it can help break down the accumulation of toxins in your organs. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our body’s sewage system.
5. Bacterial Infections
The Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials published a study in 2011 that tested just how effective ginger is in enhancing immune function. Comparing the ability of ginger to kill Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes with conventional antibiotics, Nigerian researchers discovered that the natural solution won every time!
6. Fungal Infections
One of the trickier issues to control because they’re increasingly resistant to conventional medicine, fungal infections don’t stand a chance against ginger. Of the 29 plant species evaluated in a Carleton University study, ginger won the prize for having the extract most effective at killing fungus.
7. Ulcers and GERD
Since the 1980s, researchers have known that ginger can cure stomach ulcers. More recently, Indian scientists have been able to more closely quantify this medicinal effect. In a study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, they discovered the ginger was six to eight times more potent than Prevacid, the drug of choice to treat GERD!
Ginger is known for its anti-pain property. Very similar to how capsaicin works to relieve pain, gingerol acts on vanilloid receptors, which are located on sensory nerve endings. Similar to the initial intense burning feel you get when you consume spicy pepper, ginger’s burn only lasts but a second, and researchers discovered that it “affects the pain pathways directly but also relieves the inflammation, which in itself causes pain.”
Working with mice without immune systems, University of Minnesota scientists discovered that three weekly feedings of -gingerol delayed the growth of colorectal cancer cells. University of Michigan researchers confirmed these results with ovarian cancer. In fact, they found that “Ginger treatment of cultured ovarian cancer cells induced profound growth inhibition in all cell lines tested.
Gingerols are widely known to naturally improve diabetes and enhance insulin sensitivity. Building off this knowledge, a 2006 study out of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry discovered that they could also suppress sorbitol accumulation in human blood cells and sugar-fed rats. Simply put, ginger not only helps prevent and reverse diabetes itself — it protects against and improves diabetic complications like diabetic retinopathy!
There are a lot of healthy foods in the world we should be selected to eat for good health.
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