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Health Benefits of Ginger

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Last Updated Oct 20, 2020

Ginger is an herb that is deemed to be useful for various things – from relieving migraines to motion sickness.  Read this article to find out more.

Ginger Nutrition Facts

In 100 grams (g) of fresh ginger root, there are:

  • 79 calories
  • 17.86 g of carbohydrate
  • 3.6 g of dietary fiber
  • 3.57 g of protein
  • 0 g of sugar
  • 14 mg of sodium
  • 1.15 g of iron
  • 7.7 mg of vitamin C
  • 33 mg of potassium

Other nutrients found in ginger in ginger are:

  • vitamin B6
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • zinc
  • folate
  • riboflavin
  • niacin

Health Benefits of Ginger

The health benefits of ginger originated from the chemicals called volatile oils, specifically shogaols and gingerols, which also give its pungent, spicy taste. The oils helps stimulate the body to produce more digestive juices and they also aid in neutralising stomach acids that can cause cramping, nausea, and diarrhea. Ginger is popular for its ability to relieve nausea, both when traveling and during pregnancy. As a matter of fact, this is probably its most well-known use.

Ginger is a natural decongestant and antihistamine. It has a warming action on the upper respiratory tract, making it very important in treating common respiratory disorders such as colds and flus. It is a common ingredient in various herbal decongestants.

Ginger has the ability to block prostaglandin, a chemical that causes inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain and can often lead to migraines. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also help lessen or relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and muscular disorders. It can also help lessen swelling. As a matter of fact, studies have revealed that ginger can give better relief of stiffness, pain, and swelling than some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

Ginger may be useful in relieving menstrual cramps. It can also be used with cramps that are caused by stomach gas. It can also stimulate digestion. It also promotes the flow of bile.

Ginger contains cineole, a natural organic compound that is useful for stress relief.

Ginger helps create a healthier cardiovascular system by making the platelets inside the blood vessels to become less sticky. Similar to aspirin, it may also have an effect on blood clots. Its active ingredients can also help in lowering high cholesterol levels.

How to Take Ginger

Ginger can be used in several ways. When buying ginger, make sure to buy the fresh ones. Avoid picking ginger that has dry, wrinkled skin, mould or soft spots. You will receive the most health benefit when you grate ginger or use a garlic press. Since it has a very strong taste which may not be palatable to all, using fresh ginger is best used in cooking.

Drinking grated ginger root mixed with diluted lime juice can help soothe the digestive tract and reduce flatulence. Ginger can also be made into an oil and can be massaged into areas of localised chronic pain. It can be taken as a supplement but it’s best to select ones that contain its natural compounds – gingerols and shogaols – as these are its active ingredients.

Take 100 to 200mg three times a day if you are taking ginger extract. You can take fresh powdered ginger three times a day at ½ to ¾ a teaspoon at a time.  You can eat fresh ginger root, not more than three times a day, and eat ½ an inch at a time, peeled. Ginger tea can be taken several times a day, and crystallised ginger can be eaten twice a day.

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Originally published on Aug 08, 2008

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