If you’re going to get hooked on any spice, make it ginger. Of course, there are tons of great spices that offer significant health benefits, but it’s tough to top ginger for the sheer number of positive attributes. And unlike other popular daily supplements, it tastes great, too.
The reason that ginger is so good for you is down to a compound called gingerol. This substance is anti-inflammatory, which means it can relieve pain and swelling. It is also an antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals in the body. This can reduce your lifetime risk of cancer.
- Acid reflux can occur based on the type of meal you ate, or simply due to your particular anatomy. Some people are especially prone to it. In any case, it is painful and disruptive! Ginger is so good at reducing acid reflux that its active substances are used in acid reflux medications. Some research indicates that consuming ginger every day, whether in a special tea or in your food, can eliminate acid reflux all together.
- Inflammation is a defense mechanism that is useful when an injured or infected portion of the body needs to be isolated to limit damage to other areas. However, the inflammatory process isn’t very good at recognizing when that inflammation is helpful and when it just hurts. So people with chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis can experience a lot of relief from eating ginger. This same capacity makes ginger good for healing after injuries of all kinds.
- Ginger is being studied extensively for its effect on cancer cells. Research has shown that it kills ovarian cancer cells more quickly and safely than chemotherapy drugs. That’s incredible news, as chemotherapy tends to cause as many health concerns as it solves. Ginger has also been found to prevent colon and intestinal inflammation, which is a risk factor for cancers of those body parts. Watch for the results of ongoing studies on ginger and cancer!
- Ginger doesn’t just quell acid reflux and reduce inflammation in your intestines. It can also soothe nausea. Part of the reason is that ginger is a natural antibiotic that can knock out the harmful bacteria that cause stomach upset. Ginger is also good for stimulating saliva, which is an integral part of the digestive process. Whether you have a bug, are pregnant and experiencing morning sickness, or simply ate something that didn’t agree with you, ginger can be a real lifeline.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger are also helpful in treating the most common complaint of the human condition – headaches. Many over-the-counter headache medicines are in fact simply anti-inflammatories rather than actual pain relievers. Ginger is a natural way of achieving the same end, but without the side effects of chemical formulations. In fact, studies show that eating ginger every day has the potential to stop you from getting headaches all together, even migraines.
- Weight loss is a tricky thing to accomplish. The body looks at stored fat as its emergency reserve, and really prefers not to burn it. Diet plays a big part, but a lot of the blame for your weight also goes to genetics. So it’s important to work with your body in the effort to lose weight, and ginger can be an excellent source of support. Ginger is known to keep your metabolism chugging along, which is important because intensive dieting often slows it down. Once your metabolism slows, you are likely to regain all the weight you lost once you stop dieting. A daily dose of ginger can help prevent this problem.
- Another common kind of pain is muscle soreness, often caused by exercise or daily exertion. Studies have shown that ginger can help here, too. However, it doesn’t tend to immediately relieve muscle pain. Rather, ginger taken daily can reduce the level of pain that develops and shorten the duration of healing when your muscles do become sore.
With all these incredible health benefits, we’re having trouble coming up with a reason NOT to eat some ginger every day. And what’s more, ginger can be effective whether raw or cooked, fresh or dried.
With a sweet and slightly spicy flavor, ginger is ideal for use in baked goods, stir fries, and fruit salads. It’s also tasty enough to stand on its own in an herbal tea. Any way you take it, ginger is a great daily habit to have.