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7 Health Benefits of Ginger
Here are 7 health benefits of ginger and how you can include it in more of your meals.
What is Ginger?
The ginger plant is leafy and grows about three feet tall. Ginger plants produce clusters of flowers that are green and purple in color. To harvest ginger, the entire plant is pulled out of the soil. The part of ginger that is eaten or used as an ingredient is the root.
Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger Can Help Treat Nausea
Research has found that ginger is effective when it comes to treating and reliving nausea.
In multiple studies, ginger has been found to be an effective form of relief for women who are pregnant and experiencing morning sickness. Twelve different studies were conducted with more than 1,000 women in the first and second trimesters, and the researchers concluded that as little as 1 gram of ginger can significantly reduce nausea.4
One reason why ginger can also help reduce nausea is it can aid in regulating digestion and blood pressure. This was found in a study that looked at the link between ginger and motion sickness, and the participants had significantly less nausea when consuming ginger.5
Ginger Can Reduce Pain
Additionally, ginger contains salicylates which your body turns into salicylic acid. This acid inhibits the nerves from producing prostaglandins, which are lipids made at spots of infection or tissue damage that can cause pain.
Ginger Can Help with Osteoarthritis
Ginger may help relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is a bone condition where the cartilage begins to wear down.8 Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the world, affecting about 1 in 4 adults with arthritis.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit those with arthritis by reducing inflammation and joint pain. One review found that people who used ginger to treat osteoarthritis had a reduction in pain.9
Ginger Can Lower Blood Sugar
Another health benefit of ginger is that it can lower blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can cause hyperglycemia and lead to serious health issues.
One study had participants with type 2 diabetes consume 2 grams of ginger each day for 12 weeks. As a result, their fasting blood sugar decreased by 12%. This study shows ginger is a natural way to lower blood sugar levels, which can help those who struggle with diabetes.10
Ginger is considered a low-glycaemic food, which makes it an easy component for diabetics to include in their diet.11 Gingerol, the main component in ginger, can improve the amount of glucose in muscle cells without using insulin. This can help the body maintain blood sugar levels.
Ginger Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Lowering LDL cholesterol levels, or “bad cholesterol,” is one of the health benefits of ginger.
High levels of LDL cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease, while maintaining healthy levels of the “good cholesterol,” also known as HDL cholesterol, can help the body absorb LDL cholesterol. What you eat can influence your good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.
One study showed that participants who consumed ginger had a 10% reduction in bad cholesterol (LDL) over 45 days.12 In another recent study, participants received higher doses of ginger and saw a 17% reduction in their bad cholesterol within 3 months.13
Ginger Can Improve Brain Function
Improvements in brain function is another health benefit of ginger. Ginger has antioxidants and bioactive compounds that are believed to prevent inflammatory responses in the brain, which can decrease the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
One study included healthy middle-aged women who consumed ginger daily, and they had improved their reaction time and working memory. This study shows that ginger can reduce the effects of cognitive decline and help keep the brain active.14
Ginger Can Help Fight Infections
Ginger may help the body fight infections. Gingerol, the main bioactive compound in ginger, has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, which promotes good health and fights off bacteria.
Ginger has been proven to prevent the growth of many types of bacteria that can cause infections. Fresh ginger can also protect you from the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is a common cause of respiratory infections.15
How to Eat More Ginger
Ginger is versatile and can be eaten fresh or dried. It can also be made into a powder, oil, tablets, or liquid extracts.2
Ginger is used to add flavor to many different recipes and dishes. Here are some ideas on how you can consume more ginger:
- Use ginger in a stir-fry
- Make a meat dish and use ginger as a spice
- Make soup or curry with ginger
- Include ginger in a homemade sauce or dressing
- Add ginger into your smoothies
- Drink tea with ginger
- Add ginger into your sweeter recipes like pancakes and desserts
Try Ginger Today
If you’re interested in all the health benefits that ginger has to offer, try including some in your recipes and meals!
To learn more about Saber Healthcare and the services we provide, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “The Surprising Benefits of Ginger.” Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials. October 14th, 2021. Accessed December 15th, 2021. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/ginger-health-benefits/.
- Goldman, Rena. “A Detailed Guide to Ginger: What’s in It, Why It’s Good for You, and More.” Everyday Health, everydayhealth.com. July 12th, 2019. Accessed December 15th, 2021. https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/ginger-nutrition-facts-health-benefits-alternative-uses-more/.
- Leech, Joe. “11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger.” Healthline Media, healthline.com. March 19th, 2021. Accessed December 15th, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger.
- “A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting.” National Library of Medicine, pubmed.gov. March 19th, 2014. Accessed December 16th, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3995184/.
- “Effects of ginger on motion sickness and gastric slow-wave dysrhythmias induced by circular vection.” National Library of Medicine, pubmed.gov. Accessed December 16th, 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12576305/.
- “Ginger: What is it?” Versus Arthritis, versusarthritis.org. Accessed December 17th, 2021. https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/complementary-and-alternative-treatments/types-of-complementary-treatments/ginger/.
- “Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces muscle pain caused by eccentric exercise.” National Library of Medicine, pubmed.gov. Accessed December 15th, 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20418184/.
- “How Osteoarthritis Affects Your Joints.” Saber Healthcare Group, saberhealth.com. September 4th, 2021. Accessed December 15th, 2021. https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/what-is-osteroarthritis.
- “Efficacy and safety of ginger in osteoarthritis patients: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials.” Elsevier B.V., ScienceDirect. Accessed December 15th, 2021. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S106345841401276X.
- “The Effects of Ginger on Fasting Blood Sugar, Hemoglobin A1c, Apolipoprotein B, Apolipoprotein A-I and Malondialdehyde in Type 2 Diabetic Patients.” National Library of Medicine, PMC. Accessed December 16th, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277626/.
- “Diabetes: Here’s How Ginger Helps In Managing Blood Sugar Levels Naturally.” NDTV, ndtv.com. January 19th, 2021. Accessed December 17th, 2021. https://www.ndtv.com/food/diabetes-here-s-how-ginger-helps-in-managing-blood-sugar-levels-naturally-1952730.
- “Investigation of the effect of ginger on the lipid levels: A double blind controlled clinical trial.” ResearchGate, researchgate.net. Accessed December 16th, 2021. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23278110_Investigation_of_the_effect_of_ginger_on_the_lipid_levels_A_double_blind_controlled_clinical_trial.
- “Effects of Ginger on LDL-C, Total Cholesterol and Body Weight.” Clinical & Medical Biochemistry, longdom.org. February 18th, 2018. Accessed December 16th, 2021. https://www.longdom.org/open-access/effects-of-ginger-on-ldlc-total-cholesterol-and-body-weight-2471-2663-1000140..pdf.
- “Zingiber officinale Improves Cognitive Function of the Middle-Aged Healthy Women.” National Library of Medicine, PMC. Accessed December 16th, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3253463/.
- “Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines.” National Library of Medicine, pubmed.gov. Accessed December 16th, 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23123794/.