Properties of ginger: as a food, for purification, health benefits
It is no wonder that ginger is one of the most common condiments in the world today because, in addition to its pleasant spicy flavour, it is very versatile and very good for your health.
The root of the ginger plant has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and contains therapeutic compounds such as gingerol, shogaol, paradol and zingerone.
So, how can you integrate ginger into your diet and benefit from its therapeutic properties?
Adding it to your diet is really very simple because it is available fresh, dried, ground, in capsules and as a juice. You are spoiled for choice and your body will benefit from its long-lasting effects.
Here's what you need to know about this special ingredient.
What exactly is ginger root and what nutrients does it contain?
Ginger, also known as Zingiber officinale Roscoe, is a flowering plant belonging to the same family as turmeric and cardamom.
The underground stem, or rhizome, of the ginger plant is commonly known as ginger root and is well known for its healing properties.
You can buy it fresh, ground, in the form of capsules, or even as an essential oil, and it is associated with a long list of health benefits.
The main bioactive compound is gingerol, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger contains a wide range of many important vitamins, minerals and nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, dietary fibre, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus and iron.
In addition, it also contains calcium, zinc, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), riboflavin and thiamine in small quantities.
However, remember that you will only be using a very small portion of ginger, so it must be combined with a variety of other foods to fully satisfy your micronutrient requirements.
The health benefits of ginger
One of the most powerful benefits of ginger is its ability to protect the health of the digestive system and prevent problems such as dyspepsia, a common condition of impaired digestion with symptoms such as pain, heartburn, swelling and discomfort.
It is also a natural remedy for nausea. It's very effective in reducing the symptoms of morning sickness in pregnant women.
These are some of the most well-known benefits, but there are others that are just as important:
- Ginger extract fights fungal infections because it is effective in eliminating fungi that cause disease;
- It protects against stomach ulcers: painful lesions that cause indigestion, fatigue, burning sensations and abdominal discomfort;
- It relieves menstrual pain;
- It regulates blood sugar, promoting a normal blood sugar level;
- It relieves joint and muscle pain by reducing inflammation;
- It lowers the levels of bad cholesterol naturally, reducing the risk of heart problems;
- It improves brain function. Given that neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s have been linked to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in the brain, ginger, which is rich in antioxidants and has potent anti-inflammatory properties, is thought to play an important role in brain health;
- It combats bacterial inflammation: compounds found in ginger may help inhibit the growth of certain strains of bacteria that cause gum, urinary and bronchial diseases.
How to use ginger root
At this point you may be wondering how to use ginger root to take advantage of its many potential health benefits.
Fortunately, ginger root is available in a variety of forms and can be easily integrated into your daily diet.
Ginger root can be eaten fresh or ground, pressed or as an infusion in your favourite drinks.
Ginger root is also available in tablets or capsules to provide you with a quick and concentrated dose of antioxidants.
In addition, the essential oil of ginger can be applied topically or taken orally to supply you with gingerol.
How to eat ginger root
Ginger root has a unique spicy and peppery flavour with an unmistakable aroma.
You can cut it into thin slices and add it to fruit smoothies or vegetable extracts or you can grate it into soups and onto salads.
Powdered ginger can also be used in the kitchen by mixing it with baked food such as desserts.
It's also a tasty addition to sauces, stews, marinades and curries.
Remember that a nice cup of tea with ginger root or ginger water is the perfect remedy for stomach problems, to ease constipation, or to help you relax after a long, stressful day.
If you take ginger capsules, always start with a low dose and increase the amount gradually to evaluate your tolerance.
As you can see, ginger is very beneficial for your body, so try to integrate it into your diet and enjoy all its health benefits.