Ginger

By Kristy Podruchny

Staying healthy requires some routine and consistency.  Developing a habit of bringing ginger into your life is a helpful consideration for preventing and treating illness.

Ginger has enough health benefits and spice to catch the attention of chefs and researchers.  Humans have been using ginger to treat various ailments from nausea to arthritis for thousands of years.  After learning about all the health benefits this super food offers, you’ll want to incorporate ginger into family meals and make ginger tea daily.  Ginger is also great in poke bowls or in a salad dressing for an extra kick.

Many of the bioactive compounds found in ginger have antioxidant properties that fight damaging free radicals.  Gingerols and shogaols are two bioactive compounds found in ginger.  More gingerols are found in fresh ginger than dried, but the shogaols present in dried make up for that loss—so either form is beneficial.  Ginger can be used to alleviate nausea, control pain and inflammation, fight viruses, help control blood sugar and has been studied for its potential to prevent cancer.  Entire books can be written on the health benefits contained in this popular spice.

People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can look to ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties to help battle pain and inflammation from the condition.  A study published in the journal “Arthritis” concluded that though further studies are needed, there is enough evidence to suggest that ginger can help stop the progression of RA and possibly reverse damage.  A noninvasive RA treatment with no side effects?  Ginger truly is a super food!

As if ginger hasn’t done enough for us, it has the potential to help our brains, too.  A 2020 study published in “Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis” found that gingerols and shogaols are able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB).  This is big news!  The research suggests that ginger’s health benefits can cross the BBB to help treat anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

Staying healthy requires some routine and consistency.  Developing a habit of bringing ginger into your life is a helpful consideration for preventing and treating illness.  Grate some fresh ginger, cut a lemon and add hot water to your favorite mug for a spicy tea.  Breathe and enjoy your natural medicine.

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