Ginger root is a popular spice that has a long history of medicinal uses. It can be used in its raw form, but is often tried and ground into powder. There’s a long list of health benefits from adding small but regular amounts of ginger to your diet.
We’re not talking about gingerbread cookies or even ginger ale. We’re talking about using the actual ginger root.
Quite often when looking at spices, you’re not going to see massive health benefits as you would from kale or beets. That’s because you don’t ingest nearly as much spice as vegetables and meats. Ginger is a different story. It doesn’t take much to serve a big punch. That’s because the key benefits of ginger don’t lie in the vitamins and minerals.
That being said, ginger root contains copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C in very small amounts. The real benefits aren’t listed on a nutrition label, so let’s take a look…
Health Benefits of Ginger
Speaking of stomach problems, one study found ginger cuts the time food spends in the stomach in half in healthy patients. Another study saw less drastic results in patients with dyspepsia, but still found ginger intake greatly reduced the time food spends in the gut. It appeals ginger stimulates gastric emptying, which plays a large role in its ability to soothe the stomach.
Ginger isn’t only for when you’re sick though. Consuming 2g of ginger daily (that’s 1 teaspoon) can provide a large reduction in post-exercise muscle pain. This is a fantastic boost to speed recovery time and could be the push you need to keep going out and being active. It could also hold some major benefits for anyone suffering from osteoarthritis. Ginger extract can greatly reduce the pain in joints.
Once again, taking 2g of ginger daily is enough to have some big effects. A 2015 study found that this low dosage was enough to see a marked improvement in the fasting blood glucose levels of type 2 diabetics.
A single gram of ginger, taken daily for the first 3 days of the menstrual period, is enough to reduce the pain brought on by menstrual cramps. It’s been found equally as effective as mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
Taking a little bit more ginger root, 3 grams daily, may have a serious effect on your cholesterol. Ginger has a significant lipid lowering effect, which results in changes in triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Ginger is proof that it doesn’t take a lot of something to make a big difference to your health. Go ahead and try adding ginger to your diet this week!