5 Reasons Ginger is the Root that Keeps on Giving
Ginger is almost magical in the number of health-benefits it offers. At the root (pun intended) of its powerful properties is the fact that it combats inflammation, which is something we suffer from more and more due to stress, environmental toxins, our sedentary lifestyle, and our diets. When inflammation becomes chronic, it is connected to numerous diseases and conditions. Why don’t we learn more about how ginger kicks inflammation’s butt alongside it’s other fabulous qualities?
The main reason it’s so effective in fighting inflammation is because it inhibits two specific enzymes that are connected to it: cyclooxygenase (COX) and 5-lipooxygenase (LOX). Anti-inflammatory drugs only block the first of these enzymes (and come with a bunch of side effects including stomach issues). Ginger protects the stomach and affects both COX and LOX at the same time.
2- Vitamins & Minerals
According to www.healthy-holistic-living.com, ginger also has a host of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, B3, B6, E, folic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc.
Because of all of these amazing properties, ginger is not only an effective anti-inflammatory that relieves arthritis related pain, but also an immune-booster, helping to prevent and battle cold and flu. According to studies from the University of Maryland Medical Center, 2tbsp of freshly shredded or chopped ginger in water, 2-3 times a day, acts as an effective treatment. It soothes the gut, reduces nausea (this works for pregnancy and motion-related nausea too) and congestion, boosts your appetite, and helps you absorb more nutrients. It also gets rid of pesky flatulence and (unrelated) is said to be an effective aphrodisiac!
4- Cancer, Cholesterol, & Blood Sugar
On a more serious note, a University of Minnesota study has found that ginger may slow colorectal cancer cell growth. It has also been linked to cell death in ovarian cancer cells. Since tumour growth is linked to inflammation, this makes sense! If that isn’t enough, it reduces risk of stroke because it inhibits fatty deposits in your arteries. Other studies on rats have found that ginger lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and raises HDL (the good), as well as helping to regulate your blood glucose levels which impact weight loss, weight gain, and energy levels.
Have I forgotten anything?
5- Skin, Hair, Nails (and Stinky Breath)
Ginger helps kill the bacteria in your mouth, which makes it smell bad. So you can add some juiced ginger to warm water and gargle with it. Having a breakout? From acne to less severe pimples, part of the cause is inflammation. So see point number 1. You can add some juiced ginger to the area and leave it for a few minutes. If the burning sensation is too strong, dilute it slightly. Drinking ginger tea (boiling ginger root, or adding ginger juice to warm water) helps detoxify you from the inside out, which improves your skin, hair, and nail growth. One reason for these amazing effects is the fact that ginger helps your blood circulation. Another is its anti-fungal properties, which help kill such conditions as yeast infections, jock itch, athlete’s foot and fungal infections in the mouth!
So whether you apply it topically, make a ginger tea, take a ginger shot, or add it more to your diet (grated on salads, in curries, stir-fry, or soups) this is one root that should be a kitchen and medicine cabinet staple. Enjoy!