15 Amazing Health Benefits Of Ginger & Its Side-Effects
Ginger, an aromatic spice that is popular for enhancing the taste of your meal, is very closely associated with some vital health and beauty benefits. Be it weight loss or stomach ulcers, the list of the benefits of ginger for one’s body is completely unmatched.
Known for its zesty, sharp and spicy taste, ginger is considered to be one of the healthiest spices used in kitchens across India. Its pungent and woody flavor, which helps in providing earthiness to the overall flavor of the meal, has been a key contributor for its popularity. But did you know that there is also a long list of health benefits (scientifically proven) associated with its consumption?
With benefits such as helping treat viral infections and its ability to aid in digestion, ginger not only enhances the aroma of your meal, but it can also act as a helping hand that’ll guide you towards healthier living. Ginger is also used in numerous forms in several Ayurvedic home remedies such as Ginger water that build immunity and strength. It is used as a key ingredient in homemade cough relievers and kadhas that help improve a sore throat. Let’s take a look at the nutritional content of this aromatic ingredient.
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Incredible Health Benefits Of Ginger
Ginger is a storehouse of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds such as curcumin, pantothenic acid, capsaicin, and salicylate. Ginger is also rich in vitamin C, which further boosts its antioxidant properties.
Apart from vitamin C, ginger is also rich in carbohydrate, protein, and dietary fiber, all of which provide it with the necessary ability for tackling digestive issues. Minerals such as sodium, iron, magnesium, and potassium form a relatively major chunk of ginger’s nutritional constituents.
Now that we are clear about the nutritional value of ginger, it is time to discuss some extra-ordinary health benefits that correspond with a healthy consumption of this spice (being a flavorful spice is just the half of it).
Here is the list of benefits that justify ginger’s monumental reputation:
1. Beneficial For Digestion
The compounds present in ginger are known for improving the intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients, or we can just say that it makes it easy. Moreover, the sudden rise in blood sugar can reduce the rate of digestion, which might result in low absorption of nutrients, since it requires a certain amount of time. However, the consumption of ginger can help in the regulation of high blood sugar and this helps to maintain the digestive process.
2. A Natural Remedy For Cold
Consumption of ginger is known to produce warmth in the body, which helps in minimizing the symptoms of the flu or cold. It is a popularly prescribed natural remedy for the prevention of illnesses and infections. Adequate consumption of ginger tea, providing certain warmth, induces sweating, which further helps in the removal of toxins and results in a much healthier system. Ginger tea is considered to be a great remedy for sore throat and cold.
3. Reduces Arthritis Induced Pain
With its anti-inflammatory contents, ginger is a savior in disguise when it comes to reducing arthritis pain. Arthritis is a condition that occurs when the immune systems target the muscle tissues instead of foreign materials. This causes inflammation of the tissues, thus resulting in a very painful situation. However, ginger’s consumption is often hailed as a great soothing remedy for this pain due to the presence of anti-inflammatory agents.
4. Ginger Prevents The Occurrence Of Stomach Ulcers
The stomach ulcers are the result of the breaking down of the layer that protects the stomach from the acid that it produces in the first place. The reason behind this breaking down of the protective layer is the infection caused by a bacterium called H. pylori. And this is where ginger comes into play. Adequate consumption of ginger helps in inhibiting the growth of the bacteria and helps in keeping the digestive system safe from other harmful external toxins.
5. Helps In Weight Loss
After learning that ginger is loaded with dietary fiber, deducing its ability for weight management is a sort of a no-brainer. Fiber is considered to the non-digestible part of the food. So, when a food item, rich with fiber, enters the digestive system, the stomach requires a lot of effort in order to completely digest it. This process helps in increasing the metabolism and results in the burning of calories even during the time of digestion.
6. Soothes Asthma Problems
Again due to the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger, it can be associated with the treatment of respiratory issues. One of the main compounds present in ginger that helps with such issues is zerumbone. According to research, the inflammation of the airway is the major reason behind respiratory problems, and that the consumption of ingredients such as ginger can effectively suppress it. (1)
7. Improves Cognitive Ability
As mentioned, ginger is loaded with antioxidants. Free oxygen atoms, or free radicals, when present in the bloodstream, tend to combine with healthy cells. Thus, causing and oxidative stress over the cell walls and damaging the cell. On the other hand, eating antioxidant-rich food increases the concentration of antioxidants, which combine with the free radicals before they get a chance to damage the healthy cells. One of the chief benefits linked with an antioxidant-rich diet is that it prevents the free-radical damage of the neuron pathways, thus preventing neurodegenerative diseases and maintains a healthy cognitive ability.
8. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Apart from all the benefits of one’s digestive system and weight loss, ginger is also popular as a natural remedy for managing cholesterol levels. Its consumption can effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase the HDL cholesterol levels, which helps in the promotion of one’s heart’s health and makes sure that it stays healthy. (2)
9. A Natural Treatment For Diarrhea
This benefit of ginger can be contributed to its fiber-loaded nature. Upon its consumption, the dietary fibers present in ginger add bulk to the stool. Furthermore, ginger also helps in the prevention of stomach spasms and the production of gas, two major symptoms during diarrhoea. (3)
10. Promotes Liver Health
This is, in fact, one of the most important benefits associated with the consumption of ginger. Ginger’s intake can help in the protection of the liver, as it is often prescribed to people suffering from hepatic tuberculosis.
11. Helps In Detoxification
As mentioned earlier, eating ginger can increase the body’s temperature. Some might find it irritating, but sweating helps in driving the toxins away from the system and clean out the skin pores. The other advantage of sweating includes germ-fighting, which is due to the presence of a certain compound called dermcidin.
12. Soothes Muscle Pain
Muscle pains are often caused after sudden or irregular bouts of exercise, which causes the muscle to undergo inflammation. However, thanks to the anti-inflammatory compounds present in ginger, it can effectively reduce the inflammation, thus soothing the pain caused by it.
Proven Beauty Benefits Of Ginger
Now that we have covered the health aspect of this very popular spice, let’s take a look at what else (apart from health) can it benefit. Beauty, for starters, is the second-most common cause of concern among the public, right after health. And yes, ginger can also act as a great beauty agent. Here are a few reasons for that.
13. Prevents Blemishes And Acne
The antiseptic nature of ginger is something that you cannot ignore. Applying ginger over the skin helps in killing off the bacteria that can cause acne. Thus, it helps in minimizing the spot and acne formation in the skin. Moreover, the cleansing quality makes it a great acne-prevention solution.
14. Helps In Skin Rejuvenation
With its antioxidant properties, ginger can help in the prevention of the skin cells from getting damaged by the free-radicals. This vitamin-rich spice also helps the skin cells in retaining the water, thus keeping them hydrated and your skin rejuvenated.
15. Stimulates Hair Growth
Unbeknownst to most of the general public, the application of ginger paste over the scalp can help in regulating the proper circulation of blood, which also helps in stimulating proper hair growth. The presence of vitamins and minerals is known to strengthen the roots and reduce hair-fall as well.
Various Ways Of Using Ginger
Everyone might be aware of how ginger can be incorporated into a diet. If not, then there is no need to worry, for this section is quite simple and small as compared to the discussion of its benefits. If you are thinking of adding ginger into your diet, then you are in luck, for there are many ways in which it can be incorporated:
#1 Ginger Tea
If in the future, you have a sore throat, then the consumption of ginger tea would probably be the first advice that somebody gives you. And it indeed acts as a wonderful cure. Made from the infusion of fresh ginger in water, this beverage can also be your go-to-drink whenever you fill nauseated.
#2 Ginger Oil
This is one of the biggest contributors to the beauty benefits of ginger. If you want to maximize the beauty benefits of the spice, then ginger oil might just be what you are looking for. Rubbing it over the skin can help you retain that ever-glowing youthfulness, and applying on your scalp could make your hair stronger.
#3 Fresh Ginger
Fresh ginger is one of the most popular forms in which ginger is consumed, as it gives the consumer a variety of options when it comes to its preparation. It can be steeped in water in order to make tea, added to the smoothies, and even added to your food as a taste and aroma enhancer.
#4 Ground Ginger powder
Very much like the fresh ginger, ground ginger can be added to every other edible item for enhancing its taste. Furthermore, its powdered form makes it highly suitable for baking purposes.
Incorporating ginger into your daily routine is a simple task, however, it also involves a strictly disciplined meal schedule, as you cannot overload on ginger.
Side-Effects Of Ginger
Heavy and unregulated consumption of ginger can lead to some damaging health conditions, one of them being heartburn, a condition that occurs due to the rising acidity of the stomach and causes a burning sensation in the chest. Some of the other side-effects include excessive bleeding conditions, cardiac arrhythmia, and abdominal discomfort.
Though the side-effects of ginger sound quite serious, it is important for you to know that if you consume ginger in a regulated and healthy manner, none of these symptoms will come into play. In fact, if you are responsible with your ginger consumption, it might just prove to be a great ingredient for your health.
FAQs About Ginger
We tried to answer this frequently asked questions on Ginger.
What is the scientific name for ginger?
Zingiber officinale is the scientific name for ginger. Ginger is also known as adrak (अदरक) in Hindi.
Is it good to eat raw ginger?
Yes. A little amount of ginger will help you keep heartburn and acidity at bay. Due to its digestive qualities, ginger is a great addition to your daily diet.
Is Ginger good for cough?
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can help relieve cough. This is exactly why most Indian desi-nuskas for cough include ginger in them.
How much ginger should I take daily?
According to doctors, not more than 3-4 grams of ginger extract should be consumed in a day. For pregnant woman, the dosage cuts down to 1 gram.