Ginger: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Ginger: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

Ginger is one of the most common spices in the world.

It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family, which turmeric and cardamom belong to as well (1).

About two centuries ago, ginger made its first appearance in the Mediterranean area when it was brought from China to the ancient Roman empire.

Only until the Middle Ages did ginger become popular in the entire Europe and then, it became available in American continent thanks to Spanish explorers.

But it is worth bearing in mind that ginger has its origin from Southeastern Asia, where spicy herbs are popularly used in cuisines.

In addition its applications in cooking, ginger is also famous for its medicinal benefits which have been reported in many written documents in China and India.

However, there is still a need for scientific analysis to make reliable and exact statements over what is ginger good for.

Nutrition Facts

Ginger health benefits mainly result from its nutritional content (2).

One of the most important substances in ginger is gingerol.

This antioxidant and anti-inflamamtory substance is responsible for ginger’s capacity to deal with simple and complicated ones.

The presence of volatile oils in ginger is also an outstanding characteristic which brings many extraordinary uses.

Health Benefits of Ginger

Below are top 10 benefits of ginger that have been tested for years. They can help you stay healthy in the simplest way.

1. Less Pain and Swelling in Muscles

Ginger - Less Pain and Swelling in Muscles

One of the most popular benefits of ginger is to lower the possibility of pain and swelling in your muscles.

Specifically, gingerols in ginger are super anti-inflammatory, which plays an important role in controlling painful muscles.

This quality is super beneficial for people who often experience pain and soreness because of intense physcial performance or exercises (3).

It is important to remember that you will not witness this ginger health benefit immediately.

Instead, it will become clearer if you are patient to use ginger frequently.

Other foods that bring the same effect are bananas or those rich in potassium.

Bottom Line: One of amazing health benefits of ginger is to prevent painful and swollen muscles due to intense exercises.

2. Treat Osteoarthritis

The second among ginger health benefits is to help patients with osteoarthritis overcome some of its annoying symptoms efficiently.

Osteoarthritis is commonly seen in old people, but it is not abnormal for young people to experience it if they have some joint injuries (4).

Those who suffer from osteoarthritis are likely to feel painful in the knees.

Stiffiness and soreness are also common problems when it comes to osteoarthritis.

As a consequence, people’s mobility is worse, which leads to many discomforts in daily life.

The recommendation is to use ginger to speed up the osteoarthritis treatment (5).

One study with the participation of 247 people supported the efficiency of ginger in reducing pain caused by osteoarthritis (6).

Not many foods can actually support osteoarthritis treatment, so ginger might be the best choice. Besides, you can see it in avocados health benefits.

3. Handle Respiratory Problems

There have been some studies to shed light on ginger health benefits in preventing common respiratory problems.

In one study, the antiviral quality of ginger can lower the risk of infections with human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) (7).

Another study focused on the supplement of ginger for those who have acute respiratory distress syndrome.

The result showed that it took patients a much shorter period of time to recover (8).

Bottom Line: One of the most effective benefits of ginger is to provide you with a quick escape from common respiratory problems.

4. Improve Stomach Function

Ginger - Improve Stomach Function

Among the most common stomach-related problems is indigestion.

Indigestion, or dyspepsia, includes a variety of annoying issues that can happen to your digestive system.

Sometimes, people find it difficult to point their accusing fingers at a specific reason.

In this situation, it is functional dyspepsia (9).

Normally, indigestion is closely related to delayed gastric emptying.

In fact, 40 percent of sufferers are reported to have this problem (10).

Fortunately, we can get rid of functional dyspepsia easily with the support of ginger.

Ginger can make a stimulation in gastric emptying in people suffering from indigestion (11).

In addition, another study involved 24 healthy people.

Its results showed that the consumption of 1.2 grams of powdered ginger before meals could make a 50-percent acceleration in stomach emptying (12).

Bottom Line: Ginger has positive impacts on stimulating stomach emptying, which is good to deal with indigestion.

5. Get Rid of Morning Sickness

Ginger - Get Rid of Morning Sickness

Though pregnancy is one of the best news in women’s life, it can become a nightmare with irritating problems.

Nausea and vomitting are among the most common signs of pregnancy and they are generally described as morning sickness (13).

In fact, ginger has been widely used to deal with these two problems, not only for pregnant women, but also for different subjects (14).

For example, patients using chemotherapy to cope with cancer or children suffering from acute gastroenteritis can use ginger (15) (16).

Nevertheless, when it comes to morning sickness, this type of ginger health benefits is truly outstanding.

A study invited 67 expectant mothers who had a lot of struggle with morning sickness to consume 250 mg of ginger in the continuous 4 days.

The result indicated a decreased frequency of these problems in them (17).

Note: You had better prepare ginger tea and consume it whenever you feel uncomfortable.

  • First, get a ginger root peeled and cut into small pieces.
  • Put them with 2 cups of water into the saucepan and boil the mixture.
  • After the water becomes boiling, you should switch to simmer it in approximately 15 minutes.
  • Then, get it strained.
  • You can use it with lemon juice to have better flavor.

6. Prevent Cancer

It would be a mistake if we do not mention one of the most important benefits of ginger – cancer prevention.

Basically, cancer is the result of uncontrolled cell development in the body.

However, even some small changes in the diet can prevent this harmful growth, like putting some beneficial ingredients into meals.

Ginger, with a richness of essential nutrients, can save you from getting some types of cancer.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common fatal causes for American men.

In fact, this statistics can be much lower if ginger is popular to prevent prostate cancer in men (18).

On the other hand, ginger is also good for patients with colorectal cancer.

2 grams on a daily basis could lessen the number of pro-inflammatory molecules (19) (20).

Nevertheless, there is still an urge to carry out further analysis over the real efficiency of ginger on cancer prevention.

Besides, it is worth concerning that cancer prevention is health benefits of many foods, such as dragon fruit, avocados or brazil nuts as well.

Bottom Line: The presence of 6-gingerol might be the main reason why ginger can become a promising ingredient to protect us from many types of cancer.   

7. Control Cholesterol Levels

Obviously, your diet is influential to your condition of health.

In particular, it has powerful effects on the level of LDL lipoproteins in your body, which is bad (21).

The higher the level of LDL is in your body, the more likely you are to experience heart disease.

Therefore, you should control this bad cholesterol level.

Ginger is beneficial to lower LDL levels, according to a study with the presence of 85 high-cholesterol people (22).

Bottom Line: You ought to include ginger in your daily cooking in order to get the best result in the prevention of heart disease.

8. Strengthen Brain Function

The aging process, with all of its consequences on our body, will happen faster due to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

These two factors worsen cognitive problems, such as Alzheimer’s, and make your brain work less effectively.

Thanks to the abundance of bioactive antioxidants found in ginger, the inflammation in the brain may disappear (23).

In some studies with mouses, ginger can enhance the cognitive function (24).

Bottom Line: The improvement of brain function is one of the best benefits of ginger.

9. Less Menstrual Pain

Ginger - Less Menstrual Pain

Menstrual cycle brings a lot of discomforts to women and menstrual pain seems to be inevitable.

One of the best benefits of ginger is to provide women a quick relief to handle this pain.

According to a research, only 1 gram of powdered ginger consumed on a daily basis could reduce the pain (25).

Bottom Line: The effectiveness of ginger in reducing menstrual pain can be as good as the use of drugs, such as ibuprofen or mefenamic acid.

10. Improve Immunity

Gingerols take responsibility for many of ginger health benefits, one of which is to boost your immunity.

As a result, your body is safe from many viral and bacterial infections (26) (27) (28).

Immunity boost is also one of many green bean health benefits, for example. But why don’t we grab something that is available in almost all kitchen like ginger, right?

Side Effects

In general, ginger makes a great contribution to the improvement of your health.

Nonetheless, it may result in some unwanted consequences.

Because of the presence of salicylates, a blood thinner, ginger is not suitable for those who have bleeding disorders to use.

As ginger is effective in reducing the blood pressure, lightheadedness is a natural sensation if you consume it too much.

Last but not least, beside ginger tea benefits, this type of fluid can trigger heartburn (29).

Infographics

This section is designed to provide you with some infographics to grab a quick understanding of ginger nutrition and health benefits.

Do you agree with all of these amazing health benefits of ginger? You can comment your ideas on the box below or simply share your own experience. 

And do not forget to LIKE, SHARE or PIN this article on social media.

(One Quick Tip: You can pin it onto Pinterest directly with the button on the left top of each picture).

Ginger Nutrition Facts

Ginger Health Benefits

Ginger Health Benefits

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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