Ginger packs a punch – both in terms of flavor and nutritional clout. This lumpy root may look humble, but underneath its rough skin is a superfood like no other. Anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic and loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients, the list of medicinal properties go on and on. No wonder ginger has become such a culinary staple across the globe.
Used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for colds and flu across Asia, ginger’s effectiveness in battling these pesky viruses has been backed by scientific studies. In 2013, research published in the The Journal of Ethnopharmacology revealed that fresh ginger is effective against human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) infections – a virus responsible for the common cold. So as soon as you feel a cold coming on, remember to reach for the ginger tea.
Suffering from digestive distress? Well ginger might offer some relief. Considered an excellent carminative, ginger promotes the elimination of excessive gas from the digestive system. This makes it an excellent treatment for digestive issues like colic and dyspepsia.
Ginger is stocked with gingerols – a potent anti-inflammatory compound boasting some remarkable health benefits. Notably, gingerols have an analgesic effect on the joints, reducing the pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In particular, one 2001 study found that thanks to the anti-inflammatory effect of these gingerols, ginger extract can be a particularly effective treatment for people suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee.
Ginger has been given to nauseous expectant mothers for centuries – and for good reason. Modern research has shown that ginger does indeed ease nausea, whether it’s caused by morning sickness, motion sickness or even chemotherapy. One study found that taking just one gram of ginger daily may prevent nausea in pregnant women, working better than a placebo to take the edge off any sickness.
Just like many other anti-inflammatory superfoods, ginger has shown promise in fighting chronic inflammatory diseases such as cancer. Research into its full benefits has a long way to go, but a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests the in vitro and in vivo anticancer properties of ginger may well make it effective in managing prostate cancer.
Gingerols don’t just ease joint pain – they’ve been shown to play a role in reducing the risk of infections too. In fact, studies exploring the antibacterial properties of ginger have found it to be especially effective in fighting drug resistant microbial diseases. And it’s not just bacterial infections. Ginger may also help keep fungal infections at bay, including thrush and athlete’s foot.
As we all know, ginger is a tasty addition to so many meals. Whether it’s a spicy gingerbread cookie or a fiery stir fry, ginger adds distinctive warmth that’s completely unbeatable. But of course, when it comes to health, there are a few tricks to make the most of ginger’s nutritional clout.
When it comes to soothing an upset tummy, nothing does the job quite like a hot cup of ginger tea. But this invigorating brew isn’t just for sick days – it’s also the perfect morning pick-me-up.
4-6 thin slices raw ginger (or more, depending on how fiery you like your tea)
1 1/2 – 2 cups water
Juice from 1/2 lime
1-2 tbsp Manuka honey or agave nectar, or to taste
1. Simmer the ginger in water for 10 minutes, or longer for a stronger tea.
2. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and sweeten to taste.
Ginger might seem like just the thing to warm you up when the weather’s miserable, but it also makes a gloriously refreshing juice. Perfect for a sweltering summer’s day.
2 in piece of ginger
1. Wash all produce well.
2. Add all ingredients through juicer
3. Serve with plenty of ice and enjoy!
If you enjoyed this article then you will love our fun ginger recipe – The Five Minute Health Boosting Ginger and Turmeric Latte