The year of the what?
Updated: Mar 17
In honor of the Chinese New Year, the year of the rat, the subject is Ginger! The ginger root we are familiar with is the “rhizome” of a beautiful flowering plant. It can come in different colors; yellow, red and white. It is truly a super food due to its nutrient rich content. Ginger not only has anti-inflammatory properties; it is also an antioxidant. In the world we live in today we can use as much of those two properties as ever.
Where to begin on the ginger route to better health? I crack myself up! What? You didn’t get it? Ginger “route” (root) hahaha! Okay enough of my stupid humor!
I am starting with the one property I have know since I was a child, it helps alleviate nausea. When I was young my mom would always give me flat ginger ale to settle my stomach. It always worked. This is due to the component of ginger called gingerol. Which is amazing, because gingerol is a relative of capsaicin and piperine, in other words, spicy.
As little as 1 gram of ginger has been shown to help with morning sickness, motion sickness and nausea from chemotherapy. Maybe if you consume ginger you could reduce the risk of needing it for that last one, just a theory! In addition to helping nausea it also stimulates digestion. This means the food you ingest moves through the stomach faster, which means the nutrients get to the small intestine faster for absorption. Ever eat Chinese food and feel hungry just a couple hours later…hmmm!
Now for the science… trying to keep these short and concise because there is so much. Nutrient content is not as important as what this root does, so no grams and calories this go around.
· Studies have shown that ginger can lower blood sugar levels and LDL cholesterol levels.
· It is a proven anti-inflammatory, which is important for heart, brain and joint health. Active ingredients in raw ginger inhibit the production of cytokines, these are small proteins that contribute to inflammation.
· Ginger expands blood vessels, which increase circulation, which reduces blood pressure.
· A study showed that 6-gingerol (a component of ginger root) may aid in combating the growth of abnormal cells, meaning cancer. This is not conclusive, but what can it hurt to eat something that taste good and hopefully the study is spot on!
· Ginger has been shown to help with cramps from menstruation. It was a small study, but the women experienced the same effect as taking ibuprofen without damaging their liver.
· Ginger can combat E coli and Bacillus by slowing the growth of the bacteria.
Cooked ginger is not as effective as raw, as is the case with most health sustaining substances. Dried or mildly heated produces shogaols which are twice as pungent and effective as gingerols. When using powders or capsule adjust accordingly,
Always be sure to choose wisely, it doesn’t have to be expensive to be good, but cheap may not always be beneficial. Read the label, if you are not sure of anything please call me I am always here to help!!
I wish you health & joy in life,