GINGER is a spice commonly used in cooking and also in making drinks. It is a root spice that contains a wide range of nutrients and bioactive compounds that are good for various parts of the body system. It is believed to have originated from China, where it was used for culinary and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The health benefits provided by ginger are numerous and some of these are:
- It helps with nausea: This is one of the commonest uses of ginger. It can be used to relieve symptoms of vomiting, seasickness, morning sickness and other forms of nausea. The compounds in it help to alleviate nausea and keep nausea at bay. Also, the ginger flavor can help to balance out the feelings of nausea and prevent vomiting.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties: Research has shown that ginger possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce stiffness and pain in the joints. In diseases that affect the joints such as osteoporosis which involves the degeneration of joints in the body, ginger helps to minimize the pain and stiffness.
- It helps with indigestion: Ginger helps the stomach to empty its contents at a much faster rate. Research has shown that taking the ginger powder before a meal will accelerate the emptying of the stomach by about 50%. Individuals with chronic indigestion usually have recurrent pain and discomfort of the upper stomach and the delayed emptying of the stomach is believed to be a major cause of it. Ginger significantly helps with this condition.
- It helps with menstrual pain: Ginger roots sufficiently reduce the pain felt by women during their menstrual period. When taken in the beginning of the menstrual period, ginger has been found to alleviate pain as effectively as conventional drugs like ibuprofen and mefenamic acid.
- It may help in cancer prevention: Cancer involves the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body system. Raw ginger contains a substance known as 6-gingerol which has anticancer properties and significantly reduces pro-inflammatory signalling molecules in the colon, thereby preventing abnormal growth of the cells. Studies have also shown that ginger may be effective against breast, pancreatic and ovarian cancer.