Ginger is amongst the healthiest (not to mention tastiest) spices in the world.
It’s loaded with antioxidants and other bioactive substances that have strong anti-inflammatory properties for the body and especially the brain.
In fact, ginger is so powerful that research has shown it to prevent and relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a disorder caused by a lack of dopamine.
Here are 11 proven health benefits of ginger which are supported by solid scientific research.
Ginger supports cardiovascular health. Specifically, ginger extracts have been shown to prevent blood clots and improve cardiovascular function.
That means that a glass of ginger juice every day can do wonders for your heart – but you won’t see any magical signs on the bottom line.
The bottom line? Well, you’ll get the exercise you need and that will improve your overall physical condition.
Ginger supports menstrual pain and fertility.
A few years ago, the head of women’s reproductive health at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland led a team of researchers to discover the root cause of irregular menstrual pain.
The end result?
Ginger extract was found to be able to shrink placental adhesions, which in turn could help relieve pain caused by menstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms.
Ginger supports muscle pain. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and so it has some powerful anti-inflammatory activity on the inflammatory response system inside your body.
Whether it’s preventing your joints from swelling or reducing your muscle pain, the bottom line is that you’ll feel better if you add a couple of grams of ginger powder to your multi-vitamin.
Brain function. Ginger can lower levels of stress hormones in your body. This effect is comparable to what happens when you reduce stress by exercising or doing yoga.
The anti-stress effect of ginger extracts makes ginger an ideal addition to your mental health routine.
Stress relief. Last, but certainly not least, the benefit of ginger powder is its ability to help with stress and menstrual pain.
When your mind is stressed, the release of a chemical called neuropeptide Y (NPY) occurs and then gamma-aminobutyric acid ( GABA ) and serotonin are released in the brain to alleviate your symptoms.
However, when your blood pressure is up and you have high anxiety levels, the blood flow to your brain is reduced and the neuropeptide Y is unable to reach its destination.
Ginger provides your brain with a constant flow of neuropeptide Y that alleviates your symptoms, and at the same time, it helps reduce blood flow to your uterus.
Cravings for Food. Ginger also helps you overcome cravings by keeping your stomach revved up all day.
When your stomach is revved up all day long, it signals your brain that there is food so the brain does not send out hunger signals which are often one of the triggers for overeating or other food cravings.
Pain Relief. One of the reasons why ginger may be a useful anti-inflammatory is because it contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols which appear to be able to prevent inflammation of the joints.
Inflammation of the joints leads to pain and inflammation is believed to be one of the causes of menstrual cramps, joint stiffness, and limited mobility.
For this reason, ginger extract may help reduce menstrual pain and other types of lower back pain.
Nausea Relief. Ginger is well known for its anti-inflammatory benefits and for its ability to reduce nausea when consumed during times of sickness.
When consumed during nausea, ginger extracts seem to release gingerols into the bloodstream, which then appears to reduce nausea.
In fact, drinking ginger tea during a severe bout of nausea has been shown to help lessen nausea and vomiting.
Blood Sugar Lowering Effects. Because of its anti-oxidant properties, the glycoside compound in ginger may be effective in regulating sugar levels in the body, which may help to prevent hypoglycemia, another common cause of low blood sugar.
However, more research is needed to support these claims. More studies need to be done, but medical experts have noted that the use of ginger may also be useful in treating diabetic ulcers and improving the functioning of the liver.
Blood Flow improvement. When ginger is used in the treatment of ailments such as hypertension and high blood pressure, it helps to improve blood flow throughout the body, which may decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Scientific studies have indicated that ginger extract may also reduce blood platelet adhesion, which may lower the risk of stroke.
Whether these benefits are due to the glycoside compound in the ginger extract or due to other compounds added to the extract by manufacturers is not currently known.