In this article today we shall be covering various aspects of Ginger which includes the health Benefits of ginger, Nutritional Benefits of ginger, the side effects of ginger, and as well as the various types or forms of ginger.
WHAT IS GINGER?
Ginger is a spice that comes from the fresh or dried root of the ginger plant, Zingiberofficinale. Ginger has been known for its several scientific properties and nutritional values.
In Western cooking, ground ginger often flavors cookies, quick breads, and drinks such as ginger ale, tea, and coffee. It is also very common to find ginger in Caribbean dishes.
Ginger constituents are 80% moisture, 2% protein, 2% fiber, 1% mineral, 0.9% fat, and 12% carbohydrate.
PROPERTIES OF GINGER
- Potency: spicy
- Taste: bitter
- Properties: light, adhesive and thick
Types and Forms of Ginger
- Whole fresh roots, which provide the freshest taste. It is is available in two forms: young and mature.
- Dried roots: Dried ginger is usually found in whole fingers and also in slices. It is usually soaked in recipe liquid before using
- Powdered ginger, which is a dried root that has been ground
- Preserved or ‘stem’ ginger, which is made from fresh young roots that have been peeled, sliced and cooked in sugar syrup
- Crystallised or candied ginger, which is also cooked in sugar syrup, then air-dried and rolled in sugar.
- Pickled ginger, which is made by thinly slicing the root and pickling it in vinegar. In Japan this is known as gari, and often accompanies sushi to refresh the palate between courses
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Benefits Of Ginger
Ginger root has a long range of health benefits, including improving digestion, improving immunity, maintaining blood sugar levels, and harmful cholesterol levels. Below are some of the health benefit of ginger;
- May Support Brain Health: Consuming ginger has also been linked to supporting your brain health. One study using ginger extract demonstrated supported cognitive function and enhanced working memory.
- Blood-Sugar Regulator: Ginger reduces blood sugar levels and regulates the mind-body system to keep blood sugar levels in check and prevent chronic hyperglycemia.
- Supports Digestion: Ginger actually stimulates the muscles of your intestines. This is also known as digestive motility, and it helps your body break down food particles and move food and other substances out of your digestive tract. The result? Quicker, more comfortable digestion and less bloating and gas. If you ever suffer from any digestive distress, such as upset stomach, indigestion, heartburn or bloating, you may want to try ginger tea.
- May Soothe an Upset Stomach and Nausea: If you ever have an upsetting stomach you can give ginger a try. Ginger has properties which can soothe an upset stomach. People have been using dried ginger to help offset that dreaded nauseous feeling that accompanies an upset stomach for thousands of years . It’s still used today by medical doctors and other healthcare providers to treat stomachaches as well. A spoonful of our ginger pear jam might be a sweet fix for an upset stomach.
- Prevents Lines and Wrinkles: The antioxidants in ginger can be used to help preserve your skin’s collagen, making it an all-natural ingredient for anti-aging routines. You can reap the benefits by cooking with fresh ginger. For more targeted results, rub a small slice of fresh ginger on skin, up to three times a day.
- Fights Cancer: Thanks to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of ginger, it’s been heavily credited to helping combat a handful of diseases. Because of this, ginger has been widely studied and used to manage—and even prevent—some cancers, too.
- Reduces Inflammation: Inflammation occurs naturally even in healthy individuals. It’s a natural and healthy response to protect the body from injuries or sickness. However, when inflammation is excessive or chronic, it can be very damaging. In fact, researchers have found that chronic inflammation is at the root of many common diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. The active constituents in raw ginger—gingerol, shogaol, and paradol—are responsible for many of the natural anti-inflammatory effects that ginger provides. Ginger has been shown to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (small proteins released by cells to communicate with other cells in the body). Pro-inflammatory cytokines are responsible for the upregulation of inflammatory reactions, meaning that these reactions happen more often in the body.
- Antineoplastic: Ginger is a powerful antineoplastic agent. In several studies, extracts of ginger suppress cell proliferation and act against resistance of cancerous cells.
- Regulation of Blood Glucose and Lipid levels: Ginger is very effective in lowering blood glucose level when same has been taken in dried form. It also decreases cholesterol and triglyceride level. Long term usage helps to increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations (Duke and Ayensu, 1985; Afzal et al., 2011; Kim et al., 2007; Li et al., 2012).
- Antibacterial: Ginger has shown good antimicrobial effect against both Gram positive and negative bacteria; however, severally, this effect is reduced due to heating
Ginger Benefits for Women
Many women know how debilitating menstrual pain can be. There are over-the-counter pain medications dedicated to this specific pain, but ginger may also provide relief.
One study found that ginger is as effective in reducing the pain associated with dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) in women.
Menstrual cramps in the abdomen and lower back are common in dysmenorrhea. That’s great news for women! Next time you experience cramping during your menstrual cycle, give ginger a try.
Nutritional Benefits of Ginger And Its Healing Effects
There are many great reasons why you should taking advantage of ginger Nutritional Benefits routinely. Some of these reason are due to its nutritional benefits and how well it heals our bodies which include:
- It is a powerful antioxidant: Ginger is a powerful antioxidant that aids in immunity and has a germ-fighting agent in it.
- It can relieve pain: Studies have shown that daily consumption reduces pain in patients with arthritis. It’s also known to help with menstrual pain and other pain we have within our bodies.
- Ginger reduces inflammation: Several studies have shown daily use can reduce and keep inflammation down.
- It aids in digestion: Compounds found in ginger are known to help heal irritation of the stomach and help with bile production and stimulate saliva for better digestion.
- Ginger is great for detoxification purposes: Ginger is widely used for detoxification purposes. It is known to release and eliminate intestinal gas, as well as soothe the stomach
- It is a good source of the amino acid cysteine: The amino acid cysteine found in Ginger is a building block found throughout our bodies that helps build proteins in our bodies. Our bodies turn cysteine into glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant and a great resource for our immune systems
How to Use Ginger
Knowing all these health benefits of ginger is great, but how can you easily incorporate ginger in your daily routine? Ginger is pretty spicy, so you may not enjoy its taste. Luckily, there are many options for those who love ginger and those who may be new to the root.
- Fresh ginger root: This is the most potent form of ginger, but also the most versatile. You can slice it and steep it in hot water for tea, mince it into stir-fry dishes, juice it, add it to your smoothies, or even take a slice and suck on it! Dried ginger or ginger juice is great for a mid day snack.
- Ground ginger: Ground ginger can be used in similar ways to fresh ginger. It can be steeped in hot water for tea or added to your favorite recipes. Powdered ginger is also great to use for baking.
- Ginger capsules: This is the easiest way to get ginger into your diet—especially if you aren’t a fan of the taste! Ginger capsules, or ginger supplements, are simple. The ground ginger powder is added to a capsule for easy consumption at any time of day.
- Ginger tea: As mentioned, you can make ginger tea using fresh ginger or ground ginger. But you can also buy ready-to-go ginger extract tea bags at the store. These are great to have on hand if feel nauseated or want to settle your stomach after eating.
- Ginger chews: Ginger chews are like ginger candies and tend to be more mild in flavor and can be taken anywhere. Make sure to check the ingredients to make sure you’re not consuming unwanted ingredients like corn syrup.
- Ginger oil: Ginger oil can be taken internally or rubbed topically to treat pain. Ginger essential oil has many soothing properties and is useful to use for massages.
With all the health benefits ginger has to offer and all the different ways you can consume ginger, it’s a no brainer to start incorporating it into your daily life!
Side Effects of Ginger
Knowing these several health and nutritional benefits of ginger you may ask are there any effects of ginger to the human health?if this is your question then we have taken time to explain and provide you with an answer. The effects of ginger are as follows;
- Leads to Diarrhoea: If taken in large quantities, ginger can cause diarrhea. Gingerols, the active ingredients in ginger, speed up the passage of food through the intestines and may cause diarrhea . While this was confirmed in animal studies, more studies in humans are warranted.
- Blood Pressure Problems: Ginger is said to be able to lower blood pressure very effectively. This is one of the main benefits people and doctors appreciate in this spicy herb so much. However, if you are currently taking some medications that are supposed to lower the blood pressure, you should avoid eating ginger.
- Pregnancy Help and Danger: Side effects of ginger during pregnancy are among the most unpleasant ones. While taking ginger during pregnancy can help fight nausea, headaches, and dizziness, ginger is often blamed for miscarriage! It’s said that you are safe if you take only 1500mg daily, but you can never be sure until you consult your physician.
- Affects The Heart: Heart experts recommend that those taking blood pressure medications should avoid ginger intake. It is believed that a high dose of ginger aggravates heart conditions and can lead to irregularities in the heart.
- Mouth Irritation: There are food items that cause allergy when consumed. This is also called Oral Allergy Syndrome. According to experts, it often happens with the intake of ginger, where your mouth starts to itch. This irritation leads to an unpleasant taste. In some cases, related allergies include tingling and swelling of the mouth.
Some people discover that they are allergic to ginger only after tasting it for the first time. The itching, swelling, and tingling of the mouth, lips, all the parts of the skin that have contacted ginger are the side effects of ginger root and signs of the allergy.
Overall ginger has more benefit to offer to the human body and it is highly recommended by experts that you should take atleast once as while.