While ginger is generally used in cooking, it also has been used for thousands of years as a healing agent. Consuming it on a daily basis offers a variety of health benefits for your heart, digestive system, and brain. Today, ginger’s health benefits are confirmed even scientifically.
Namely, ginger contains more than 100 active compounds, which provide its healing properties. Of these, the most widely investigated are gingerols and shogaols. Ginger can be incorporated into many recipes, but one of the easiest ways to capitalize on the health benefits is to drink it in the form of ginger juice.
The benefits of ginger juice
As we mentioned above, the main bioactive compounds in ginger are gingerols and shogaols, which have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-supportive properties. Here are a few reasons why you should start consuming ginger juice every morning.
1. Ginger can boost your immune system
Ginger can help boost your immune system because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation can compromise your immune system and weaken its ability to fight disease. Foods that are loaded with antioxidants, such as ginger, can help to fight that inflammation and help to keep your immune system healthy. There have been several animal studies that have shown ginger to be effective at improving the immune response, and it has gained considerable interest in regards to its potential therapeutic use for the prevention and treatment of various diseases.
2. Ginger can aid in digestion
Numerous people suffer from chronic indigestion, which is repeated pain or discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. One of the main causes of chronic indigestion is delayed gastric emptying (how long it takes for food to leave your stomach). The active compounds in ginger stimulate digestion by increasing the production of bile as well as increasing the activity of digestive enzymes. It also reduces inflammation in the digestive system and improves the absorption of nutrients.
According to studies, ginger has been shown to reduce the time it takes for your stomach to empty after a meal. One study of 24 healthy individuals showed that taking 1 to 2 grams of ginger before a meal sped up gastric emptying time by 50 percent. This can reduce the pain of indigestion significantly, if not eliminate it altogether.
3. Ginger can help reduce nausea
Historically, ginger has been used to treat morning sickness and seasickness, and it is probably the most well-known for its ability to treat nausea and vomiting. Today, ginger is a common safe home remedy for nausea during cancer treatment, morning sickness, and pregnancy.
According to studies, just 1 to 1.5 grams of ginger can significantly reduce nausea in pregnant women. As always, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant and considering using ginger (or any other supplement) to reduce pregnancy-related symptoms. Moreover, according to studies, ginger extract works better than dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) against symptoms of motion sickness.
4. Ginger can help prevent cancer
The anti-cancer properties of ginger can be assigned to gingerol, the component mentioned above that is found in large amounts in raw ginger. It has been shown that gingerol inhibits the proliferation and invasion of cancer cells by blocking angiogenesis in tumors.
According to studies, just 2 grams of ginger root daily is enough to reduce pro-inflammatory molecules required for the development of tumors in your colon. Moreover, there is an increasing body of evidence that ginger has an inhibitory effect on various types of cancer, including breast cancer, and ovarian cancer; however, more research needs to be done to determine exactly how it does this, and how we can harness it in cancer treatments.
5. Ginger can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease
Experts believe that oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are two of the main factors that lead to Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. According to studies, ginger’s high gingerol content, along with other related bioactive compounds like shogaols have been shown to reduce the inflammatory response that occurs in the brain with age in animal studies.
Other studies have shown that gingerol can directly enhance brain function. One study gave sixty middle-aged women a daily dose of 800 milligrams ginger extract daily and found that after two months the women showed increased cognitive function and reaction time when compared with a control group.
6. Ginger can help reduce arthritis pain
The efficacy of ginger in reducing joint pain caused by arthritis can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of its main bioactive compound, gingerol. According to studies, concentrated doses of ginger extract can reduce joint inflammation and relieve arthritis pain.
Ginger can also be effective against gout, another form of arthritis that is caused by a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints. One study showed that applying ginger topically, in the form of a paste, reduced patients’ pain that was caused by high levels of uric acid. Other studies have also suggested that ginger taken internally can reduce uric acid levels in the serum, and therefore reduce pain.
7. Ginger can help lower blood sugar levels
According to a 2015 study performed on patients with type 2 diabetes, two grams of ginger powder per day reduced blood glucose levels by 12 percent and improved HbA1c, which denotes long-term blood sugar levels, significantly. This led to a 10 percent reduction in blood glucose levels over a period of twelve weeks. These numbers are very impressive and warrant future research, as this could also considerably reduce someone’s risk for heart disease.
How to make ginger juice
There are many recipes for ginger juice available on the internet and in cookbooks. While they all, of course, contain ginger, there are often other ingredients that are added for flavor and for added nutrition.
Ginger, turmeric, carrot juice
This recipe combines the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger with the powerful health benefits of turmeric and carrot to provide you with a health boost.
- 3 or 4 organic carrots
- 1 red organic apple
- 1/2 a piece of organic ginger root
- 1/2 a piece of organic turmeric root
- 1/4 organic lemon (with the peel)
- Place all ingredients in a juicer or blender.
- Blend together.
Ginger, celery, cucumber, and lemon juice
- 1 medium-sized cucumber
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 slice lemon
- 1 one-inch young ginger root
- Wash ingredients thoroughly.
- Cut cucumber and celery into small pieces.
- Peel and chop the ginger root.
- Add the lemon along with the other ingredients and juice them together.
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