Ginger is an ancient spice and has been around for ages. So why does this tangy spice get so much respect in the herbal world? Is it worthy of the heavy superhero title superfood?
The simple answer: yes. It’s helpful to the body in many ways (not to mention great for the colon!). Ginger is good for more than just a palate cleanser between trying different pieces of sushi or for Holiday gingerbread cookies. Whether it’s in Chinese cooking or in popular cookies, ginger is a spice not only packing a unique flavor but health benefits.
Not a Newbie! Dating Back Thousands of Years to China
Ginger has been around a long time. Not only has it been used in cooking but it has been noted for its medicinal properties, used in a variety of treatments. It is a flowering plant that has a long rich history, dating back to China to an estimated 5,000 years ago. In Europe in the 13th and 14th century, one pound of ginger was equal to the cost of a sheep. Bahhhh!
The spice is a part of the Zingiberaceae family. It shares a similar relation to other spices such as turmeric, galangal, and cardamom. Other names for ginger include ginger root—the health benefits are enormous, which is why ginger is a part of the superfood team.
Ginger’s medicinal properties include helping with digestion, reducing nausea, helping the body flight common cold or the flu, and like it’s cousin turmeric, helping relieve joint pain. It has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
The anti-inflammatory agents in ginger can help with daily muscle pains, making them less severe. Ginger can also help alleviate muscle soreness due to exercise.
Based on a study by the United States National Library of Medicine, ginger can reduce cholesterol. In the study 85 people were given ginger for 45 days. The results showed a decrease in the bad kinds of cholesterol.
Including ginger in your diet is an all around good idea to stay healthy. It can help you fight off infections.
Remember being given ginger ale as a kid when you were sick? Mom had it half right (the sugar overdose maybe was not the best for you). Ginger can help you feel better when you’re sick, whether it’s the flu or common cold. Ginger is even helpful for pregnant ladies fighting off morning sickness. Using ginger to help an upset stomach goes way back. In fact, fishermen used to chew raw ginger to help with sea sickness.
The spice has a soothing effect, increasing relaxation; it’s been used in combination with massage.
When eating, ginger also helps stimulate the digestive system. This can help increase your metabolism.
Ginger As a Cleanser
Ginger is also good for cleaning the system, particularly for the colon. You know, the organ responsible for processing waste. By helping with digestion, ginger takes out the toxins and waste that cause problems in the colon when stuck there for too long.
This spice a natural remedy compared to other chemicals that is good for the body. These benefits are a good reason to add ginger to your diet. If you don’t like the taste of ginger, you can always take it as a supplement.
If you are looking for an idea to warm up, check out this carrot soup this season. This soup not only has ginger in it but its beneficial cousin turmeric. Not to mention it’s relatively simple to make.