Ginger impressive health benefits includes fighting nausea, fighting inflammation, providing relief for osteoarthritis, supporting gut health and wellness, preventing cancer, effective relief for period pains and cramp, a good alternative to NSAIDS, helps manage cholesterol, support blood health, fights muscle soreness, fights bacteria, and supply essential micronutrients.
What is Ginger?
Ginger is a root vegetable that is featured in a variety of cultural cuisines as a spice and health food. It is in the same family as turmeric, which we have also reviewed. Traditionally, ginger has been used for the treatment of low-level nausea and dizziness. It has also gained a reputation as a testosterone booster within fitness circles, when applied in relatively-large quantities. This article will discuss the scientific evidence for the uses ascribed to ginger, as well as those which research have demonstrated beyond the original uses.
Nutritional Value of Ginger
- Calcium 1g
- Carbohydrate 18g
- Dietary fiber 2g
- Iron 3g
- Magnesium 10g
- Potassium 415 mg
- Sodium 13mg
- Vitamin B-6 10g
- Vitamin C 18g
13 Impressive Health Benefits of Ginger
As a traditional cure for nausea, ginger has been utilized in a variety of products, from herbal remedies to formal medicines, for off-setting symptoms of illness. Whether in the form of a lemon and ginger tea or a powdered supplement, the evidence strongly suggests that ginger can reliably effect nausea – especially those associated with pregnancy, sea-sickness or regular travel sickness . This is varied based on the quantity, but testing suggests anywhere between 1 and 3g can be consumed without negative effects, affecting symptoms and can be incorporated into either food or liquid beverages.
Ginger, like its cousin turmeric, has a profound effect on the inflammatory processes of the body – especially those associated with osteoarthritis. Ginger appears to suppress inflammatory processes during/after consumption, but can also be applied as a topical liquid treatment for pain, especially associated with joint soreness . The effects are not comparable to heavy painkillers, but bear a statistical significance similar to that of the NSAID ibuprofen – without the stomach irritation!
3. Osteoarthritis Relief
The specific implications for osteoarthritis are clear to see, when it is remembered that the effects of ginger-based salves are specifically effective for joint-based conditions. Whilst it has been shown to be similar to ibuprofen on general pain, it is slightly less effective than ibuprofen in the treatment of the symptoms of osteoarthritis themselves . Even so, we must consider the fact that it was superior to placebo and does not have the harmful side-effects associated with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen.
4. Gut Health and Wellness
Ginger, like many other root spices (and the closely-related turmeric), has profound positive effects on the way that the body digests foods and can positively effect long-term gut health, including reducing the risk of serious concerns such as cancer. The consumption of ginger is associated with two major factors in the digestion of foods: inflammation protection of the gut and the increase speed of “gastric motility”. Simply put, ginger causes us to digest food more quickly whilst also protecting the gut from the negative effects of high usage .
5. Cancer Prevention
The effects of it are not just short-term, however, with some early evidence suggesting that it can protect us from colonic/colorectal cancers . This form of cancer is associated with a variety of dietary factors (such as low dietary fiber intake, low consumption of leafy greens or the excessive intake of primarily-processed red meats), meaning that those who are more at-risk due to their diets will benefit more from the positive effects of ginger consumption.
6. Period Pains and Cramps
One of the most practically-helpful health benefits of ginger is the effect it may have on dysmenorrhea, or ‘period pain’. As mentioned before, pains such as this are often treated with NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen – compounds which have severe gastro-intestinal health effects. The negative effects of such compounds can accumulate over time and, with the regular and cyclical onset of menstrual pain, this can cause near-chronic damage to such tissues .
7. Alternative to NSAIDs
When we replace these substances with natural remedies such as ginger, whose anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties have already been noted, we see a comparable effect on pain without any side effects or digestive problems . In fact, as mentioned above, this food can actually improve gut health – something that we may need if we are accustomed to solving problems with ibuprofen. The interesting thing is that this study used very slight quantities of ginger compared to other clinical trials: dysmenorrhea pain was treated with only 1g of ginger whereas nausea-related illnesses are typically treated with 1-3g. It seems plausible that further research, focusing on the administration of greater, supplemental qualities may yield further insights into dose-dependent effects. Simply put, it may be possible that more ginger results in more pain relief.
8. Blood Health: Cholesterol Management
Early studies suggest that it can decrease total blood cholesterol , improving blood health and reducing the chances of developing severe heart complications associated with hypertension, heart attack, stroke, aneurism and general arterial plaque problems. The regular consumption of ginger, when considering the dietary effects, anti-inflammatory processes and the regulation of blood cholesterol, may make a serious difference to the health and longevity of our hearts.
9. Blood Health: Other Lipids
Aside from simply affecting cholesterol levels, the study  touches on the fact that it’s consumption can also reduce levels of almost all other lipids in the bloodstream. HDL, LDL and triglyceride levels were shown to decrease in-line with the reductions in cholesterol when ginger was consumed. Again, this will reduce blood pressure and have positive effects on the heart’s health – whilst there is disagreement about the degree of effect associated with triglyceride in the bloodstream, it has been acknowledged that their presence increases the chance of heart attacks. Anything that reduces these, such as dietary ginger intake, is a positive change.
Aside from simply improving the risks associated with Alzheimer’s disease, it can actively improve the memory of healthy individuals. Whist the results appear to be minor, cognitive abilities and memory are improved by ginger consumption among middle-aged women . These were reported on doses lower than 1g, so we may assume that there are some positive effects to a greater dietary intake.
11. Muscle Soreness
The anti-inflammatory processes that have been ascribed to ginger may also be able to improve athletes and fitness enthusiasts’ recovery from training. Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) are a common response to exercise and can be incredibly unpleasant: they include soreness of muscles, tightness, creaky joints and general difficulty in movement. The consumption of ginger has only been demonstrated in limited studies and circumstances , but there are hypothetical reasons to suppose that this would occur. Improvements in blood health, anti-inflammatory effects and the micronutrients included in ginger will all have positive impacts on the muscles and could improve recovery.
12. Antibacterial Effects
Gingerol, an active ingredient in ginger and clearly named for the spice, has profound anti-bacterial effects . The consumption of dietary ginger can lower the odds of contracting bacterial infections and has been linked to digestive, dental  and soft-tissue resistance to disease. There are a variety of different mechanisms for this, but for the consumer, the important part is simply that an increased role for ginger in the diet will correlate with less illness and infection.
13. Micronutrient Profile
Finally, but definitely one of the most important aspects, is the micronutrient and phytonutrient content of Ginger. Whilst the specific effects of many of these compounds have been discussed above, the general intake of nutrients is one of the most important parts of structuring a diet and it is important to know the practical uses. Ginger’s main active nutrients are Chromium, Magnesium, Zinc and Potassium. Between them, these nutrients play important roles in blood circulation, proper growth, tissue repair, reproductive health, bone density and metabolic health. For example, ginger has a comparable per-100g rate of potassium to bananas – a food that has had a reputation for potassium content for decades. Whilst we might not consume large quantities of ginger, the presence of a variety of effective micronutrients only makes it a more attractive and effective “superfood”.
Disputed: Does Ginger increase Testosterone?
Ginger has some low-viability myths surrounding the effects it may or may not have on reproductive functions, testosterone and various sport-related concerns. The problem with these is specifically their low-viability and the sketchy methods used to promote them. These all stem from a single study , which used undisclosed quantities of ginger to affect reproductive and hormonal health in men who are already infertile. The problems associated with this study are clear. Firstly, it deals with a population that cannot be representative of the wider, general population. Those who are infertile are already suffering some form of reproductive/hormonal deficiency or disorder and it may well be the case that the effects of ginger are only relevant to those who are already below necessary thresholds. If you’re deficient, ginger may help.
Secondly, the study that suggests the effectiveness of ginger in the improvement of serum testosterone levels did not include a quantity in their research methods. This just means that the already-flawed study provides no reliable way of increasing testosterone or reproductive health, because we cannot simply guess the dosage of a nutrient. Additionally, there was no double-blind control, meaning that the study could easily have mis-reported findings. Overall, it seems that ginger has a variety of effects on human health, but testosterone levels does not appear to be on this list, based on the existing evidence.
More Ginger Benefits
14. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Various studies have proved that high levels of LDL (lipoproteins a.k.a. bad cholesterol) straightforwardly contribute to drastic cardiovascular problems. The diet you consume on a daily basis influence LDL levels, and so throwing some nutritious options into your regimen is highly recommended.
This is where Ginger can play its role. Consuming ginger in any form maintains cardiovascular health and keeps cardiac functioning on track, whether you have heart diseases or not.
15. Fights Cancer
Cancer occurs due to an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in your body; and it can get fatal. Various studies have revealed that ginger extract can combat distinctive types of cancer such as colon, pancreatic, ovarian, and breast cancer.
This is possible due to a substance 6-gingerol found in raw ginger root in large amounts; however, more studies are required to support this claim.
16. It is Antibacterial
A piece of fresh ginger can treat plenty of minor health ailments including several kinds of infections which can turn fatal if left untreated. In Ginger lies the ability to inhibit infectious bacteria because it is a storehouse of antibacterial components and gingerol.
You can opt for ginger to dismantle oral bacteria that contribute to gums inflammation such as periodontitis and gingivitis.
17. Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
Oxidative stress on the organs leads to chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Ginger can help prevent the onset effectively due to antioxidants.
There could be various internal and external factors that contribute to cognitive decline. However, adequate levels of antioxidants can ward off the elements promoting brain functioning.
18. Promotes Digestion
Gas, bloating, and irregular bowel movements are a symptom of indigestion. Incorporating fresh ginger into daily recipes prevent the occurrence of stomach issues without hurting your health.
19. Treats Pain
Ginger, either fresh or dried has been used to combat various pains for centuries. You can find it as the main ingredient in several home remedies to reduce menstrual pain. Moreover, you can consume ginger tea when suffering from a headache or a migraine.
Despite that, you should consult with your primary health care provider if the pain does not go away in a day or two and refrain from self-medication.
20. Maintains Blood Sugar Levels
A recent study has discovered a fascinating fact about raw ginger that it maintains high blood sugar levels and has positive effects on Type-II Diabetes. People with diabetes are prone to a high sugar level in the bloodstream and a minor negligence in this context can lead to various complexities.
21. Reliefs Nausea
Sipping on some freshly-prepared ginger tea can effectively treat nausea. This is particularly helpful for cancer patients taking chemotherapy and pregnant women who suffer from morning sickness.
Be sure to discuss your condition with your doctor before incorporating ginger tea into your diet.
22. Strengthens Immune System
Your immune system prevents your body from falling vulnerable to infectious bacteria, oxidative stress, and cancerous cells. However, that is only possible if you possess robust immunity.
Nutritionists believe that consuming ginger in any form on a daily basis can strengthen your immune system. Not to mention, it is enriched with antioxidants which alleviate health dismantling factors in no time.
23. Works as a Detoxifier
You may intake medicines to treat a certain health problem or speed up the recovery process. Do you know some of them can damage your liver?
Getting rid of chemicals along with toxins, and excess salts is essential. You will be delighted to find that a fresh piece of ginger can work as a natural detoxifier.
24. Beneficial for Post Exercise Fatigue
Muscles tear and stretch due to intense body movement which ultimately leads to muscle fatigue; long exercise sessions can get draining and painful. Post-exercise fatigue is a common problem and you need food to speed up the recovery process; ginger works.
And, adding a teaspoon of ginger powder to your post-workout smoothie can become the quickest way to ward off the fatigue. Health experts suggest regular consumption of ginger strengthens your muscles allowing you to handle hardcore exercises.
25. Promotes Circulation
Lack of minerals and slow metabolic rate hinders proper circulation in your body. Using ginger in any way along with a well-balanced diet increase iron levels in your body. This way, each organ receive required amount of blood to function accurately.
26. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is seen as a source of many health problems in senior and young adults alike. You can overcome joint and respiratory tract inflammation via ginger tea.
27. Treats Fungal Infections
The growth of a yeast called Candida leads to fungal infections on your toenail. A fresh piece of ginger can relieve the condition in a short time span due to its antibacterial properties.
28. Treats Cold and Flu
Ginger has been battling seasonal colds and flu for centuries. Consuming ginger tea topped with lemon and honey can treat flu and regain lost energy.
Ginger, as a medicinal supplement or foodstuff, is strongly-recommended. Aside from the effects it has on the taste of food, it also provides us with a wealth of anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Reducing pain and improving universal wellbeing is a great reason to eat anything, but for those suffering with chronic joint problems or aches and pains, it can have even more pronounced effects. The versatility of ginger makes it an easy food to consume and it is a wonder that such root-spices are not more widely used in foods and dietary supplements.