Ginger Health Benefits: 8 Reasons Why This Root Rules Winter
The Huffington Post Canada By Arti Patel 03/11/2016
Ginger may only be an option when you’re sick, but there’s good reason to get a dose of it every day.
Ginger has a long list of health benefits from fighting indigestion to boosting immunity, and since the cold and flu season seems to be sticking around, it’s time to learn about what this root can do for you.
Although fresh ginger can be a little intimidating (and spicy!), there are easy ways to consume it says registered dietitian Selena Devries of Kelowna B.C..
“You can simply grate it, skin and all, into recipes,” she tells The Huffington Post Canada. “And to keep it fresh, store it in the freezer with the skin on and take out as needed.”
If you’re new to ginger (or just can’t handle the taste), try a powdered form and mix it into teas or your meals. You can also start adding ginger to the meals you eat on a regular basis — like oatmeal, stir-fry or sauteed veggies.
“Ginger can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. Eating it traditionally pickled will also provide a good dose of probiotics helping to boost your immune system,” she adds.
Eight reasons why ginger should be considered winter’s best superfood
One of the most well known benefits of ginger is to help with reducing nausea, says registered dietitian Selena Devries of Kelowna B.C.. “Try making ginger tea by steeping a one-inch root in one to two cups of hot water for about 10 minutes,” she says. “Sweeten with a dash of honey.”
It Can Help With Indigestion
Upset stomach? Try chewing on candied or crystallized ginger. According to author Gerard E. Mullin of The Inside Tract, ginger helps the stomach to efficiently empty it’s contents.
Ginger Is Anti-Inflammatory
Devries says if you’re suffering from any type of inflammatory disease, ginger is a great root to add to your diet. “It is packed with gingerols and volatile oils which help to decrease inflammation in the body.”
Are you always gassy, bloated or burping? Ginger has a carminative effect, Devries says, meaning it is able to break up and reduce intestinal gas. “Sprinkle fresh ginger on oatmeal, stir-fry and veggie side dishes.”
Sooth Your Muscle Cramps
“Because of ginger’s powerful anti-inflammatory effect, it helps to relieve muscle cramping,” Devries says. If you develop muscle cramps after workouts, try drinking a smoothie with frozen bananas, pineapple, turmeric, hemp hearts, ginger and a milk of your choice.
It’s A Natural Immune Booster
There’s a reason you’re told to drink ginger tea when you’re sick. “Lacto-fermented ginger is a great source of good gut bacteria which will boost the immune system, and help to prevent you from getting sick,” Devries adds. Try fermenting ginger at home or buy a ginger-flavoured kombucha at your local supermarket.
It’s High In Antioxidants
“Antioxidants, which are found in a variety of plant-based foods, help to repair the damage done by harmful, free radicals in the body,” she says. For a high dose of antioxidants, try a ginger tonic.
Reduce Menstrual Pain
One study found ginger was effective as ibuprofen in relieving pain during your period, Devries notes. “Although this is just one study, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to up your intake of ginger during your period.”