The health benefits of ginger are extraordinary. It’s a super-food after all. A super food that’s exotic, spicy and so very yummy!
But did you know ginger can help you lose weight? And it is anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and immunity boosting. That’s not the half of it.
Health Benefits of Ginger
1. Ginger can help with weight loss
Weight loss? Sign me up!
In a small 2017 clinical trial, 25 overweight ladies were given 125 mg green tea, 50 mg ginger and 25 mg capsaicin extract twice a day for eight weeks. Would you believe the supplements made the women lose weight? Their body mass index (BMI) and serum insulin levels dropped too.
Yass ginger! You can try these supplements too.
Personally, I like having a little spicy food with a soothing cup of ginger-green tea on the side.
2. Ginger helps regulate blood sugar
You just saw ginger lowered serum insulin levels in the study above. There is also tons of evidence that show ginger can help diabetic patients control their blood glucose and insulin.
Evidence like this 2015 study. The researchers gave diabetic patients 3 grams of ginger daily for 3 months. Lower serum glucose, insulin and insulin resistance were some of the benefits seen by the patients.
Similar results were found when diabetics were given 1.6 grams of ginger daily for 3 months. Here, ginger was found to lower fasting plasma glucose levels, insulin, and cholesterol.
3. Ginger reduces bad cholesterol
Again, there are lots of studies that show ginger can reduce your total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL).
This 2016 study even found triglyceride levels decreased by 15% in participants that took 1 gram of ginger daily for 10 weeks.
Low levels of bad cholesterol is exactly what you want.
High levels have terrible consequences. Bad cholesterol can cling to the walls of your blood vessels. And if that happens it can lead to clogging of arteries, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Uh no thank you!
Give me these health benefits of ginger instead!
4. It is a blood thinner
A 1997 study found taking a single dose of 10 grams of powdered ginger: “produced a significant reduction in platelet aggregation”.
What the heck does that mean?
Well, ginger prevents blood platelets from quickly sticking to each other. So it is a powerful anticoagulant, much like warfarin (a blood thinning drug). They both can prevent blood clots from forming, which can cause heart attack and stroke.
But if you take ginger and warfarin together, you can affect how your blood clots when you get a cut. If the platelets don’t stick together fast enough you can lose a lot of blood. So it is important to take ginger in moderation. Ten grams is a bit excessive anyway.
You should also know cayenne, willow bark, St. John’s wort, and coenzyme Q(10) are also blood thinners. And, like ginger, you need to be careful with them when taking warfarin.
5. Use ginger for nausea
I use ginger for nausea all the time… Car sickness sucks! But it really does not matter what causes the nausea. Morning sickness or chemotherapy. Ginger will ease your nausea symptoms.
A 2009 study even found ginger was better than Vitamin B6 for reducing nausea and vomiting.
6. Ginger is anti-inflammatory
Ginger is among the best anti-inflammatory food you can have. It is also a powerful antioxidant. So ginger can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
This is what you want in an anti-inflammatory agent without the side effects. There are loads of synthetic anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids but they have tons of side effects. Some are mild and others are really serious. So why not try ginger to keep inflammation at bay.
7. It helps with arthritis
A 1992 study asked 56 patients to use ginger powder. Some of the patients had either rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis or muscular discomfort. More than 75% of the arthritis patients saw reductions in swelling and pain. They had no side effects too.
Got aching joints? Reach for ginger!
8. Use ginger to relieve pain
Researchers from Georgia College found ginger reduced muscle pain caused by exercise. In fact, they gave participants 2 grams of raw or heated ginger for 11 consecutive days. And the heating did not matter. Ginger had pain relieving benefits.
So add ginger to your post workout drinks. Or grab a cup o’ ginger tea. It’ll ease you pain!
9. Ginger has anti-cancer benefits
Gingerol and shogaol are some phenolic compounds in ginger. And they are well-established cancer killing machines. In in vitro and in vivo studies of course.
One study even went further to say:
“Dietary prevalence of foods such as ginger, garlic, soy, curcumin, chilies and green tea are thought to contribute to the decreased incidence of colon, gastrointestinal, prostate, breast and other cancers in South East Asian countries.”
Yep! And there are loads of studies that prove the anticancer health benefits of ginger. Some showed the compounds can suppress and inhibit colon, ovarian, liver, skin, pancreatic and lung cancer cells. The list is as extraordinary as ginger.
But no clinical trials show ginger can fight cancer in the human body. Yes it is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. But still. Ginger can’t work miracles in patients with advanced stages of cancer.
10. Ginger is antimicrobial
Ginger is a lean, mean, immunity-boosting, microbe killing machine. It has well-established antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal health benefits. Studies like these from 2008 and 2012 show ginger is truly powerful. And it is comparable to common antibacterial and anti-fungal agents.
So you should definitely use ginger to kill microbes and boost your immune system.
Bonus Health Benefit of Ginger: It can help with memory
Animal studies have shown ginger extracts enhance memory and protect against brain damage. And there is clinical evidence.
This 2012 study supplied 400mg to 800 mg of ginger to middle-aged women. And the ginger-treated group had significantly decreased latencies and exhibited enhanced working memory. So you can use ginger to aid cognitive function!
You can pick up fresh ginger at your local health store or at your farmers market. I love fresh ginger and use it all the time in soups and noodles. And I make ginger-turmeric tea all the time. It’s amazing and helps keep my pain and inflammation down.
You can also pick up ginger powder and ginger capsules. Many of the studies cited here used capsules and the powder. And you can see they are effective for giving you all the health benefits of ginger.