Ginger – The Funny Looking Root With Beautiful Body Benefits

By Jenni Kiddle - Nutritional Therapy -

ginger

Don’t judge a root by its knobbly bits.

Ginger may look strange and be intimidating for some to use, but hear me out when I say it’s packed full of incredible components that aid our health and help fight disease. For this reason, it’s no wonder ginger has been a staple spice for thousands of years in a variety of cultures. What’s also great is that this wonder spice isn’t just cultural hearsay, its benefits have been backed up by a tonne of research studies. Better yet…. it’s zingy, warming & delicious!

Stomach upset

Ginger has carminative properties, which is a substance that promotes elimination of wind and therefore helps with that dreaded bloat. It also helps relax the gastrointestinal muscles to soothe an upset stomach. If you are somebody with a sensitive tummy or you suffer with IBS, a ginger tea is a great post-meal beverage.

Nausea

Feeling sick is rather frustrating – it often comes out of nowhere and not many people know what to do or take. Ginger has been found to slow the feedback interaction between the stomach and the nausea centre in the brain by absorbing and neutralizing gastrointestinal hormones, toxins and acids. It’s also been proven effective in treating nausea associated with pregnancy.

Immunity

We’ve all seen those sugar-laden ginger flavoured syrups and powder sachets claiming to fight our colds – but save your money and munch on the real stuff. Ginger has thermogenic properties, helping warm up the body and promote healthy sweating, promoting detoxification and helping to combat infection. Ginger has 25 antioxidant properties, making it a fighter of free radicals (the nasty stuff) with the power to slow down DNA damage.

Powerful anti-inflammatory

Ginger contains a very potent substance called gingerol. Gingerol is believed to explain why many with osteoarthritis experienced reductions in pain levels and improvements in mobility after regular consumption of ginger. Isn’t that amazing? Gingerols inhibit the formation of inflammatory cytokines which are chemical messengers of the immune system.

Lowers blood sugar and increases insulin release

Studies have shown ginger to be both preventative and therapeutic in the case of diabetes. One study found that ginger increased the uptake of glucose into muscle cells without using insulin, therefore assisting in the management of high blood sugar levels. Overall, ginger works on diabetes by increasing insulin release sensitivity as well protecting a diabetic’s liver, kidneys and central nervous system.

On top of all this, ginger is high in potassium, magnesium and zinc and has even been used to treat heart conditions.

For me, ginger enlivens a dish like nothing else and is especially complimentary to Asian cuisine.

Here are some delicious recipe ideas for incorporating your new knobbly friend into your life:

  • Cut and peel a thumb size chunk of ginger and add this to hot water with a slice of fresh lemon. Let it brew and drink after a meal to help ease bloating. This is great before bed to promote healthy digestion.
  • Grate ginger into your stir fry with spring onion and tamari. Chuck in some chilli for flavour, added spice and an extra immunity boost!
  • Marinate salmon fillet with grated ginger, chilli, lime and soy sauce.
  • Add a big chunk of ginger into your fresh juice – especially when you feel a cold coming on.

As well as ginger being fantastic for nausea, sea-bands are also very effective and can be used by adults, pregnant women and children. We also have some wonderful warming body care products containing ginger that can be used to soothe achy muscles 

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