Health And Anti-Aging Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is not only pungent, spicy and aromatic; the root is also loaded with therapeutic nutrients that can benefit the body in many ways. For centuries, the root has been used to alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms and boost the immune system. In turn, these benefits can have a positive effect on the aging process.
Many double-blind studies have confirmed the healing powers of ginger for gastrointestinal problems. The root can be used to prevent motion and sea sickness, vomiting and nausea. The anti-vomiting properties are particularly beneficial for pregnant women that experience morning sickness. Ingesting the root can reduce both the frequency and severity of vomiting without causing any severe side effects that may harm the infant. Ginger is also loaded with anti-spasmic properties that can relieve bloating and reduce gas.
Ginger root also contains enzymes that aid in the process that catalyzes proteins. These enzymes can contribute to a healthy digestive system and reduce cramps. For this reason, ancient Greeks consumed ginger after enjoying large meals in an effort to aid digestion.
The spicy properties of ginger stimulate the production of mucus, which in turn can quiet a cough and soothe a scratchy or aching throat. The additional secretion of mucus can also protect the body from developing ulcers.
The root is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent thanks to a high concentration of phenolic compounds known as gingerols. These compounds can relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis when consumed regularly. Patients that consume ginger each day can expect to see a decrease in swelling, pain and may experience increased mobility.
The same gingerols also limit the growth of cells that cause colon cancer. In addition to preventing cancer, the compounds are also effective chemotherapeutic agents. Patients that consume ginger regularly may experience a reduction in tumor size and slow the metastasis of inoperable tumors.
Liberal use of ginger can also reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer and help treat the cancer even during late stages. Cancer cells that have been exposed to ginger do not develop a resistance to the cancer-fighting agents present in the root. This means that, unlike many forms of traditional chemotherapy, ginger can be a long-term treatment solution for patients with ovarian cancer.
Ginger also has anti-aging properties that can help people look and feel younger. Free radicals formed by environmental factors like radiation, pollution and smoking cause skin damage and make people look older. Consuming ginger can control these effects and slow the aging process. A ginger-infused bath can stimulate circulation, eliminate toxins from the body and improve complexion. Adding just a pinch of ginger powder to a warm bath can yield these results. A few drops of ginger essential oil can also be added to the bath to moisturize skin and promote detoxification. The same oil can also be massaged into the skin nightly to give skin a radiant and youthful glow.
People suffering from colds or other infections may find relief through ginger, which induces healthy sweating. Not only does sweating help detoxify the body, but it also may help reduce the risk of future infections. A series of German studies recently confirmed that sweat produces an effective anti-germ agent called dermicidin. This agent is secreted through sweat and provides a protective coating for skin that guards the body against harmful bacteria like staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. The same agent can also protect the body from fungi that cause additional infections. This immune-system boost is just one more reason to use ginger every day.
Consuming ginger can also have a positive effect on heart health. People that make ginger a part of their daily diet have reduced levels of lipoprotein oxidation, resulting in lower levels of bad cholesterol.
A reduction in cholesterol can help prevent blood from clotting and causing heart attacks or strokes.
The high concentration of active agents and substances found in ginger means that using only a small amount of the root will yield tremendous results. Just one half-inch sliver steeped in tea can calm a nauseous stomach. Adding one quarter-inch slice to cooked food can relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Patients may try adding ginger to pureed yams or sprinkling grated ginger root on top of rice dishes, salads or even pasta. The root is also an excellent addition to baked apples, sauteed vegetables and even lemonade. Although only a small amount is needed to yield results, consuming larger amounts of ginger can provide benefits more quickly.
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