Lately, I have had a slight obsession with ginger. I constantly find myself adding ginger to smoothies, juicing it, grating it on my salad, adding it to my tea, and I have never felt better. Ginger is a delicious spice and is loaded with nutritional value. Originating thousands of years ago as a flowering plant, ginger root has grown to be one of the most commonly used spices and is closely related to cardamom and turmeric. Ginger in a way is underrated, as a lot of people are not aware of the strong health benefits associated with consuming this spice on a regular basis. I decided to feature ginger in this week’s column to share with you the 6 reasons why I believe ginger is the king of superfoods.
1. Digestive aid
Drinking ginger in the morning may help jump-start digestive juices and support your metabolism throughout the day. You can add ginger to your morning tea, slice it up and throw it in a smoothie or, if you are feeling really ambitious, you can try juicing it. Whichever way you choose, it’s always best to start with a small amount and increase as desired due to the strong taste.
2. Allergy relief
Ginger may help relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies. Have you ever had someone tell you that spicy food is good for clearing clogged sinuses? Well, ginger works in a similar way. Due to the pungent taste, ginger helps to alleviate symptoms of a stuffy nose and irritated sinuses. As a seasonal allergy sufferer myself, I can tell you it is definitely worth a try!
3. Pain relief
Ginger may help reduce joint pain as it has many anti-inflammatory properties. Many studies have measured the effects of ginger on people suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatism and have found that it may decrease inflammation by reducing the number of thromboxanes and leukotrienes which contribute to the inflammatory response.
4. Heart health
Ginger may also help decrease platelet aggregation, which contributes to atherosclerosis and the formation of clots. This is extremely beneficial to our overall cardiovascular health. Currently, some studies are looking into the effects that ginger may have on our cholesterol levels.
5. Keeping warm
Ginger has many warming properties. Extremely popular in Ayurvedic medicine, ginger may help alleviate a constant chill that some people experience, especially in the Winter months.
6. Nausea relief
Ginger may help to reduce nausea and upset stomach. Drinking ginger tea or sucking on a whole piece of ginger root may help to reduce nausea symptoms related to motion sickness as well as upset stomach. Its soothing properties and nutritional benefits make it a great choice when you are feeling under the weather and it may also help to give your immune system a boost.
The list doesn’t end there. As ginger becomes more and more popular, new studies are being conducted to find out additional health benefits of this superfood. That being said, I think that the 6 reasons listed above are enough for me to call it “The King of Superfoods.” This spice is found in both savoury and sweet dishes and can be incorporated into endless recipes making it easy to consume on a daily basis. It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor first about consuming large quantities of ginger (as well as any other food), and also the effects it may have on your overall health.