The potential health benefits of ginger

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It can support your immune system.

Do you know that spicy, pungent scent-flavour that’s ginger’s calling card? That’s due to gingerol, a compound that has antioxidant properties to help support your immunity.

Try sipping ginger tea or making a gingery salad dressing for a quickie health boost.

It can reduce your risk of diabetes.

Diabetes is a huge problem in this country, with 10.5 per cent of us afflicted in 2018. What’s more, Black Americans, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives suffer from the disease at a higher than average rate, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Scientists have linked some active compounds in ginger with improvements in insulin and metabolism.

It’s an anti-inflammatory.

Like other produce, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains, ginger contains antioxidant-like compounds called phytonutrients that may reduce cell damage. The root can also prevent inflammation from starting by reducing cell-signalling activity.

With that in mind, adding ginger to already good-for-you, nutrient-dense meals is the key to unlocking those properties.

It can settle an upset stomach.

The idea that ginger can help with some light tummy trouble isn’t new. In fact, research has linked multiple digestive benefits to ginger, specifically acting on parts of your GI tract responsible for feelings of nausea, stomach upset, and vomiting.

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It’s a natural way to relieve period pain.

Out of all of the research done on ginger’s pain-relieving properties, results show it helps with menstrual pain the most. Sipping ginger tea can also soothe nausea during that time of the month. However, if you usually take acetaminophen or ibuprofen, it may not work as well.

It may help prevent heart disease.

The same anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger can also reduce the risk of chronic disease.

A 2019 review found that ginger can lower blood pressure and decrease blood lipids (fats) levels, both of which help protect against heart disease, and a 2016 review linked regular ginger intake with lower cholesterol and blood sugar compared to a placebo.

The bottom line: Ginger is a delicious way to flavor any anti-inflammatory diet plan, and good news—it can last up to three weeks in the fridge unpeeled and even longer in the freezer either peeled or unpeeled (pro tip: to make it last even longer, puree it with a little water, pour into ice cube trays and freeze, then throw a ginger cube into everything from stir frys to soups!).

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Plus, swapping the spice for added salt, sugar, or saturated fat may help us lose unwanted pounds! Use ginger for seasoning veggie-heavy meals and snacks, not solely for health benefits.