For centuries, scientists have written extensively about ginger and its healing properties. This odd-looking root has been found to do everything from promoting healthy aging and weight loss to boosting immunity and fighting cancer. And the best part is that it’s cheap, easy to find, and simple to consume. All you need to do is add it to hot water to drink as a natural elixir, or add it to some of your stir-fries for a healthy flavor kick.
Ok. Enough from us. Let’s allow the research to tell us about 7 key health benefits that come with consuming ginger.
Gingerol has anti-inflammatory properties and helps boost immunity
Chronic inflammation can accelerate the aging process and trigger several unhealthy events in the body, from weight gain to high blood pressure. The good news is that 6-Gingerol, the active component of ginger, can reduce inflammation according to this major study.
Fresh ginger may help fight oral and respiratory infection
A study looking into the power of fresh ginger found that “gingerol compounds contain antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, as well as several pharmaceutical properties.” This makes ginger effective for protecting against gum bacteria like gingivitis and periodontitis. Another study found that fresh ginger has an anti-viral activity that protects against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common respiratory infection that can be serious among old people and babies.
Ginger helps promote natural weight loss and lowers body fat
In a study featuring 473 overweight subjects, researchers found that ginger intake reduced body weight, waist-to-hip ratio … fasting glucose and insulin resistance.” An additional study examined how green tea, capsaicin, and ginger extracts impact weight loss. After 8 weeks on the supplements, 50 overweight women “had beneficial effects on weight, BMI, markers of insulin, metabolism.” Although the study featured ginger being used in tandem with other supplements, it appears to be beneficial both on its own and taken together with green tea and capsaicin, an active ingredient in chili peppers.
Ginger helps fight aging on a cellular level and promotes longevity
A few studies have showcased the same benefit of ginger, namely that it reduces oxidative stress, which causes aging on a cellular level. One study, in particular, found that the compound gingerol has “lifespan-extending” properties, mainly because it helps fight off diseases and slows the aging process itself.
Ginger contains compounds that may prevent cancer
As several studies have pointed out, the compound gingerol contains “anti-tumorigenic activities” and may be effective in controlling the ability of certain cancers to grow, including ovarian, liver, skin, and prostate cancers. It should also be mentioned that ginger supplements may help alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea, cramps, or pain, according to this study.
Ginger can help reverse osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain
If you experience joint pain, ginger may be just what you need. One study assessing the clinical efficacy of oral ginger as a treatment of osteoarthritis found that participants who consumed ginger found “a statistically significant pain reduction,” compared with those who didn’t get the ginger supplement.
Ginger can help lower blood sugar levels and help reverse diabetes
In a small study featuring 41 subjects with type 2 diabetes, all participants were assigned to take ginger or a placebo over 12 weeks. What the researchers found was that “ginger supplementation significantly reduced the levels of fasting blood sugar and A1c, which is a significant measure of how well insulin is working to help regulate blood sugar and keep your body healthy.
National Library of Medicine: