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What are the benefits of ginger?

Ginger

Zingiber Officinale, Ginger, is a herb used mostly for it’s rhizome or root. It has been used in different parts of Asia for many purposes for well over 2,500 years. Today ginger is one of the most commonly consumed condiments in the world, but the herb has been used as a medicine for thousands of years to treat many conditions. Ginger is used in varying forms dried, powdered, fresh, based on how old the rhizome, or root is. Ginger has many benefits, here's a list to name a few. 

 

  1. Antioxidant: Ginger is packed with antioxidant properties, helping your body fight off oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance in your system creating harmful cells called free radicals, slowing down your body’s ability to detox harmful cells.  Antioxidants fight off free radicals in our body which are associated with many diseases. Ginger has shown to have higher levels of antioxidants even more so than other powerful antioxidant foods like pomegranates and berries. The best benefit noted about ginger is that it helps protect Glutathione, our body’s most potent antioxidant. 
  2. Anti- Inflammatory: A huge benefit of ginger is its potent ability to decrease inflammation. It helps reduce swelling and pain. It’s likely ginger reduces inflammation by decreasing the enzymes that produce free radicals and increasing blood flow. This is partially beneficial for people struggling with varying forms of arthritis. Ginger can help improve circulation, reduce swelling, and reduce pain. 
  3. Digestion: Ginger has carminative effects. Carminative herbs are known to soothe the digestive tract. Ginger helps release more digestive juices, this makes digestion easier and helps dispel gas and bloating. Ginger relaxes the stomach reducing symptoms of indigestion like cramping, pain, gas and bloating. 
  4. Fatty Liver: Fatty liver is really common in the United States. NAFLD, non alcoholic fatty liver disease is a chronic liver disease seen mostly in obese people and those with Type 2 Diabetes. There are no standard treatments for NAFLD besides treating the underlying condition obesity. Following a diet high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory has shown to help. Ginger has both properties and more. Ginger also helps your body enhance antioxidant systems in your body like Glutathione. This keeps the body from being able to deposit more fat into the liver, helping you reduce inflammation and reduce fat in the liver. 
Author
Dr. Paula Lima, NMD

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