A popular cooking ingredient, especially in Asian and Indian cuisines, ginger has also been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine. Known for its unique flavor, the plant is rich in antioxidants and contains a whole slew of vitamins (among them: B3, B6, B9, C, E) and minerals (magnesium, manganese, potassium etc).
Phenolic compounds found in the root are known to help digestion. They alleviate gastrointestinal (GI) irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production, and suppress gastric contractions as food and fluids move through the GI tract.
“Zingiber officinale (ginger) shows effective glycaemic control properties in diabetes mellitus”, concluded one article. By inhibiting key enzymes controlling carbohydrate metabolism and increased insulin release/sensitivity resulted in a higher intake of glucose for adipose and skeletal muscle tissues.
Probably the most significant medical property would be its anticancer activity. Several active components including 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol have been strongly linked with preventing or managing a number of cancers.
“Ginger and its active constituents suppress the growth and induce apoptosis of a variety of cancer types including skin, ovarian, colon, breast, cervical, oral, renal, prostate, gastric, pancreatic, liver, and brain cancer. These properties of ginger and its constituents could be associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimutagenic properties as well as other biological activities”, notes one recent study.
Furthermore, having raw ginger or drinking ginger tea is a common home remedy for nausea during cancer treatment. It has plenty of vitamin C to fight off infections and keep you safe from colds.
Be sure to include ginger in your diet to keep you healthy and your immune system strong.