Ginger was voted medicinal plant of the year in 2018. With good reason, because the spicy-hot root has it all: as a spice, ginger not only gives your dishes the final touch, but also has numerous health-promoting properties that we do not want to withhold from you.
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We have discussed why you should use the power bulb much more often from now on with the nutritionist Dr. Bettina Schwiegelshohn.
1. ginger relieves pain
Studies have shown that ginger has analgesic properties and works very much like the painkillers commonly available on the market. However, eating ginger instead of swallowing pills has a decisive advantage: Possible side effects, such as gastrointestinal bleeding or ulcers, are eliminated.
Ginger is a natural painkiller without side effects. © Bokeh Stock / Shutterstock.com
The analgesic effect is attributed to the pungent substances gingerol and shogaol contained in ginger. Like aspirin or ibuprofen, these substances intervene in the metabolic processes that are closely related to the pain. This is probably due to the gingerol contained in ginger, which has a similar structure to acetylsalicylic acid (the active ingredient of aspirin), which is known for its pain-relieving effect.
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For example, the next time you have a headache or sore throat, don’t take ibuprofen or aspirin right away, just grab a piece of ginger and make yourself a ginger tea. The power tuber also provides quick relief for muscle, joint and menstrual pain.
2. ginger helps against nausea and vomiting
Ginger is also the perfect choice for nausea. This is because ginger acts on special serotonin receptors (serotonin is known as DAS happiness hormone), which are involved in the nausea stimulus. “Thus, ginger can be helpful as a gentle remedy for nausea of various causes,” explains Dr. Bettina Schwiegelshohn.
Ginger tea helps wonderfully against nausea. © Sensay / Shutterstock.com
Studies also showed that the root could even prove itself during chemotherapy. Patients had significantly less discomfort when ginger was taken three days before and after the therapy.
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Furthermore, ginger tea is a proven remedy against morning sickness. However, some doctors and midwives advise against consumption towards the end of pregnancy, as ginger could have a contraction-promoting effect. However, this is very controversial.
3. ginger relieves digestive problems
We all get carried away from time to time and eat more than we should. Especially during the Christmas season, many people suffer from gastrointestinal complaints such as bloating, flatulence and constipation due to the fatty food.
The solution: Consume ginger regularly, whether fresh in tea or food or in capsule form.
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“For the effect of alleviating digestive problems, the stimulating effect on the production of gastric juice, saliva, bile and intestinal function, already known from naturopathy, is used,” says Dr. Bettina Schwiegelshohn. It weakens the sensitivity of the stomach and stimulates the stomach movement, thus stimulating digestion and relieving the stomach.
4. ginger helps with colds and warms from within
Spicy food not only warms from the inside, it also strengthens the immune system. The pungent substances gingerol and shogaol in ginger interact with the pain receptors in the body, which are involved in both pain and inflammatory reactions. “In addition, the pungent substances also have a bactericidal effect as plant repellents,” explains the nutrition expert. “This combination of effects provides the observed relief from colds.”
Ginger tea reliably helps against cough and hoarseness © Bon-Appetit / Shutterstock.com
Can you already feel the first scratching in your throat or is your nose running? Then reach for ginger and prepare yourself a tea or a ginger shot (see recipe). You will definitely feel better. Because ginger also stimulates the blood circulation in the mucous membranes, the nose will be free again.
5. ginger boosts the metabolism
Ginger is considered a natural fat burner, because it is said to stimulate the burning of fat. But is this really true? “Due to the pungent substances contained in ginger, a slightly increased energy metabolism and thus a slight boost in metabolism can be achieved,” says Dr. Schwiegelshohn.
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In addition, ginger acts on enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism, which means that more carbohydrates are already broken down in the mouth. Studies in the test tube and in animals have shown that this effect, in combination with the anti-inflammatory effect and the influence on serotonin metabolism, is helpful in supporting weight reduction.
Ginger is also a super Fatburn food. © Inna-Botina / Shutterstock.com
So yes, ginger is a fat burner food – but the tuber does not make you slim overnight. You can only use ginger to stimulate your metabolism slightly and should continue to fuel it with sport!
6. ginger in the fight against cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes
There is promising evidence that ginger, because of its antioxidant properties, could prevent many diseases that involve inflammation and oxidative stress.
However, as long-term studies with patients are very costly and ethically questionable, there are unfortunately no studies to confirm a positive effect of ginger on various diseases.
Treat yourself to a daily ginger shot
A ginger shot is an easy way to get the concentrated power of ginger in just a few sips. If the shot is too spicy for you (because it IST hellishly hot!) add honey as required and let it taste good. Here is the recipe:
Recipe for about 10 ginger shots:
- 100 grams ginger, peeled
- 2 to 3 lemons
- 100 ml honey, agave syrup or maple syrup
Whether as tea or in food: ginger is simply super healthy. © Inna-Botina / Shutterstock.com
Cut the ginger into small pieces and place in a tall container. Squeeze the lemons and add them together with the honey, mix everything (blender or blender). Now press the liquid through a sieve so that there are no pieces in the shot. Use up within a week.
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What should I bear in mind when preparing ginger?
It is best to use organic ginger, because conventional ginger is often contaminated with pesticides. Since most of the ingredients are found under the skin, they do not peel organic ginger. With conventional ginger, however, it is recommended to remove the peel. To do this, simply take a teaspoon and scrape off the rind with the edge. This is super easy and you cut off less of the ginger than with a knife.
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Then cut it into small pieces and boil the ginger for about 6 minutes. Alternatively, you can grate the ginger on a grater and eat the whole ginger. If you want to eat it quickly, pour hot water over the sliced ginger.
Clear thing: Ginger should not be missing in any diet. If you have a sniffy nose and scratchy neck, brew a cup of ginger tea immediately. But the root can do so much more than “just” relieve cold symptoms. It is best to incorporate the power tuber into your diet every day: whether as a shot, tea, ginger water or in a dish. Your health will thank you for it.