Ginger seems to have been completely eclipsed by its more famous botanical cousin, turmeric, in recent years. And while turmeric certainly has health benefits that make it well worth the use, ginger, too, has some unique properties that make it very effective for helping to treat a broad range of ailments. Quite apart from this, the taste of ginger is delicious and also versatile: there are a whole range of recipes it can be used in, from entrees to desserts. Read on to find out more about why – and how — ginger should be added to the diet.
Antioxidants are important because they can fight against the damage to the cells caused by free radicals, damage that can eventually lead to cancer. Ginger is a food which is incredibly rich in these antioxidant compounds and since it is easy to add to the diet, it is a fuss-free way to increase antioxidant intake – and hopefully reduce cancer risk.
Ginger is probably best known for its ability to improve digestion. It has long been used to help with nausea related to other issues like motion sickness or pregnancy and its anti-inflammatory effects can help to soothe down irritation along the gastrointestinal tract. It also is a carminative, which means it can gently treat problems with bloating and flatulence.
Cuts Cancer Risk
The phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that ginger is loaded with can help to reduce oxidative stress to the cells and promote a strong and healthy immune system, making it more likely that the body will be able to fight off cancerous cells before they have time to take root and grow into tumors.
Ginger contains active compounds called gingerols and these chemicals, among other things, are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. They are so effective, in fact, that ginger is often prescribed by naturopaths for people with chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis or ulcerative colitis, both of which can be greatly helped by increasing ginger intake. Reducing chronic inflammation throughout the body can also help to lower cancer risk.
These are all great reasons why everyone should be eating more ginger in their diet. And it is a simple thing to do. Ginger, for instance, can be sprinkled into tea, cocoa or coffee or added to a morning smoothie. It can also be added to oatmeal, muffins and other healthy baked goods. Ginger-carrot or ginger-sweet potato soup are great for cool fall and winter days and it zests up a stir-fry no matter what time of year it is! In short, there is virtually no dish that does not taste better with a little ginger and the health benefits listed above make it well worth the while to add it in.
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