Getty Images Credits: Getty Images
Here’s why you might consider giving it a try.
1. It's healthy for your heart.
Research has shown that ginger may lower cholesterol and help prevent blood clotting, which could, in turn, help prevent blood vessel blockages that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
Furthermore, a recent study out of Pennsylvania State University found that a meal made with a spice blend that included ginger (along with garlic, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, paprika, turmeric and black pepper) reduced levels of triglycerides—blood lipids that tend to rise after eating high-fat meals and which can be a sign of heart disease risk—by 30 percent when compared to an identical non-spiced meal.
2. It eases digestive issues.
Ginger has long been associated with relieving stomach ailments, nausea and even motion sickness. A 2012 study shored up that wisdom, showing that ginger can reduce nausea after chemotherapy when taken as a supplement.
In another study, researchers found that an aromatherapy blend that included ginger reduced post-surgery nausea in about 80 percent of subjects who used it. The blend included spearmint, peppermint and cardamom as well, but ginger alone still reduced nausea by 70 percent.
3. It can help you breathe easy.
Ginger tea is a classic remedy purported to ease cough and cold symptoms. And it turns out, there’s some science to its soothing powers when you’re sick. In 2013, research out of Columbia University found that ginger might help asthma patients breathe more easily.
Although more study is needed, researchers believe ginger might enhance the effects of medications asthma sufferers use, helping to relax airways and increase airflow.
As with any nutrition advice, there are caveats, especially if you’re considering supplements, which offer a higher dose than the foods you eat. Although rare, too much ginger can cause heartburn, diarrhea and irritation of the mouth, according to the University of Maryland. There can also be interactions with medications, such as acetylsalicylic acid.
But most of us can indulge in ginger for its flavour and health benefits. Try it in:
Apple Cran-Curry Salsa
Apricot Almond Energy Bars
Asparagus and Orange Salad With Ginger Dressing
Broiled Tofu With No-Cook Peanut Sauce
Want more ways to give your food a healthy kick? Check out these super healthy spices.