Ginger tea is fragrant, warming and pleasantly spicy, but freshly grated ginger on salads, fish or vegetable side dishes is also a delicious, fresh and appetizing note! The strength of ginger, however, is that this slightly bizarre root is also a concentrate of active ingredients, beneficial for health. Today we're talking about the results of the most recent scientific studies, which, in recent years, have dedicated themselves to analyzing what ginger can do for our well-being!
Ginger, active ingredients
The properties of ginger can be traced back to its very important active ingredients, more than 80. Among these substances with a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and cardioprotective action we can mention gingerol, shogaol and zingerone (Crichton et al, Am J Clin Nutr , 2022). These substances make ginger beneficial for the health of the heart, eyesight, stomach and entire body, as we will explore in the next paragraphs.
Ginger and heart
One of the active ingredients of ginger, called 6 gingerol, has shown a beneficial antithrombotic action for the cardiovascular system. Not only that, this substance also helps to counteract atherosclerosis and protect the myocardium from the damage that some medicines, such as doxorubicin, can cause (Ganjikunta et al, Molecules, 2022). In addition, ginger promotes vasodilation and lowering of high blood pressure, as well as inhibiting the production of cholesterol and adipocytes, the cells responsible for storing fat (Crichton et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2022). For an action on high blood pressure, results were observed after an intake of about 3 grams of ginger per day for a few weeks (Crichton et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2022).
Ginger, digestion and nausea
Ginger helps to counteract nausea and vomiting thanks to its antiemetic action (Crichton et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2022). Not only that, ginger is digestive and protects the stomach lining by helping to prevent the formation of ulcers (Rasheed et al, Int J Health, 2020 - Rahmani et al, Int J Physiol Pathophysiol Pharmacol, 2014).
Ginger and turmeric, the combination against inflammation
Sometimes some food combinations are particularly successful as certain foods or spices, when taken together, maximize and increase the properties of foods taken individually. This is the case of turmeric and ginger, which, when taken together, increase their anti-inflammatory power, counteracting and inhibiting those processes that would lead to an increase in chronic inflammation. This fact is noteworthy when one considers that chronic inflammation paves the way for conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cellular degeneration and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as complicating the course in case of Covid 19 infection (Zhou et al, Molecules , 2022).
Ginger and diabetes
Ginger extracts have been shown to be useful in case of diabetes and its complications. In fact, inflammation, oxidative stress and high blood sugar, all conditions that accompany diabetes, can cause long-term damage to small blood vessels and neurons in the retina, increasing the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Instead, the intake of ginger extracts made it possible to protect the retina by counteracting inflammation, free radical damage, hyperglycemia and cell death (Ma et al, J Food Biochem, 2022).
Ginger against toxic substances generated by cooking
Sometimes we like to consume some unhealthy foods, such as meatballs or pan-fried meat. The problem is that these preparations, even if tasty, precisely because of the cooking to which they are subjected, develop substances considered carcinogenic, capable of endangering heart health and promoting the development of diabetes, such as trans fatty acids, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. However, there is a way to reduce the formation of these substances, and that is by inserting grated ginger among the ingredients! In fact, adding 0.25% of ginger, compared to the total weight of the preparation, led to a reduction of as much as 63% of heterocyclic amines and 40% of trans fats. To get an even better result you can use the synergy between ginger and rosemary. In fact, adding even 0.25% of rosemary to the preparation of the meatballs, in the particular case of the study, led to a 35% reduction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (He et al, Foods, 2022).
Ginger, how to take it
As mentioned, you can prepare an herbal tea with ginger root. Bring a cup of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add 2 centimeters of peeled and sliced fresh ginger. Let brew for 15 minutes, then drink. Ginger can also be added to dishes, just grate it directly on salads, side dishes and fish. And if you also use turmeric to dress the salad, mixed with extra virgin olive oil and black pepper to increase its bioavailability, then you can also take advantage of the precious and powerful synergy given by turmeric and ginger.