Ginger is a flowering plant and its official name is Zingiber officinale. The rhizome, more commonly known as the root, is what you are likely familiar with. The root is spicy and peppery in flavor, with loads of medicinal properties. It’s used all over the world in culinary and clinical applications—both for good reason.

Ginger has been called a superfood time and again, but what makes it so powerful? This root has the following superpowers:

1. Stimulates Digestion

...Ginger is your new best friend for supporting digestive health. Ginger may help increase the body’s ability to empty food from the stomach more quickly (known as gastric emptying). With this increased motility in the digestive system, it may be less likely that heartburn or indigestion will occur.

The more efficient your digestion is, the more energy you will have. Researchers have found that approximately 60 percent of your body’s energy goes to metabolism. If ginger can improve digestion, your metabolism may improve and may help to make energy more available.

2. May Help Reduce Nausea

Nausea is no fun. Ginger has also been found to help reduce the amount of nausea you might otherwise experience in everyday life, from motion sickness and beyond.

3. May Help Reduce Mild Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural and healthy response to protect the body. However, when inflammation is excessive or ongoing, it can be very damaging.

The active constituents in raw ginger—gingerol, shogaol, and paradol—are responsible for many of the natural inflammation-fighting powers of ginger. This root may be a great, easy way to help reduce mild inflammation in the body caused by everyday stress.

4. Antibacterial Properties

In oral health, two types of ginger have been shown to have natural antibacterial properties which may help inhibit the growth of pathogens that contribute to gum issues caused by bacteria.

5. Blood-Sugar Regulator

Ginger may help regulate the mind-body system to support balanced blood sugar levels.

How to Use Ginger

Knowing all these benefits of ginger is great, but how can you easily incorporate ginger in your daily routine? Ginger is pretty spicy, so you may not enjoy its taste. Luckily, there are many options for those who love ginger and those who may be new to the root.

  • Fresh ginger root: This is the most potent form of ginger, but also the most versatile. You can slice it and steep it in hot water for tea, mince it into stir-fry dishes, juice it, add it to your smoothies, or even take a slice and suck on it! Dried ginger or ginger juice is great for a mid day snack.
  • Ground ginger: Ground ginger can be used in similar ways to fresh ginger. It can be steeped in hot water for tea or added to your favorite recipes. Powdered ginger is also great to use for baking.
  • Ginger capsules: This is the easiest way to get ginger into your diet—especially if you aren’t a fan of the taste! Ginger capsules, or ginger supplements, are simple. The ground ginger powder is added to a capsule for easy consumption at any time of day.
  • Ginger tea: As mentioned, you can make ginger tea using fresh ginger or ground ginger. But you can also buy ready-to-go ginger extract tea bags at the store. These are great to have on hand if feel nauseated or want to settle your stomach after eating.
  • Ginger chews: Ginger chews are like ginger candies and tend to be more mild in flavor and can be taken anywhere. Make sure to check the ingredients to make sure you’re not consuming unwanted ingredients like corn syrup.
  • Ginger oil: Ginger oil can be taken internally or rubbed topically to treat pain. Ginger essential oil has many soothing properties and is useful to use for massages.

*Editor’s Note: These statements have not been reviewed by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease. The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

Two of the blends made by LIFEAID Beverage Co. contain ginger (along with other clean vitamins & nutrients your body needs).

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