Brief History of Ginger Root
Ginger is actually the root of a beautiful red, white, or yellow and green flowering plant belonging to the zingiberaceae family, to which other well-known spices like Turmeric and Cardamom also belong.
The root is a knotted, tubular-shaped root with a light yellow, white or red flesh, covered with a silvery exterior coating.
The use of Ginger is dated back to over 3,000 years as a folk medicine in China and India.
Ginger and Its Healing Properties
It has been shown to have a large range of healing properties in biological and physiological activities: as antidepressant, antinarcotic, antihistaminic, hypoglycemic, and in agriculture: as insecticidal and bactericidal properties.
It is thought to be an effective reliever of stomach ache and common colds only, but the ginger root has evolved into an aphrodisiac: a sore throat soother, a blood cleanser, a wound healer and also an enhancer of sexual energy when blended or chew with galangal root to bring additional power. Even today, the scientific exploration of the ginger root’s compounds still continues to uncover new and exciting capabilities and uses.
As the rapid growth of harvesting and exportation of ginger proved successful and lucrative over the years, China and India become the leader in the ginger industry,
While China held the lead for a number of years, India currently holds the top spot for ginger production and exportation with an astounding amount of over 703,000 tons of ginger produced in 2012, of which 2.1 million tons of ginger are produced annually worldwide, giving the buyers and consumers of the glorious root peace of mind in knowing that their favorite flavor and health enhancer will be available year-round for the foreseeable time.
Chemicals (Phytochemicals) in Ginger Root
The compounds: gingerols, shogaols, (6)-paradol, (6)-gingerdiol, gingerenone A, zingerone, diarylheptanoids, hexahydrocurcumin, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, analgesics, and a wide variety of protective, preventative, and health-promoting derivatives that help support the natural functions of the body are basically the chemicals (Phytochemicals)responsible for the biological activity of ginger root.
It is interesting to note that the action of these compounds is quite different according to the state of rhizome. The fresh rhizome (fresh ginger) is considered to be an antiemetic, a cough and cold remedy, an antitoxic, and a digestive stimulant, while the dried rhizome (called “Kankyo” in China) is considered to be a good remedy for stomach ache.
The extracted essential oils from Ginger have interesting properties in perfumery and also in cosmetology as an anti-aging agent.
Special Benefits of Ginger Roots
Ginger root contains natural oils, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and phytochemicals that combine to provide healing properties for almost every area of our body.
Vitamins in Ginger Root
Ginger root provides a number of essential vitamins, and also contains natural oils and enzymes that enhance the body’s ability to absorb, process, and utilize vitamins for maximum benefits. The vitamins in ginger include:
- Vitamin A: which is essential for vision health and prevention of cataracts; helps formation of hormones, maintenance of teeth, tissue, and works to maintain healthy hair production.
- B Vitamins: Energy-boosting vitamins that contribute to muscle health, assist in protein synthesis, and assist in the metabolism of all nutrients throughout the body.
- Vitamin C: it is required for the absorption and use of iron, calcium, and folate. Helps build and maintain healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels; assists in wound and bruise healing; and fights infection.
Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, and must therefore be regularly consumed in appropriate amounts.
Minerals in Ginger Root
Minerals Contribute to the health of the bones, teeth, hair, skin, nails, minerals and digestive system by cleansing the blood, improving nerve health, boosting immunity, and upholding the heart and cardiovascular system’s strength, the minerals provided by ginger are:
- Calcium: the calcium in ginger helps keep the body systems working at full speed by processing and utilizing this mineral in a number of ways that help to improve the body’s functioning and contribute to overall health. And because ginger is full of vitamin C, vitamin E, and magnesium, which have been shown to improve the body’s natural process of eliminating sodium, improve the digestive process, and maintain proper protein metabolism, the calcium in ginger is able to make sure the body has optimal calcium stores, which keep it functioning at its healthiest.
calcium aids in cell’s absorption of nutrients required for muscle contractions that allow us to move, jump, exercise, and also pump blood throughout the heart and body; promoting proper blood clotting; essential for proper nerve functioning and communication; required for insulin production and secretion; improves immune system functioning by playing a role in the enzymatic reactions of T-cells in the immune system.
- Iron: Iron improves immune system functioning. Note that the Iron in ginger is not only able to provide the body with small amounts of iron, but it is more importantly able to help the body extract and utilize iron more efficiently via its provisions of vitamin C and a number of supportive naturally occurring oils in it.
In a research carryout in 2012 by Dr. Rashmi Kulkarni, featuring in The Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 62 participants between the ages of 18 and 55 years suffering from iron deficiency were given ginger in addition to their daily diet,
It was found that ginger assisted in iron absorption and “was found to be beneficial as a support in the therapy of anemia.” So, with the additional benefits that can result from its consumption,
coupled with the scientific proof of its positive effects on iron absorption, ginger is an important addition to the diet of every person in need of improved or optimal iron functioning.
- Magnesium: It is required for the formation of cells; support bone health; involved in protein absorption, production, and use; assists in the body’s absorption and use of B vitamins; insulin production, improves nervous system functioning; and assists in the absorption of calcium, vitamin C, and potassium.
- Manganese: It is required for the enzymatic reactions that take place in the body for hormone production, energy use, and a number of metabolic processes and essential for the production of thyroid hormones.
- Phosphorous: combines with calcium to promote the healthy formation of bones and teeth.
- Potassium: Potassium promotes proper growth of the body’s bones, muscles, tissues; maintains healthy fluid balance within cells; prevents muscle cramping; promotes healthy kidney functioning and cardiovascular system functioning and essentially required for the maintenance of a healthy heartbeat.
- Sodium: It is required to regulate blood pressure; regulates fluid balance within cells and throughout the body; and for the healthy functioning of the nerves and muscles.
Causes and Prevention of heart attacks and strokes.
Ginger has been shown to reduce the amount of “bad cholesterol” in the body. In a 2008 study conducted by Dr. Alizadeh-Navaei and published in the Saudi Medical Journal shows that ‘ginger has a significant lipid-lowering effect compared to the placebo,’
Although cholesterol is actually needed by the body in a number of functions and processes, but only becomes a danger when there are excessive levels of the ‘bad’ kind of cholesterol.
The body naturally processes the cholesterol consumed from food and produced by the body, and uses it for a number of processes required by cells, organs, and systems.
However, the body isn’t able to dissolve cholesterol in the blood, the cholesterol is used throughout the body as needed, and the excess is excreted.
The challenge concerning cholesterol come into play when the bad cholesterol, commonly referred to as “low-density lipoproteins” (LDL) cholesterol, contributes to the creation of a plaque that is formed within the blood and deposited on the walls of arteries.
These deposits make the arteries stiff and less flexible or create blockages, minimizing blood flow to and from the heart and throughout the body, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis, which can result in heart attacks and strokes.
The condition usually show no symptoms to indicate the buildup of this bad cholesterol, it is therefore imperative to have your blood cholesterol levels checked regularly.
To help in putting this bad cholesterol to check, an Israeli study conducted in 2000 shows that “dietary consumption of ginger extract significantly attenuates the LDL cholesterol levels.”
As ginger can help reduce the amount of “bad cholesterol” in the body, it can also boost the amount of “good cholesterol” known as “high-density lipoproteins” (HDL) that the body needs to function properly.
In addition with the benefits that result from ginger’s support of proper circulation and blood-cleansing properties, ginger root is able to encourage the transport and filtering of cholesterol throughout the body for use or removal.
Its detoxifying properties also encourage the liver’s proper processing of cholesterol. With this, the body is able to better regulate cholesterol levels and use the HDL cholesterol for the body’s optimal functioning and improved health.
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Ginger and Diabetes
The human body naturally produce a hormone called Insulin, produced by the pancreas. Whom primary function is to regulate blood-sugar level. Whenever we consume food, the sugars in those foods tell our body’s pancreas to release insulin; the insulin then allows the sugar that has been converted to blood glucose to enter the cells, which then use the glucose for energy.
Whenever there is an excess of the glucose, the excess glucose is stored in the liver and released as the body needs it for processes relating to hormonal balance, blood sugar levels, or enzymatic reactions that are necessary for insulin release.
Howbeit, when the blood glucose levels get too high, it result into what is called diabetes: Type I diabetes, or Type II diabetes. The lack of proper insulin functions can result in major health issues such as fatigue, poor healing ability, or amputation resulting from poor blood flow and delivery.
To correct this challenge of high blood sugar, medications for insulin-related conditions are commonly prescribed, but natural treatment alternatives that minimize the risk of side effects and promote the overall functioning and health of the body are sort after, of which Ginger has come to the forefront of these natural treatment.
In three scientific studies in 2005, the study that “ginger extract reduced blood levels of insulin by 10 percent and blood sugar by 35 percent,” the “ginger extract helps increase cells absorption of glucose independent of insulin,” and
that “ginger recipients experienced improved insulin sensitivity, lower levels of insulin, and significantly lower levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.”
Reduce Sugar Cravings
The urge to consume sugar by some people is practically uncontrollable, but what causes these recognized urges? Excessive stress, digestive troubles, hormone fluctuation, inadequate nutrient absorption, hunger, fatigue, low blood sugar levels, and even boredom or lack of focus can all be contributing factors to sugar cravings.
Nevertheless, regardless of what the source of cravings may be, it’s no surprise that ginger can help. It’s able to specifically target and improve the main sources of sugar cravings. Hormonal imbalances, blood sugar fluctuations, irregular digestion, mood and focus, and even sleep quality can all be improved with the consumption of ginger. With its unique enzymes that assist in hormonal imbalance correction, fiber for blood sugar regulation, oils and nutrients that improve digestion, antioxidants that assist in cognitive functioning, and analgesics and dopamine-improving enzymes, ginger helps all of these areas naturally.
Morning Sickness and Ginger
Ginger has been most commonly prescribed to relieve morning sickness for centuries, and can help relieve the unpleasant symptoms associated with morning sickness while also promoting the health of almost every system related to the healthy development of a baby.
Providing B vitamins and folate, ginger not only helps regulate the hormonal balance of the mother and promote the healthy growth of the fetus, but also helps prevent the folate deficient condition known as Spina-bifida in the fetus.
The Amino acids, oils, and phytochemicals contained in ginger helps promote the absorption of the essential vitamins and minerals required by the mom and baby during pregnancy, reducing the risk of the deterioration of the mother’s stores of minerals like calcium to supply the baby’s needs.
With the combination of a calming effect on morning sickness, the provision of necessary nutrients, phytochemicals, oils, and enzymes that enhance healthy growth of both mom and baby, ginger root is the perfect go-to for any mom-to-be hoping to make the best out of pregnancy.
Ginger and Weight Loss
Ginger can help unlock the door to weight loss, activating the process of weight loss by enhancing the body’s absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, helping to ensure the body has ample amounts of the very nutrients it needs to thrive that may have been missing in a diet.
Also, through its natural provisions of metabolism-stimulating “spice,” ginger has shown to be an effective aid in minimizing cravings for unhealthy foods loaded with sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats, while also increasing the metabolism’s rate of functioning and contributing to energy levels to further contributing to an increased calorie burn, with its ability to regulate hormones that can directly affect stress, sleep, focus, and energy production which are needed to maintain a healthy weight, ginger can provide the support necessary to all of the body’s systems naturally.
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