• Food for Thought: Health Benefits of Ginger

  • by Lauren Russell

In the 2002 hit movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the main character’s father uses Windex to cure all his ailments. The running joke even has a catchphrase, “Put some Windex on it.”

For Michiganders, our cure-all is Vernors Ginger Ale. It’s one of those examples of “You know you’re from Michigan when…” And as a Michigander, I can tell you, we’re totally right. As a writer who has researched the health benefits of ginger, I can tell you, we’re definitely on to something.

Ginger is a flowering plant, but it’s the root we use as a spice or for medicinal purposes. Many times, ginger is enjoyed in juice form, candied, powdered, or fresh from the root. No matter how you enjoy it, the benefits of consuming it are many.

Reduce Pain

Ginger is chock full of gingerols. Gingerols are compounds that are highly anti-inflammatory. Studies suggest it can help reduce arthritis pain and can help fight muscle pain and soreness after exercise.

Ease Nausea

Ginger is a popular anti-nausea for upset stomachs, motion sickness, sea sickness, and side effects of chemotherapy. It helps reduce such symptoms as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweats.

Lower Blood Sugar

While studies to support this statement are relatively new, ginger has shown anti-diabetic properties in recent research. It may help lower fasting blood sugar and improve long-term blood sugar levels.

Help Indigestion

Studies show ginger may help the stomach empty faster, which helps relieve pain and discomfort after eating in some people. It may also help block acid reflux, according to a 2007 study.

Reduce Risk of Cancer

Preliminary research at the University Of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger may kill ovarian cancer cells. Along with that, the Journal of Clinical Oncology posted that ginger root extract may help in the prevention of colon cancer.

Always consult your doctor before making changes to your diet. This article is for informational purposes only.