Ginger, Garlic, And Turmeric: The Superfood Trifecta

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

For thousands of years, cultures all over the world have regarded certain foods as being imbued with healing and preventative properties. This wisdom was passed down from generation to generation, and while people reaped the benefits of these treatments, people didn’t know exactly why a given food was so healthy – they just knew it worked.

Today, we can apply modern science to studying these so-called “superfoods” and determine whether or not they really do live up the the traditional hype. In this article we’re going to explore three traditional healing foods that passed those tests with flying colors: ginger, turmeric and garlic.

 

1. Ginger

Ginger was first harvested in ancient China, and people quickly took note of the healing effects experienced by those who consumed it. It quickly spread across Asia, into the Middle East and Europe, and became of of the most popular spices in the world.

Ginger has a very distinct and powerful taste. Just a small piece can radically alter the taste of a dish or beverage. It can be served in chunks or thin slices (often seen with sushi) or ground into a powder for easy application as a spice. Some of the health benefits of ginger include:

  • Decongesting and shortening colds: Try this the next time you have a cold: Peel an orange, and drop the peel into a pot of water. Slice up 1-2 ounces of raw ginger root and add to the pot (eat the orange for extra vitamin C). Bring water to a boil, then pour into a mug and drink as tea. A fair warning — this might be strongest and most intense tea you’ll ever drink. The mere aroma of this concoction may be enough clear out your congestion right away. Do not be surprised if your cold goes away within a day or so of drinking a few glasses of this.
  • Fights Inflammation: Ginger has potent anti-inflammatory properties which help smooth muscle soreness and joint pain. Even chronic conditions like arthritis be be alleviated to a degree with the help of ginger.
  • Treats Nausea: Did your grandmother ever tell you drink a glass of ginger ale to treat a queasy stomach? There’s a reason for that. Ginger has been proven to provide relief for many common stomach and intestinal ailments, even full-blown nausea. One study showed ginger to be more effective at treating motion sickness than the drug Dramamine. Ginger has even been shown to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea.
  • Improved Memory: A joint Thai-American study with ginger extract showed marked improvement in memory and cognition among middle-aged female participants after two months of supplementation. These are very encouraging findings for health-conscious individuals who want to keep their minds sharp as they get older.
  • Lower Blood Sugar: This is welcome news for people with diabetes. A study funded by the Tehran University of Medical Sciences showed that ground ginger was able to lower blood sugar by up to 12 percent in participants with Type 2 diabetes.

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