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12 Health Benefits of Ginger (# 7 Seems Crazy, but It’s True!)
Who doesn’t love the taste of ginger? Ginger ale, ginger snaps, ginger tea… it all tastes so good, but did you know that ginger is also a treasure trove of healthy nutrients and bioactive compounds that have positive benefits for your brain and body? It’s true!
Ginger comes to us from China and is very closely related to various other healthy herbs including cardamom and turmeric. We typically use the root of the plant which is why you will sometimes hear this referred to as ginger root.
Ginger has a long history of use as both a medicine and a food flavor enhancer, but there are many health benefits when it comes to consuming ginger that most people are completely unaware of.
Check out our list of the top 12 health benefits of ginger and find out why you should be getting more of this fantastic root!
1. Ginger Fights Infections
The bioactive substance in fresh ginger root is called gingerol, and studies have shown that it can help to lower the risk of infections and even inhibit the growth of various types of bacteria. When used as a mouth rinse, ginger has been shown to be super effective at fighting the oral bacteria that causes inflammatory disease of the gums including periodontitis or gingivitis.
2. Potent Medicinal Compounds
Ginger can be used dried, powdered, fresh, in an oil form, or as a juice, and is commonly used in not only food dishes, but in cosmetics as well. Gingerol is the active compound in this root and it’s this compound that is thought to be responsible for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
3. Improves Brain Function and Protecting from Alzheimer’s disease
When there is chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, this leads to an accelerated aging process. These two conditions are thought to be two main driving forces behind the development of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common type. Studies done with lab animals show that the powerful antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger root can help to slow down inflammation in the brain.
There have also been some studies that show that ginger can improve the function of the brain. One study used 60 middle aged women who were given ginger extracts. These women were shown to have improved working memory and improved reaction time compared to the placebo group. There have also been several animal studies which showed that ginger can offer protection from age-related decline in the function of the brain.
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