If you’ve ever felt a little queasy, chances are you’ve tried ginger to get some relief. And you may have been onto something! After all, ginger has been used for centuries to deal with nausea — in addition to many other uses.
If you’re curious about ginger and its many benefits, this guide from Sunwink provides a comprehensive overview of them all. Read on for everything you need to know about this mighty superfood.
What Is Ginger?
Ginger is a flowering plant that’s native to Southeast Asia. Thanks to its quickly-growing popularity, it’s available from growers all around the world.
Ginger is classified as a member of the Zingiberaceae family, which makes it a close relative of turmeric — another one of our favorite Superfoods. Officially, ginger is known as Zingiber officinale.
This flowering plant can grow to about three feet tall, producing green and purple flowers along the way. However, only the root of the plant is used for cooking and medicine. Depending on which type of ginger plant you’re dealing with, the root can be red, white, or — more commonly — yellow.
Ginger is super versatile and can be consumed in many different ways. You can eat it raw by adding it to your favorite dishes. As a supplement, you can consume ginger as a powder, liquid extract, or tincture. You can even find ginger in some of your favorite beauty products.
Ginger is full of vitamins and minerals that can help explain why it’s so good for you — just a tablespoon of freshly-grated ginger contains some of the following nutrients:
- Vitamins B3 & B6
- Vitamin C
Ginger also contains a compound called gingerol (among various others) that gives it its spicy flavor and has antioxidant properties.
Ginger is generally considered a safe addition to a balanced diet. However, if you’re supplementing with high doses, it’s always best to check in with your doc — just in case!
What Are the Health Benefits of Ginger?
There are numerous benefits of ginger, some of which have been known for thousands of years. But we keep coming back to this powerful superfood for the same reasons. Here are our favorite benefits of ginger that you can experience for yourself:
1. It May Help Soothe an Upset Stomach
The main chemical compounds in ginger are believed to aid digestion. For this reason, ginger has long been used to relieve nausea, heartburn, discomfort due to indigestion, and gastrointestinal bloating, speed up gastric motility, and help those experiencing morning sickness or motion sickness. With a plethora of research to support this benefit, we’re completely sold on what ginger can do when you’re feeling a little queasy.
2. It May Help Support Your Immune System
Some of the compounds in ginger have been found to have detoxifying properties. While more research is needed to discover how exactly it works to fight off germs, there may be some potential in using ginger to support your body against germs.
3. It May Support a Healthy Heart and Metabolism
Although more research is needed to confirm this, ginger may just help to support healthy blood sugar levels and contribute to weight loss efforts. Either way, adding it to your meals won’t hurt — as ginger is a delicious addition to any recipe!
Interestingly, ginger has also been linked to healthy blood pressure, triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels.
4. It May Help With Menstrual Cramps
Thanks to ginger’s powerful effects, ginger supplements can even help with cramps and other PMS-related symptoms. In one study, women who supplemented with ginger for just a month experienced a significant reduction in PMS.
So, if you commonly experience menstrual pain, adding ginger to your daily routine may help with relief.
5. Ginger Helps Support You Against Stress
We’re not just talking about psychological stress. Throughout the day, our bodies are exposed to numerous stressors like the sun’s harmful rays, air pollution, pesticides, fertilizers, and countless others. These free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, which can wreak havoc on the DNA level.
Since ginger has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it can be a powerful way to protect your body from various stressors it comes in contact with.
How Can You Incorporate More Ginger?
Ginger is a truly versatile superfood, so there are countless ways to enjoy it. You can use fresh ginger to flavor food, brew it into a tea, or blend it into a smoothie. It’s excellent for both sweet and savory foods.
If you’re struggling to figure out how to incorporate ginger into your diet, just look at any traditional Asian food. Chinese food and Thai food, in particular, highlight ginger for its rich and earthy flavor.
When buying ginger, we recommend opting for fresh root rather than the powdered stuff — this will give you more active compounds that you can work with.
When you buy fresh ginger root, make sure it’s truly fresh, with no mold, shriveling, or other deformities on it. You can peel its outer skin and chop it up however you like.
Here are some ideas for using ginger:
- Vegetable stir fry
- Fresh carrot-ginger salad dressing
- Marinades for meat and fish
- Pickled ginger to accompany sushi
- Green smoothie (using our Detox Greens Powder)
- Soups & salads
- Baked desserts (like gingerbread cookies)
- Ginger tea (just boil fresh ginger root and add some lemon and honey)
If you can’t get your hands on some fresh ginger, then the powdered spice will work just as well as a substitute. However, ginger powder may be more potent, so try using half as much in your recipes.
If you’re not crazy about cooking and want a more convenient way of getting your ginger fix, we got your back! Store our delicious Detox Ginger Sparkling Superfood Tonic in the fridge and sip on it throughout the day to reap Ginger’s powerful benefits.
Getting the Benefits of Ginger With Sunwink
Ginger is an amazing superfood with tons of proven benefits. It can help support digestion, ease an upset stomach, and much more!
Of course, working with fresh ginger isn’t always convenient. To make it easier, we created our Detox Ginger Sparkling Superfood Tonic and Turmeric Recovery Sparkling Superfood Tonic. Keep these delicious beverages in your fridge and sip on them throughout the day — so you’re not missing out on any of ginger’s awesome benefits.