Last week we talked about the importance of cinnamon and how beneficial it is for us as athletes. Ginger happens to fall in the same category of benefits as cinnamon does, and when the two combined together, ginger and cinnamon lead to a tremendous decrease in muscle soreness following intense exercise. How awesome is that! Let’s take a closer look at ginger, its origin and benefits.
Here’s why it is so benefitial:
1. Relieves muscle soreness
A study in the Journal of Pain in 2010 showed that ginger may help reduce muscle soreness. Taking 2 grams of fresh ginger, about 1 1/2 teaspoons, per day may help you have less delayed onset muscle soreness. You can also use crystallized ginger if you prefer. If you're going into an intense training period, take 2 grams of ginger per day for at least a week and see if you feel less sore. The research on ginger and muscle soreness is not clear, but unless there is a reason for you to avoid ginger, you can try it and see if you notice a difference in how you feel.
2. May lower blood sugars and improve heart decease risk factorsGinger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. In a recent 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12%.
3. Aids with nausea and dizziness
1-1.5 grams of ginger can help prevent various types of nausea. This applies to sea sickness, chemotherapy-related nausea, nausea after surgery and morning sickness.
4. Can help with osteoarthritisOsteoarthritis involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms like joint pain and stiffness. In a controlled trial of 247 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract had less pain and required less pain medication. Another study found that a combination of ginger, mastic, cinnamon and sesame oil, can reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients when applied topically.
5. Can help treat chronic indigestion, diarrhea and excess gas
Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort. It helps to cure diarrhea and induces excess gas to leave the body.
6. Ginger powder may significantly reduce menstrual painIn one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period. Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
7. May lower cholesterol levelsIn a 45-day study of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, 3 grams of ginger powder caused significant reductions in most cholesterol markers.
8. Contains a substance that may help prevent cancer
Ginger contains a substance called 6-gingerol, which may have protective effects against cancer. However, this needs to be studied a lot more.
9. May improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer's disease
Studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain. It can also improve brain function in elderly women.
110. Can help fight bacterial infectionsGingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help lower the risk of infections. If you ever need to go to the hospital for surgery or to visit a friend, make sure you bring some ginger essential oil with you and add a couple drops to your water. You’re less likely to get a dangerous staph infection, and it can help speed the healing process! Other healing remedies that are effective against infections include oregano oil, clove oil and melaleuca oil.
11. Increases sexual activityA known aphrodisiac, ginger has been years to arouse desire and enhance sexual activity. Ginger’s scent has a unique allure that helps in establishing the sexual connection. Not to mention, ginger also helps increase blood circulation, hence blood flows more easily to the mid-section of the body, an important area for sexual performance.
- Carbohydrate - 17.77 g
- Dietary Fiber - 2 g
- Protein - 1.82 g
- Dietary Fiber - 2 g
- Sugars - 1.7 g
- Sodium - 13 mg
- Vitamin B6 - 0.16 mg
- Calcium - 16 mg
- Iron - 0.6 mg
- Vitamin C - 5 mg
- Potassium - 415 mg
- Magnesium - 43 mg
- Phosphorus - 34 mg
- Zinc - 0.34 mg
- Folate - 11 mcg
- Riboflavin - 0.034 mg
- Niacin - 0.75 mg
- Iron - 0.6 mg
Here are some best ways to use ginger:
· Raw Ginger — You can put raw sliced ginger (the size of your thumb) in a smoothie every morning or use it in making homemade vegetable juice.
· Ginger Essential Oil — The most potent form of ginger is ginger essential oil because it contains the highest levels of gingerol. This is the No. 1 way ginger can be used as medicine. It can be taken internally to treat health conditions or rubbed topically with a carrier oil on an area of pain. Typically, two to three drops of essential oil is the recommended therapeutic dose.
· Ginger Tea — This liquid form of ginger is commonly used to relieve nausea, settle the stomach and relax the body. Have one cup two to three times daily to reduce inflammation. Also, adding a bit of raw honey and lemon to the tea makes it taste great!
· Ginger Powder — Using ground ginger powder for cooking is an excellent way to take advantage of this super spice. Also, it can be taken in supplement form as a capsule with the recommended dose of 1,000 milligrams daily.