Of the many so called “superfoods” that grace the shelves of your local Whole Foods, few have a storied history that spans millennia quite like ginger. Originating in the subcontinents of India and Southeast Asia, this perennial has been around a lot longer than modern medicine, Greek mythology, and even the wheel!
Yet, even thousands of years ago, several cultures cultivated and consumed the root of this plant. From incorporating small amounts into dishes to fermenting potent ginger wine, this plant was respected by all for its potent health benefits. Ginger reached the height of its use when Indian traders brought the revered root to Mediterranean. The Greeks and, later, Romans used the root as a medicine. After the fall of the Roman Empire, ginger use declined in the West while the East, specifically India, remains the top producer and consumer of this superfood.
Though ginger has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, we are just now beginning to understand ginger’s many health benefits. Ginger is packed with micronutrients, with over a 100 active compounds. Some of the most potent are gingerol, shogoal, paradol, and zingerone.
Gingerol has demonstrated a cytotoxic affinity towards many different types of cancer cells, especially blood and lung cancer cells. Ginger can and should be used as a supplement to support traditional cancer treatment. This quality can also help healthy humans rid their bodies of toxins and threats before they develop into something more sinister. Feeling a fever coming on? Eat, take, or drink some ginger! Gingerol has been shown to reduce fever safely and swiftly.
Zingerone is one of the most effective natural treatments for diarrhea. In addition to reversing the effects of an upset stomach and bowel system, this chemical hunts and kills free radicals and other reactive oxygen species with commando-style efficacy. Few natural antioxidants can compete with ginger. Elevated levels of reactive oxygen species are linked to chronic low grade inflammation. If you suffer from inflammation, a symptom of nearly all aging related illnesses, you could benefit from daily ginger consumption to maintain healthy levels of reactive oxygen species.
But, wait! There’s more…
The power of nitric oxide
Ginger is a natural source of nitric oxide, a supplement you may be familiar with if you’re a seasoned fitness veteran but I’ll assume ignorance. Nitric oxide relaxes vessel walls throughout your circulatory system, allowing increased blood flow. Increased blood flow means more oxygen get to your muscles when they need them. It’s a great pre-workout booster for this reason.
Treat and prevent arthritis
This same effect also makes ginger a great natural treatment for arthritis. There have been multiple studies on subjects with arthritis, using ginger as a treatment. The outcomes were positive, showing ginger is a promising treatment for its anti-inflammatory effects and improved blood circulation.
Maximize performance in the bedroom
Having issues in the bedroom lately? Guess where else that nitric oxide increases blood flow? That’s right, ginger can be an potent holistic treatment for erectile dysfunction as well. Not that you have any issues with that, of course. A little extra blood flow definitely won’t hurt and a healthy sex life is best indicator of vitality.
Ginger and well-being
In general, better blood flow and increased blood circulation compound to create a wealth of health. The resulting reduced inflammation and increased energy mean ginger can help melt that stubborn fat and help you reach your fitness goals. It’s also easy to consume. You can take capsules of ginger powder, blend fresh ginger into your smoothie, or cut some up and throw it in your stir fry. Fortunately for you, Don’t Be A Pig incorporates ginger in many of our meals!