Originally posted December 14, 2016.
There’s one good reason grandmothers and mothers gave ginger ale to their children for upset tummies. It works. Gingerol, which gives ginger ale its delicious taste, helps prevent nausea and vomiting. But that’s not the only thing ginger alleviates.
Ginger contains 12 antioxidant compounds, and it is antioxidants that combat free radicals in your body. A type of antioxidant found in ginger, flavonolds, is especially good for your heart, reports Dr. Al Sears on a study comprising 1,400 men. Men who had the least amount of flavonoids also had the “worst carotid artery diameter and the highest risk of heart disease.” Ginger reduces oxidation, which can inflame the lining of arteries.
In one study, researchers divided 40 participants into two groups. Half were healthy. The other half had a history of coronary artery disease. One group received 5 grams of ginger powder each day, and the other received a placebo. After four weeks, oxidation had decreased by 18% in the healthy group and 23% in those with a history of heart disease.
Like aspirin, ginger works as a blood thinner. And that means it prevents clots from forming that could lead to heart attack or stroke.
Studies also show that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. It works the same way aspirin does, by blocking COX-2 — the enzyme that promotes inflammation. And inflammation is the leading cause of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
Most health food stores sell ginger supplements. The key is to buy supplements containing 5% gingerols. A ginger capsule of 100 mg per day is a recommended place to start. But a word of caution: pregnant women are advised to take ginger for nausea (no harm to the fetus), but ginger has a blood thinning effect. Taking aspirin or Coumadin might not be a good combo with ginger.
But for most of us, fresh ginger root is a tasty addition in the kitchen, and ginger tea is especially easy to make.
- Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan.
- Peel a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root and slice it into thin slices.
- Add the ginger to the boiling water.
- Cover it, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain tea. Add honey and lemon to taste.
Jonny Bowden reports that ginger also improves circulation and helps boost the immune system. Pictured above is a huge bowel of ginger that was on display at the yoga studio Dick and I attend. Shakti Yoga (Key West) uses mega amounts of ginger in its café’s various delicious and healthy drinks. Bottoms up and namaste.