Ginger originated in Southeast Asia but has traveled across the world. It's widely used as a spice but it has amazing health benefits too.
Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate. Most health experts emphasize how important water is for weight loss and for good health. Drinking water is crucial to our well being and it is recommended that we drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water every day. It might not always happen because we might forget, but knowing that it affects our energy levels, brain function, weight loss, and much more, could be motivation enough.
Sometimes, people add ingredients like apple cider vinegar, lemon, or honey to give their glass of water some added flavor, and also, to reap the benefits of those ingredients. Another item that might be in your kitchen that has many benefits is the humble spice ginger. This root originated in Southeast Asia but has traveled across the world. It's widely used as a spice and adds an extra zing to the food on our plate.
A little known fact is that it has medicinal properties too and has long been used in alternative and traditional medicine, as per Healthline. The main bioactive compound Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. So, drinking ginger water every day comes with many benefits.
There are different ways you can prepare ginger water. One way is to grate a piece of ginger into a mug, pour boiling water over it, let it steep for a few minutes, and then drink it. A squeeze of lemon and a dash of honey will make this a powerful drink to have every day. If this seems too much of a hassle, keep dried ginger powder handy and have this mixed with warm water every day.
Here are five ways it can help us:
While more research is needed, a 2016 study, published in the European Journal of Nurtrition, of 80 women with obesity found that the root was able to help reduce body mass index (BMI) and blood insulin levels. The participants were given two grams of ginger powder for 12 weeks.
A 2019 literature review published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition came to the conclusion that ginger supplementation helped reduce body weight, the waist-hip ratio, and the hip ratio in people who were overweight or obese.
So, if we consume ginger powder with water every day, it can have great effects on our health too.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine found ties between improvement in glycemic indices and consuming three grams of powdered ginger every day. Patients with type 2 diabetes benefitted from balanced sugar levels after consuming ginger powder over a period of time. However, it should be remembered that this was one small study in Iran and a larger study would better confirm the results. However, consuming sugary ginger-flavored drinks will not be the same. Instead, we can use ginger powder with warm water.
The benefits of countless home remedies that we use for relieving pain during our periods may be anecdotal but ginger has proven itself scientifically. In a 2015 randomized clinical trial published in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, it was found that consuming the spice helped reduce period cramp. Another research published in Pain Medicine found that when it was taken in the first three or four days of your cycle, it helped alleviate pain. Consuming ginger water during periods could help relieve some of the pain.
Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health, told Good Housekeeping that ginger could work like a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like Advil since it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Osteoarthritis is a common condition in which the joints in the body degenerate leading to joint pain and stiffness. One literature review published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage found that those who consumed ginger experienced a significant reduction in pain and disability. The side effects found were dissatisfaction with the taste of it and a mild stomach upset. However, that too aids our body in digesting our food faster.
Chronic indigestion can often cause recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. It's believed that delayed bowel movement or emptying of the stomach can be a major reason for it. And, this is where ginger comes in as it helps quicken the process. "What the ginger will help do is speed up stomach emptying, so things can go from the stomach into the small bowels more efficiently," said Dr. Ganjhu to Good Housekeeping. So, a glass of ginger water in the morning would easily take care of those having issues with bowel movements.