Inflammation is the body’s natural response to outside threats such as stress, infection or toxic chemicals. Over time however, immune cells may start to overreact and inflammation may work against us rather than with us. Too much inflammation can harm the gut, joints, heart, lungs, gums and skin. It can interfere with your sleep schedule, lead to depression, and increase risks for obesity and other chronic diseases. One spice known for it’s powerful anti-inflammatory benefits is ginger. This powerful spice may help with arthritis, relieve nausea, prevent cancers and improve respiratory conditions.
Ginger itself is a flowering plant. The spice comes from the root of the plant. The root contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds such as pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, capsaicin, curcumin, caffeic acid and salyclyate. Supplements are available in dried ginger root, capsules, extracts, syrups, powders and essential oils. Ginger can even be made into a soft chew or drank as a tea.
Ginger has a multitude of health benefits. Individuals use ginger to reduce nausea and motion sickness, treat cold and flu, aid digestion, reduce stomach ulcers, and regulate sugar levels. Most importantly, ginger contains many anti-inflammatory properties. Some people rely on ginger for bone health and find relief from joint pain associated with arthritis. This may be due to the compound in ginger called gingerol which has been directly associated with improvements in osteoarthritis, knee inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis.
Try adding ginger into oatmeal, granola, yogurt or stir-fries for a spicy flavoring to food. It can also be used in baked goods, teas and candies in the form of a sweet treat. Not only is this adding flavor to your food, but adding incredible anti-inflammatory benefits to your diet.
Written by GUADS intern Lindsey with contributions from organicfacts.net.