Ginger and digestive health benefits have been recognized for centuries. Ginger is one of the oldest and most well known natural remedies for an upset stomach or motion sickness. A sip of ginger tea or a ginger ale is an effective remedy to relieve the discomfort of an upset stomach.
But how does ginger do this…..
It has a lot to with a gingerol a bioactive compound within ginger root. A clinical study by the University of Essex in the UK found that gingerol had a beneficial effect in helping to reduce nausea and vomiting.
Also ginger has been found to block serotonin receptors in the stomach that can cause nausea. Ginger can also help to neutralize and disperse the build up of oxidative gases that can cause stomach ache.
In China, people drink ginger tea to relieve an upset stomach and stomach cramps as a result of mushroom poisoning.
How Ginger Can Improve Your Digestion
The pungent flavor of ginger not only enhances the taste of food it also aids the digestion in several ways. The pungent smell is derived from the volatile oils in the root of the ginger. These oils contain gingerols that are known to stimulate the production of bile and the fat digesting enzyme lipase.
Bile is produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder. Bile is released into the small intestine to break down fat into smaller molecules. The enzyme lipase breaks down these fats further and absorbs them into your body more effectively.
These oils also contain an interesting compound called zingiberene and along with gingerol help to protect the sensitive lining of the stomach.
Ginger is also linked to helping the fight against bowel cancer. A clinical study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology revealed promising results that taking ginger extract reduced harmful inflammatory prostaglandins in the larger intestine (colon).
Other Health Benefits Of Ginger
Ginger is not only limited to helping relieve your stomach aches or aid your digestive health. This special spice has more beneficial health qualities;
- Anti-inflammatory – ginger is one of natures pain killers as it can help reduce inflammation in conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis.
- Anti-bacterial – ginger is beneficial in helping to fight off harmful bacteria and viruses and is often used as an effective cold remedy.
How To Take Your Ginger
There are several ways that you can take ginger. It can be used in many Asian dishes and soups to add a unique oriental flavor.
I personally chop a few slices of raw root ginger in hot water, I add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and honey for sweetness. This helps settle my stomach and is great for colds and sore throat.
Ginger tea is a very popular ways of taking this wonderful herb. There are many varieties to choose from and they are now widely available in your local health food shop or Chinese supermarket. Ginger extract is often mixed with green tea, which is also healthy due to its low caffeine.
Non-alcoholic ginger ale or ginger root beer makes for a tasty refreshing drink on a hot day and can also be effective in helping relieving your upset stomach.
Ginger root supplements are becoming increasingly available in health food shops and on the internet and if you have a sweet tooth, you can also buy ginger candy.
Prebiotics And Ginger Make A Great Combination
A great way to strengthen your digestive system is to ensure you obtain a good balance of prebiotics. These are not probiotics, but insoluble fibers found naturally in whole foods such as vegetables and fruits.
Prebiotics help your digestion by feeding the beneficial bacteria that are vital for a balanced and healthy digestion. Prebiotics also help to kill harmful bacteria that are responsible for stomach aches and many other intestinal infections and disorders.
Great sources of prebiotics are raw onions, artichokes, asparagus, raw garlic, celery and unrefined oats. If you do not fancy the taste of raw vegetables, then a great alternative is to take a top quality prebiotic supplement such as MX Kiwi Biotic.
Just one or two easy to swallow capsules each day will ensure your good bacteria are thriving and the harmful bacteria are kept under control.
Be sure to click here to learn more about our preferred prebiotic supplement to support your ginger and digestive health diet
Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials.
Journal of Clinical Oncology: – http://jco.ascopubs.org/