Exciting New Research Reveals Another Reason to Eat More Ginger
Not just for upset stomachs anymore., ginger, the warming spice that adds zest and savory depth to so many recipes, apparently has newly discovered value far beyond its culinary uses. A recent study that shows ginger can benefit cardiovascular patients is the just the very latest in an ever-growing body of research indicating its properties can help alleviate an array of chronic conditions.
Nutritionist Janet Brill, Ph.D., told Live in the Now the researchers in Panta Medica found that -gingerol, a compound in ginger, functions in the body to curtail the production of angiotensin II, which is a highly potent vasoconstrictor that puts the squeeze on the arteries. When the arteries constrict, the blood pressure rises and the heart has to work harder. In effect, ginger works like a common class of blood pressure lowering drugs called ACE inhibitors, such as Lisinopril.
Gingerol, as well as several other ginger compounds, have been studied and found to have health benefits. Here is what the research shows.
8 Reasons to Eat More Ginger
1. Osteoarthritis: Research published in the June 2006 issue of the Indian Journal of Rheumatology found ginger relieved symptoms of arthritis as effectively as the drug Indomethicin. Considering this medication has a host of adverse side effects, ginger would be preferable.
2. Motion Sickness: Some, but not all, studies show ginger works better than a placebo in reducing the vomiting and cold sweating associated with motion sickness. However, it did not alleviate nausea.
3. Morning Sickness: Studies indicate ginger can reduce the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy when used no longer than four days.
4. Cholesterol and Blood Clotting: While more research is needed, a few preliminary studies show ginger may help reduce cholesterol and prevent blood clotting. This could be helpful in relieving blocked blood vessels that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
5. Cancer: A few studies show ginger can be helpful in fighting several cancers, including ovarian, lung, pancreatic, colon, breast, prostate, skin and pancreatic.
6. Antibiotic: Research indicates ginger has an antibacterial effect against some respiratory and gun infections. One study showed its effectiveness might surpass that of some antibiotics for certain bacterial strains.
7. Diabetes Prevention: Studies suggest ginger may play a role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
8. Inflammation: Many scientists believe inflammation is a root cause of most chronic diseases, so several studies revealing the inflammatory properties of ginger suggest it might be helpful for a broad scope of illnesses.
Aside from the above conditions, ginger’s medicinal uses may extend to a wider spectrum of disorders. While it shows promise in benefiting other maladies, more research is needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn.
Side Effects and Precautions
Since ginger has the beneficial effects of preventing blood clots, reducing blood sugar and lowering blood pressure, it should not be taken with blood thinners, diabetes medication and high blood pressure medication. In other words, it would add to the action of these drugs, producing too much of an effect.
No one with a bleeding disorder should take ginger. Those with heart conditions should be cautious, as high doses may make the condition worse. Check with your doctor before using this herb, as it may not be advisable to take it if you have certain illnesses or are on other medications.
Cook With Ginger
To make a cup of ginger tea, peel a cube of ginger root and slice it thinly. Boil in about 12 ounces of water for 10 minutes. Sweeten with honey if desired.
The spice imparts a nice flavor dimension to any dish. Here is a great fall soup recipe to try, courtesy of Dr. Brill.
Sam’s Lentil and Tempeh Stew
Build the flavor in this stew by letting the onions cook until golden brown.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- One 8-ounce package soy tempeh, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- One 14 1/2 ounce can no-added-salt diced tomatoes (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning blend
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of one lemon
- 4 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 3 cups)
In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 8 minutes until golden brown. Stir in the diced tempeh, garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, and ginger. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes to coat the tempeh with the spices. Add the lentils, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, water, broth, salt-free seasoning, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 45 to 50 minutes until lentils are cooked through. Stir in the lemon juice and baby spinach and cook about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted.
Yield 12 cups
Nutrition per 1 cup serving:
- Calories: 219 kcal
- Sodium: 110 mg
- Potassium: 698 mg
- Magnesium: 73 mg
- Calcium: 78 mg
- Fat: 5 g (EPA 0g, DHA 0g, ALA 0g)
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Carbohydrate: 32 g
- Dietary fiber: 12 g
- Sugars: 4 g
- Protein: 15 g
Recipe excerpted with permission from Dr. Brill’s book: BLOOD PRESSURE DOWN: the 10-step program to lower your blood pressure in 4 weeks–without prescription drugs (Crown/Three Rivers, May 2013).
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.