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Health Benefits of Ginger

Last updated: 11 Jan 2024  | 

Zingiber officinale or what we usually call Ginger is a plant whose rhizome is often used as a spice and raw material for traditional medicine. The spicy taste given off by ginger is because it contains a ketone compound called zingerone.

Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae (finding) family. William Roxburgh is the scientific name for ginger.

Ginger, a pungent and aromatic root, has been treasured for centuries for its culinary and medicinal properties. Widely used in various cuisines around the world, ginger also boasts an impressive array of health benefits. From soothing digestive issues to reducing inflammation, ginger has been revered as a natural remedy for a wide range of ailments. In this article, we delve into the captivating benefits of ginger and uncover why this humble root deserves a prominent place in your diet and wellness regimen.

1. Alleviates Digestive Discomfort:
Ginger has long been esteemed for its ability to soothe digestive ailments. It possesses potent anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties that can help alleviate symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, and nausea. Consuming ginger, either in the form of tea or grated in meals, can stimulate digestion, promote the absorption of nutrients, and provide relief from gastrointestinal distress.

2. Eases Nausea and Motion Sickness:
Ginger has proven particularly effective in relieving nausea and vomiting caused by various factors, including morning sickness during pregnancy, chemotherapy, and travel-related motion sickness. Its natural compounds, such as gingerol and shogaol, work to reduce the activity of the digestive system that triggers feelings of nausea. Ginger capsules, ginger tea, or ginger candies are often recommended to alleviate these symptoms effectively.

3. Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Relieving Properties:
Ginger possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in reducing inflammation and pain in the body. Studies have shown that ginger can help alleviate muscle soreness, joint pain, and symptoms associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory molecules, thereby providing relief and potentially enhancing mobility.

4. Boosts Immunity:
Ginger is rich in antioxidants that can fortify the immune system and help the body fight off infections. It contains compounds such as gingerol, zingerone, and shogaol, which exhibit antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Regular consumption of ginger can stimulate the production of immune cells, enhance immunity, and protect against common illnesses like colds and flu.

5. Supports Cardiovascular Health:
Studies have suggested that ginger can contribute to maintaining cardiovascular health. It aids in reducing cholesterol levels and preventing the formation of blood clots, thus minimizing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Ginger also promotes healthy blood circulation and can help lower blood pressure, making it beneficial for individuals with hypertension.

6. Relieves Menstrual Discomfort:
For women experiencing menstrual pain and discomfort, ginger can be a natural and effective remedy. Its anti-inflammatory properties help relax the muscles and alleviate pain associated with menstrual cramps. Consuming ginger tea or using ginger oil topically on the lower abdomen can provide relief and improve overall well-being during menstruation.

7. Enhances Cognitive Function:
Ginger contains antioxidants that may help protect against age-related cognitive decline. It has been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory markers in the brain, which are associated with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Regular consumption of ginger may help improve memory, attention, and overall cognitive function.

Types of Ginger:
There are three types of ginger that are popular in the market, namely:

1. Elephant ginger/rhinoceros ginger.
It is the most preferred ginger in the international market. The shape is big and the taste is not too spicy. The rhizome flesh is yellow to white.

2. Yellow ginger
Ginger is widely used as a cooking spice, especially for local consumption. The taste and aroma are quite sharp. Medium size rhizome with yellow color.

3. Red ginger
This type of ginger has a high essential oil content and the spiciest taste, making it suitable for pharmaceutical and herbal medicine ingredients.

It is even used as a natural preservative in the food industry because it has antibacterial activity in its content against pathogenic bacteria and food spoilage. The size of the rhizome is the smallest with red skin color, the fiber is bigger than regular ginger.

Difference between Red Ginger and Regular Ginger?
Quoted from the page, red ginger and regular ginger have several differences, especially in color and taste. When viewed from the outside, at first glance similar to red galangal. The color is slightly brownish pink on the inside. The outer skin is also thinner.

Red ginger is generally used in traditional dishes and drinks in Indonesia, especially in Java. For example, wedang ginger. While ordinary white ginger is more commonly used as a spice in Asian cuisine.

Although slightly different, these two types of ginger have similar health benefits. The benefits range from helping relieve nausea and vomiting, reducing inflammation, and increasing immunity.

Nutrition facts in 100g of Ginger:
1. Energy 51 kcal
2. Protein 1.50 g
3. Fat 1 g
4. Carbs 10.10 g

From its digestive benefits to immune-boosting properties and pain-relieving effects, ginger is truly a remarkable root with a plethora of health benefits. Whether consumed in meals, brewed as a tea, or taken in supplement form, ginger has proven itself as a natural and versatile remedy. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional, particularly if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking medications, to ensure that ginger is suitable for your individual needs. Embrace the power of ginger and experience its transformative effects on your health and well-being.

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