4 Surprising Health Benefits of Ginger

Believe it or not, the health benefits of ginger are simply undeniable. Here's why you need to try it for yourself.

Ginger tea with lemon in a white cupShutterstock/Maya Kruchankova

Looking for a way to take your health game to a whole new level? While there are many small changes you could make to lose weight and be healthier, including ginger in your diet could be one of the best small changes for your health. Believe it or not, the benefits of ginger are simply undeniable. Here’s why you need to try it for yourself.

1. It could ease post-workout muscle pain

Are you a complete gym bunny? Do you lift some serious weights? Do you run marathons? If exercise if your middle name, there’s something you should know. What you eat has a huge impact on how you’re able to train, but it can also effect how you feel after training. Including ginger in your daily diet could have one extremely intriguing side effect.

After you’ve killed it in the gym and are rehydrating with a bottle of flavorful infused water, that all-too-familiar muscle pain can be hard to handle. However, according to a study by the University of Georgia, taking daily ginger supplements can reduce exercise-related muscle pain by a massive 25% (turmeric is also thought to help relive pain). So, if you’re looking for a way to boost your workout game, you may just have found it.

2. It could lower your blood sugar

How are your blood sugar levels? It’s something that we should all be considering. The latest stats show that a whopping 9.4% of Americans now have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. With that in mind, anything you can do to keep your blood sugar in check is a smart move.

Of course, one of the most obvious ways in which to do this is to eat a healthy, diabetes-friendly meals and to stay active. Still, including some ginger in your meals could also work small wonders for you. According to a 2015 study, having as little as 2 grams of powdered ginger per day could lower fasting blood sugar levels by an average of 12% in people with type 2 diabetes.

3. Ginger extract might help fight infections

Should you be prone to infections, ginger may just be the answer to your health woes. There has been a whole wealth of research to suggest that ginger can kill infections or, better, decrease your chances of getting them in the first place.

In fact, according to research from 2012, ginger extract illustrated antibacterial activity against several strains of bacteria. The results of the study suggest that ginger could potentially play a much larger role in helping to fight infections. More research needs to be done to learn about how these extracts could work in humans.

4. It can help with digestion

When you tuck into a deliciously flavorful meal, the last thing you want to worry about is post-dinner indigestion. If you happen to suffer from this uncomfortable problem, you may be looking for a way to ease your pain. Ginger could be it. (So could probiotics.)

One of the main theories when it comes to indigestion is that a slow emptying of the stomach is to blame. According to a 2011 study, having some ginger alongside a meal could be the answer. The research found that one of the major benefits of ginger was that it promoted a faster emptying of the stomach. While more studies need to be done, this might be beneficial for people with indigestion, especially if they have abnormally slow digestion.

Try it for yourself!

Needless to say, there’s a whole range of benefits of ginger so you really should try it for yourself. You could take supplements, have ginger extract, or just drink some delicious ginger lemonade each day. The choices are endless!

Cooking with fresh herbs can be healthful, too!
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Charlotte Grainger
Charlotte Grainger is a creative feature writer, with a flair for food, health and lifestyle pieces. Her work has been seen in a number of national publications including Beyond Words Magazine, Reader's Digest and Psychologies. When she’s not typing away, you can find her trying out new recipes or binging Netflix shows— sometimes simultaneously.