Ginger root powder is a popular spice used to flavor ginger breads, cakes, and other baked goods. It is also often added to fried rice and other recipes. Indeed, it is one of the most commonly used spices in the world. 1
It is believed that ginger was first used some 5,000 years ago in Asia before eventually spreading to India, Africa, the Caribbean, and other areas. 2
Presumably first used as a food, ginger’s many health-promoting properties became evident to the ancients and evolved into an important herb in Ayurveda, a Hindu system of medicine. Traditional Ayurvedic texts recommended ginger for a variety of issues, such as joint discomfort and digestive ailments. They even recognized ginger as a “superfood”, a status it still holds not only for Ayurvedic proponents, but for millions of health-conscious people around the world. 3
Research has discovered that gingerols, the main bioactive compounds in ginger, may be responsible for many of the health benefits long attributed to this spice. Gingerols have been shown to have powerful antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties, especially 6-Gingerol. This can help keep free radicals from accumulating in cells and causing oxidative stress. (Oxidative stress is associated with many conditions, including heart disease and cancer.) 4
Some of the health benefits of ginger root may include:
Nausea: Multiple clinical research studies suggest ginger root may relieve nausea and vomiting, particularly chemo-therapy or pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. 5, 6
Type 2 diabetes: One of the most prominent features in type 2 diabetes is the tendency for blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal, which is why managing or regulating these levels is so important. Turns out, ginger root powder may help. In one small study, type 2 diabetic participants given 2 grams of ginger powder per day saw a significant decrease in fasting blood glucose levels in just 12 weeks. This was just a small study, however, and more research is needed. 7
Weight loss: There have been numerous animal and human studies indicating that ginger root may encourage weight loss and reduce body mass index (BMI). One of the reasons for this potential weight loss effect is due to ginger root’s antiinflammatory properties. (Obesity triggers systemic low-grade inflammation.) 8, 9, 10
Cholesterol: Abnormal cholesterol levels is associated with increased risk of heart disease, a condition that kills an estimated 610,000 men and women in the U.S. every year. In a recent study, participants with abnormally high levels of fat (triglycerides and cholesterol) were given high dosages (5 grams) of ginger-pasted powder every day for 3 months. The results? Their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels dropped more than 17%! 11, 12
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1- Organic India. Ginger: An Ayurvedic Superfood. Accessed Feb 5, 2021. organicindiausa.com/ginger/
2- Organic India. Ginger: An Ayurvedic Superfood. Accessed Feb 5, 2021. https://organicindiausa.com/ginger/
3- Organic India. Ginger: An Ayurvedic Superfood. Accessed Feb 5, 2021. organicindiausa.com/ginger/
4- Wang S, Zhang C, Yang G, Yang Y. Biological properties of 6-gingerol: a brief review. Nat Prod Commun. 2014 Jul;9(7):1027-30. PMID: 25230520.
5- Soltani E, Jangjoo A, Afzal Aghaei M, Dalili A. Effects of preoperative administration of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) on postoperative nausea and vomiting after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. J Tradit Complement Med. 2017;8(3):387-390. Published 2017 Jul 18. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.06.008
6- Pongrojpaw D, Somprasit C, Chanthasenanont A. A randomized comparison of ginger and dimenhydrinate in the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. J Med Assoc Thai. 2007 Sep;90(9):1703-9. PMID: 17957907.
7- Khandouzi N, Shidfar F, Rajab A, Rahideh T, Hosseini P, Mir Taheri M. The effects of ginger on fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin a1c, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein a-I and malondialdehyde in type 2 diabetic patients. Iran J Pharm Res. 2015;14(1):131-140.
8- Maharlouei N, Tabrizi R, Lankarani KB, Rezaianzadeh A, Akbari M, Kolahdooz F, Rahimi M, Keneshlou F, Asemi Z. The effects of ginger intake on weight loss and metabolic profiles among overweight and obese subjects: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(11):1753-1766. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1427044. Epub 2018 Feb 2. PMID: 29393665.
9- Sayed S, Ahmed M, El-Shehawi A, et al. Ginger Water Reduces Body Weight Gain and Improves Energy Expenditure in Rats. Foods. 2020;9(1):38. Published 2020 Jan 2. doi:10.3390/foods9010038
10- Kim S, Lee M-S, Jung S, Son H-Y, Park S, Kang B, Kim S-Y, Kim I-H, Kim C-T, Kim Y. Ginger Extract Ameliorates Obesity and Inflammation via Regulating MicroRNA-21/132 Expression and AMPK Activation in White Adipose Tissue. Nutrients. 2018; 10(11):1567. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111567
11- Virani SS, Alonso A, Benjamin EJ, Bittencourt MS, Callaway CW, Carson AP, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2020 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2020;141(9):e139–e596.
12- Murad S, Niaz K, Aslam H. Effects of Ginger on LDL-C, Total Cholesterol and Body Weight. Clin Med Biochem, an open access journal. Volume 4 • Issue 2 • 1000140. Feb 18, 2018. DOI: 10.4172/2471-2663.1000140