9 Benefits of Ginger

Find out how this magic spice can improve your life.

9 Benefits of Ginger

You've probably reached for ginger ale when you weren’t feeling well, but did you ever wonder why this beverage soothes your belly woes? Ginger is one of the most commonly consumed foods the world over. It’s pungent, spicy, and chock-full of benefits. If you don’t want to eat it raw, ginger comes in a variety of other forms, in capsules, teas, powders, oils, tinctures, and in foods. Here's how ginger can benefit your health in nine unique ways.

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Inflammation

This spice helps reduce inflammation and improves symptoms associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatism. Although it’s not 100 percent proven to help with arthritis, one study suggested ginger extract could be a substitute for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). According to a study reported by The Arthritis Foundation, a highly concentrated ginger extract and a placebo were given to 247 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The ginger reduced pain and stiffness in knee joints by 40 percent over the placebo.

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Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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