A Real Ginger
Benefits of Ginger
Dr. Ben Kim
before the creation of Canada Dry and other sugar-laden soft drink
versions of ginger ale, people used to make and drink real ginger
ale for its refreshing taste and health benefits.
ginger ale is made with...you guessed it, real ginger! And ginger
has long been used by Asian cultures to treat and prevent a variety
of physical ailments.
Helps to Ease Digestive Discomfort
practice of traditional Chinese medicine, ginger is often prescribed
to decrease intestinal gas production and to relax the smooth muscles
that line the digestive tract.
studies have found ginger to be effective in decreasing symptoms of
motion sickness, particularly sea sickness. More specifically, intake
of ginger has been shown to decrease feelings of dizziness, nausea,
vomiting, and the production of cold sweats. One study even found
ginger to be more effective than Dramamine, a drug that is often used
to treat symptoms of motion sickness.
is Effective for Nausea and Vomiting Associated with Pregnancy
study that was published in the April 2005 issue of Obstetrics
and Gynecology found that ginger can effectively decrease nausea
and vomiting during pregnancy, even in severe cases where strong anti-vomiting
drugs are normally prescribed. As was to be expected, there were no
adverse or "side" effects reported with pregnancy outcomes due to
ginger intake. Contrast this with the risk of birth defects that is
associated with taking anti-vomiting drugs, and it's really a no-brainer
for all pregnant women who experience intolerable nausea and vomiting
to try taking small amounts of ginger before resorting to conventional
Provides Natural Anti-Inflammatory Effects
ginger is abundant in natural compounds called gingerols, which have
strong anti-inflammatory properties. Numerous clinical studies have
found that ginger can provide significant pain relief to people who
suffer with degenerative or rheumatoid arthritis and/or chronic pain
in their muscles.
Can Provide Protection Against Colorectal Cancer and Ovarian Cancer
presented at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting in
Phoenix, Arizona in October of 2003 suggests that gingerols found
in real ginger may inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the colon.
findings presented at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association
for Cancer showed that gingerols are actually able to kill ovarian
to Take Ginger
ginger is so concentrated with gingerols and other beneficial nutrients,
a small amount goes a long way.
tea made by steeping a 1/2-inch slice of fresh ginger in a mug of
hot water is usually enough to sooth an irritated digestive tract.
pain, eating even a quarter inch slice of fresh ginger with food or
freshly pressed juices can provide significant relief.
to Select and Prepare Ginger
aim to choose fresh ginger over dried ginger whenever possible, as
fresh ginger is more flavorful and contains higher levels of beneficial
nutrients. Fresh ginger can be found in most food markets in the produce
section. Look for roots that are firm and free of mold.
peel the skin with a knife, a potato peeler, or even the edge of a
don't feel up to cooking with ginger, an excellent way to get it into
your diet is through freshly pressed juices. If you have a juicer
or a strong blender, I encourage you to give the following recipe
for all-natural ginger ale a try:
GINGER ALE RECIPE
1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled
1 medium tangerine, quartered
1 pint of red grapes, with seeds
2 cups of watermelon, with rind, cubed
4 ounces of sparkling mineral water
Push ginger root, tangerine, grapes, and watermelon through a juicer.
water to juice and stir well.
use a strong blender in place of the juicer, use some of the sparkling
mineral water to get the ingredients going and add the remaining water
once the ingredients are blended together. Depending on the strength
of your blender, you may need to use a strainer if you prefer a clear
this recipe for natural ginger ale calls for quite a bit of fruit
juice, it's best to have it only occasionally. If you have trouble
maintaining a healthy
blood sugar level, you can juice a 1/4 slice of fresh ginger root
with six leaves of romaine lettuce, 3 ribs of celery, and 2 carrots
for a ginger-flavored green vegetable drink.
Health With Our Free E-mail Newsletter
F, Capasso R, Aviello G, Pittler MH, Izzo AA. Effectiveness and
safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and
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W, Kjaer SK, Dahl C, et al. Ginger treatment of hypereesis gravidarum.
Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 38(1990):19-24 1990
KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal
disorders. Med Hypothesis 39(1992):342-8 1992
KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and rheumatic disorders.
Med Hypothesis 29 (1989):25-28 1989
I, Grotto I, Caspi D, Yaron M. The effects of Zintona EC (a ginger
extract) on symptomatic gonarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage.
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