This mystery treatment? Ginger.
Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties are now considered undeniable, not only by alternative health proponents but also by professional medical researchers. In fact, recent research suggests that ginger may be more effective in treating arthritis than many standard pharmaceuticals.
What the ginger-arthritis research shows
- In a University of Miami study, reported by the Arthritis Foundation, ginger’s anti-inflammatory benefits were shown to be so effective that researchers believe it may eventually become a common substitute for synthetic inflammation medications. The study put concentrated ginger extract head-to-head with a placebo. The participants, suffering from osteoarthritis in their knees, reported 40% pain reduction and stiffness improvement.
- A 2005 study showed that ginger may have better therapeutic benefits, with fewer side effects, than oft-prescribed NSAIDs.
- This Copenhagen University research showed that ginger extract was as effective an anti-inflammatory agent as the drug betamethasone.
Other ginger health benefits include the potential treatment and prevention of colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer, according to these studies by the University of Minnesota.
More ginger health benefits:
- Boosting immunity: Eating ginger boosts body heat, thanks to the compounds gingerol and shogaol. Warming your body boosts your immune system, supporting your body’s natural detoxification and ability to fight infections.
- Digestive relief: Ever notice how sipping a bit of ginger ale eases your stomach queasiness? You can also add a couple slivers of fresh ginger when steeping your tea to get the anti-nausea benefit.
- Common pregnancy issue relief: Trouble with vomiting or nausea from pregnancy? In a University of Maryland study, participants found relief from morning sickness from just a single gram of ginger, with no side effects.
How to get more ginger in your diet
To get ginger in your diet, chew the raw inner flesh. If the flavor is too strong for you, you can add it to smoothies, or use it to spice up your lemonade. Grated ginger also nicely perks up the flavor of any rice dish.
You can also make an easy, tasty ginger dressing by combining soy sauce, olive oil, a little garlic, and ginger shavings. If you’re having a hot side dish instead of salad, add a bit of freshly minced ginger to your sautéed vegetable dish.
Ready for dessert? Try some grated ginger in a homemade ice cream or sorbet recipe for a zesty, sweet treat.
Looking for ginger recipes? Try these:
- For a ginger breakfast: Ginger Donuts
- For a ginger appetizer: Ginger Papaya Salsa
- For a ginger side dish: Gingered Cabbage
- For a ginger main course: Angel Hair Pasta with Clams, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil – infused with ginger
- For a ginger dessert: Ginger Cake with Crystallized Ginger Frosting