The superfood that helps reduce blood sugar and helps care for the skin

Increasingly consolidated in our diet Due to its multiple benefits, ginger is the root of a flowering plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, just like turmeric or cardamom. It has a pungent flavor and aroma, with an intense citrus and fresh touch.

It is a plant widely used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is native to Southeast Asia, although now it is common to find it anywhere in the world. In fact, the main producers are not only Asian countries (China, India, Nepal or Bangladesh), but also others such as Jamaica.

The Ginger can be taken in many ways: fresh, dry, powder… It is used above all in gastronomy, but also in the world of cosmetics. This is because it has a large number of health benefits thanks, above all, to one of its most important components: gingerol. Gingerol is an essential oil that gives ginger its pungent flavor and is the active compound responsible for most of its medicinal properties. In addition, it contains many other nutrients, since raw it is rich in minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium or phosphorus and in certain vitamins, such as C, B2, B3 and B6.

From the hand of Dosfarma experts we discover you the main properties of ginger that make it so popular in dishes and products around the world.

1. Anti-inflammatory. Like drugs such as ibuprofen, gingerol inhibits the production of postaglandins, the substances that generate the inflammatory response in the body. Thanks to this, it can be useful to combat menstrual cramps or intestinal inflammation.

2. Antioxidant. Ginger is very rich in antioxidants, the molecules that stop the damage suffered by cells. For this reason, it is widely used in the cosmetics industry, as it helps slow down aging and reduces cell damage.

3. Antibacterial. It favors the elimination of infectious microorganisms, such as E.coli bacteria, staphylococci or salmonella. In addition, it is also effective against bacteria that appear in the mouth and create diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

4. Fight halitosis. Again, gingerol is the key, as it stimulates an enzyme in saliva that helps break down smelly substances. That makes the breath smell better. It can be obtained by grating some ginger and adding it to water.

5. Analgesic. Gingerol has an analgesic effect, making it useful for migraines and headaches. In addition, it reduces the symptoms of certain diseases, such as osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, which appears when the cartilage that surrounds the bones of the joints is worn away, causing stiffness and pain.

6. Helps with nausea and motion sickness. Gingerol is a pungent substance that stimulates the flow of saliva and the secretion of gastric juices. It acts in the stomach and intestine against gases or nausea. Therefore, people who suffer from motion sickness, that is, who get dizzy during trips, can benefit from it. On the other hand, there is no consensus on its consumption to relieve nausea in pregnant women, so it is always recommended to consult a doctor first.

7. Anticoagulants. Platelets are the cells that prevent bleeding. They do this by creating a clot in the area that is bleeding, which blocks the flow of blood while the wound is being repaired. However, these clots can be dangerous if they form inside a blood vessel, because they can prevent blood from flowing to the rest of the body. Ginger slows this blood clotting process.

8. Promotes expectoration. It has properties that fight congestion and many of the symptoms of a cold (cough, phlegm…).

9. Helps lower blood sugar levels. Recent studies suggest that it increases insulin levels and helps reduce blood sugar levels. Although more research is needed to confirm this finding, it is very important that diabetics always check with their doctor before frequently consuming ginger.

Although ginger has been shown to have many Benefits For our body, sometimes its consumption can be counterproductive. So if you are pregnant, suffer from hypertension, are taking anticoagulants, suffer from gastritis or irritable colon or are diabetic, it is best to consult a specialist before consuming it.

How to preserve ginger

If it is fresh, it is best to store it unpeeled in the fridge, wrapped with absorbent kitchen paper and put in a hermetically sealed bag from which we remove all the air, it can last for months! If it is dry, it can be kept in a dark, dry place, and it will be perfect for up to six months. And it can also be frozen, for this it is better to cut it into pieces and store it in a freezer-safe bag. Its fresh and spicy flavor goes well with almost all kinds of dishes.

How to consume ginger

Always better fresh than powder, as it contains more gingerol. These are the healthiest ways to incorporate it into our lives:

  • in infusions. The most famous way to consume it is ginger tea. You just need to boil a few pieces in a saucepan of water for about fifteen minutes, let it rest and add a squeeze of lemon to taste. There are also many types of ginger infusion that are already sold ready to consume, in which its flavor is combined with citrus fruits, such as lemon, or with sweets, such as honey. Experts recommend one to two cups of ginger tea daily.

  • To season. It can be a perfect finishing touch to a meat dish, either grated or powdered. For fish, the combination of ginger with lemon will provide extra freshness and spice.

  • In salads and soups. It can also be added raw or grated to a salad, as one more ingredient. Or use it to make a good condiment (for example, a simple mixture of soy sauce, water and blended ginger will work great in a salad). Of course, it can also be used in soups. A very simple recipe, but at the same time nutritious and tasty, is a simple onion, carrot and ginger broth.

  • Sautéed with vegetables. Almost any vegetable that we grill can be sautéed with a little grated ginger and to give it a more oriental touch, we can add some sesame seeds and a little soy sauce and sesame oil. With broccoli and carrot it combines perfectly.

  • capsules. They can also be taken in capsules, ideal for those who want to strengthen their immune system, reduce the feeling of dizziness and nausea, and contribute to good intestinal function, and it is also very useful in cases of fatigue.

ginger and skin

As for its cosmetic uses, ginger has antioxidant properties thanks to the gingerol it contains, which prevents the accelerated degradation of collagen and protects our skin from free radicals, making it take longer to age and for the dreaded wrinkles to appear. Therefore, it is highly recommended to apply it to the skin in the form of a mask or use gels, creams and shampoos that contain ginger.