Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used for centuries as a spice to add a healthy and flavorful ’kick’ to any dish. It is also well known throughout the world for it’s powerful medicinal properties. If you Google it, it can be easily found on numerous top 10 lists as one of the healthiest spices on the planet. Ginger has gained popularity because it is known as an anti-inflammatory and as an antioxidant. It is also known for it’s positive effect on nausea and motion sickness and for many other benefits. I consume ginger on a regular basis and I find that it helps to reduce sinus related stuffiness and shortens the length of symptoms related to the common cold. I also believe that it plays an important role in the health of my joints as I age. At the time of this writing, I am 55 years old with no joint pain. So needless to say, I’m convinced that consuming ginger has definitely had a positive impact on my wellness. As life expectancy continues to increase, the search for ways to ‘grow old gracefully’ will increase as well. With that being said, let’s take a look at what role ginger could play in delaying the inevitable, aging.
Ginger contains many vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy longevity. It contains Vitamin C, which plays an important role in the formation of collagen. Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein and it plays an essential role in the health of our skin, muscles and joints. It also contains many essential minerals such as, potassium and magnesium. All of these nutrients that are found in ginger play a vital part in overall wellness of our bodies. I think it’s safe to say that many, if not most, of us would love a ’magic potion’ that would hold back the hands of time as long as possible. Since a magic potion is not the most realistic option, I guess we should add this wonderful root to our healthy eating lifestyle.
There are many factors that contribute to the way our bodies age. Two of the most common factors that contribute to how we age are stress management and diet. Physical activity has been well documented as an important means of reducing the stresses of life, when implemented on a regular basis. When stress levels are lowered through physical activity, internal and external wellness improves. Although I could write for hours about diet in general, I won’t because I don’t want to take the spotlight off of the excellent power of ginger.
Not only is ginger a phenomenal spice, it has been used as a powerful medicine for centuries in Asian and African cultures. Studies have shown that the antioxidant properties in ginger helps to reduce oxidative stress which can cause tissue and organ damage. They also scavenge for free radicals to eliminate them before they can cause cell damage. Ginger is also an excellent source of anti-inflammatories, which are needed to keep inflammation in balance. Inflammation, although a necessary part of the body’s healing process, is notorious for joint and muscle pain when it is out of balance. All of these factors, coupled with exercise and eating well, will contribute to how well we age and how strong our bodies will be in the golden years.
Research has also shown that the rhizomes of the ginger plant have cognitive enhancing properties that improves cognitive functions that have a tendency to decline as we age. In some cultures, ginger is believed to also improve memory. All of the aforementioned benefits of this powerful and delicious plant have been well documented, tested and enjoyed for generations. So go ahead and add some to that vegetable stir fry, soup, smoothie or tea and tell father time that you’ll see him later!
Eat, drink, be well…
*The content of this article is not intended for medical advice and is for informational purposes only.
Sources: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9180666/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6721508/