11 reasons why you should eat ginger in winter
Ginger has a lot of health benefits from fighting indigestion to boosting immunity, and since the cold and flu season is here, it’s time to learn about what this root can do for you. Although fresh ginger can be a little spicy, there are many other ways to consume it: grate it and add to your tea, soup, salads or even desserts. If you eat it pickled, it will provide a good dose of probiotics helping to boost your immune system. Here are several reasons why you should consume ginger particularly during winter.
1. It helps digestion
In cold winter period we tend to indulge ourselves in comfort foods, which is typically rich and heavy. Ginger is rich in aromatic volatile oils that ease digestion and soothe the wall of the GI tract, ease cramping in the intestines, reduce gut inflammation, and help expel gas from the digestive tract. When consumed after a meal, it can help to digest with efficiency.
2. It relieves inflammation of the throat
Sore throats are very common in winter. Ginger is a time tested remedy for inflammation and wintertime sniffles. This spicy root can help reduce pain and swelling, and you can even apply it externally to painful joints. To soothe inflamed throat make a cup of hot water mixed with powdered ginger, lemon and honey. Ginger also helps from any type of inflammatory disease. It’s packed with gingerols and volatile oils which help to decrease inflammation in the body.
3. It helps relieve congestion, cold and flu
Ginger has been used for many years to help cure cold and flu. According to studies, steeping just 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger root in hot water and drinking it 2 or 3 times each day can help prevent cold and flu.In Ayurveda, ginger is used for kaphic conditions like congestion and runny noses. Ginger’s antiviral actions include stimulating macrophage activity, preventing viruses from attaching to cell walls, and acting as a virucide. It’s an all-around warming immunostimulant that is delicious and useful in daily teas in cold and flu season.
4. It reduces nausea
Chewing on the root can help alleviate nausea and vomiting. Fresh ginger can help to treat upset stomach caused by the flu as well as motion sickness. It also helps the digestive system function properly by helping to better absorb food, so if you’re feeling a bit nauseous because you have eaten too much, chewing on a bit of ginger will help.
5. It boosts immunity
Ginger strengthens your immune system, helping you to fight off cold and flu as well as other diseases. Just a bit of ginger every day can help prevent stroke and heart attack because it helps to inhibit the fatty deposits that normally accumulate in the arteries. Drink ginger tea or just add a bit of the spice to your meals several times a week – it will significantly reduce your risk of very serious diseases. You can ferment ginger at home, because lacto-fermented ginger is a great source of good gut bacteria which help boost the immune system, as well.
6. It helps with respiratory issues
Ginger has natural antihistamine properties, so if you’re suffering from cold, flu or even bronchitis, it can help. Ginger stimulates mucus secretion, so it helps those who have pneumonia. Many people use ginger to treat allergies and it has been proven to inhibit contraction of the airways.
7. It relieves headaches
This spicy root can help alleviate headaches, even migraines. You don’t even have to eat ginger for that – just make a paste from ginger powder and apply it to your forehead. It helps relieve inflammation in the blood vessels which alleviates the headache.
8. It soothes muscle cramps and helps with arthritis
Because of ginger’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it helps to relieve muscle cramping. If you tend to have muscle cramps after exercising, try drinking a ginger tea or smoothie. Ginger also alleviated the pain of arthritis. Add just a few drops of ginger oil to your bath water and soak for at least 15 minutes – those aches and pains will go away.
9. It reduces menstrual pain
According to one study, ginger is as effective as ibuprofen in relieving pain during periods. Just steep fresh ginger for about 10 minutes and drink this tea 2 or 3 times throughout the day while you’re menstruating – it will help to alleviate these cramps, even severe ones.
10. It helps heal open cuts
Due to its antimicrobial properties, ginger helps heal open cuts and wounds much more quickly. For this you don’t have to put a piece of ginger on the wound, just drink ginger tea, or add this spice to some of your dished to reap the benefits. And since it has anti-inflammatory properties as well, it’s good for healing infected wounds, too.
11. It’s high in antioxidants
Ginger is loaded with antioxidants, which help to repair the damage done by harmful, free radicals in the body. So it’s essential to have a decent amount of them.