Not only is ginger (Zingiber officinale) among the most popular of all of the spices but is also of the best five antioxidant foods. Numerous studies exploring ginger’s medicinal properties also have shown it to work in conditions like motion sickness and the prevention and treatment of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and stomach disorders.
Ginger against medical conditions
Two of ginger’s main antioxidants, curcumin and gingerol, have been shown to inhibit and even reverse the deposition in the mind of the amyloid plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, zingerone, another of ginger antioxidants, neutralizes the effective oxidant, peroxynitrite, which has also been implicated as an aggravating factor in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Several phytochemicals found in ginger have shown powerful anticancer activities in both clinical and laboratory studies. While ginger’s anti-tumorigenic effects have yet to be completely understood, they are thought to involve the following mechanisms
Cancer is often associated with inflammatory processes and ginger’s potent anti-inflammatory action lowers the risk of inflammation-induced malignancy. Ginger is a powerful COX-2 inhibitor, curtailing the activity of potentially harmful COX-2 enzymes, the overproduction of which might lead to harm to a number of tissue types.
Cancer cell death
The pungent vanilloids, gingerol and paradol found in ginger, are extremely effective in killing cancer cells. They achieve this both by direct cytotoxic action against the tumour and indirectly by inducing apoptosis in the cancer cells. Reducing tumour initiation and growth: The phytochemical zerumbone antagonises the procedures of both tumour initiation and promotion. It does this by causing antioxidant enzymes and by weakening the pro-inflammatory signalling pathways related to communication between cancer cells.
Prevents DNA damage
Melatonin is an antioxidant produced by the body that’s also found in certain crops, such as ginger. It’s the valuable property of being able to access most parts of the body, including brain and nervous tissue, and protects DNA against parasitic free-radical harm.
Ginger can remove all strains of Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria which are the principal cause of stomach cancer.
Cardiovascular Disease and Blood Lipids
Ginger has been shown to reduce dangerously high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while increasing the levels of beneficial HDL. These lipid-modulating effects are partly due to the inhibition of fat absorption in the intestines. Moreover, ginger’s cardioprotective effects are enhanced by its ability to decrease platelet stickiness and in so doing further decrease the chance of heart attacks and thrombotic strokes.
Ginger’s long-valued function as a cure for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions has been substantiated by several scientific studies which show how it’s involved in a number of anti-inflammatory mechanisms. It’s a powerful inhibitor of COX-2 enzymes, pro-inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins which are all vital components of the inflammatory reaction. Abnormal tissue inflammation occurs when an excess of prostaglandins, cytokines and COX-2 enzymes are released by cells in joint tissue. The more of those molecules which are released, the more inflammatory cells and chemicals are brought to the joints where they cause pain and damage to the joint surfaces. These compounds are integral to inflammatory mechanisms which could involve many tissue types, in addition to the condition called chronic systemic inflammation.
The hydrochloric acid found in the stomach is a highly effective defence against ingested pathogens and quickly destroys nearly all organisms which are taken in with food. Helicobacter pylori, however, is a remarkably resilient bacterial species which thrives in the hostile, extremely acidic environment of the stomach. Once established, this bacteria causes a variety of issues including indigestion, esophagitis, gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, and stomach cancer. Ginger has traditionally been used as a remedy for stomach disorders, and it has recently been proven to kill all nineteen pathogenic Helicobacter pylori species. The normal ingestion of ginger should help kill those harmful bacteria until they get established, and thereby pre-empt the demand for antibiotics that destroy many beneficial intestinal bacteria, along with their intended targets.
Although there was relatively little research into the antidiabetic properties of ginger, promising early studies reveal it may increase insulin sensitivity. This implies that, in all likelihood, it’s a valuable prophylactic spice against this disorder.
Ginger has a double antiobesity effect. The phytochemicals gingerol and shogaol raise the metabolic rate and so help to”burn off” excess fat and suppress the absorption of calorie-dense dietary fats in the intestines.
Ginger is a supply of a high number of important antioxidants which, amongst other actions, decrease lipid oxidation by improving the actions of crucial produced antioxidants, such as superoxide dismutase. Melatonin, in particular, isn’t just an extremely effective free-radical scavenger itself, but also stimulates production of the principal antioxidant enzyme of the mind, glutathione peroxidase.
Ginger’s prominent role in traditional medical systems are validated by modern research. As is true with most spices, its preventive effects are enhanced when taken with other spices because there are synergistic effects between the medicinally active compounds which exist in this food category.