Ginger is keeping busy these days, adding zing to cocktails, ice cream and craft beers—and delivering these awesome perks.
Tough workout planned? Head off soreness by chowing on stir-fry with a few teaspoons of ginger. It has gingerols, anti-inflammatory compounds that may lessen muscle pain when taken pre-training, says Keri Gans, R.D., of New York City. Ginger can even ease the ache from an exercise injury, The Journal of Pain notes.
Ginger has been shown to alleviate nausea in pregnant women, and it likely helps settle a queasy stomach from a hangover or motion sickness, too, says Joy Bauer, R.D., of New York City. Steep ginger slices in green tea the morning after an epic night out, or snack on a few pieces of candied ginger during a rocky road trip.
If you feel as though you're single-handedly keeping Kleenex in business this season, try amping up your ginger intake. It may minimize the length of severity of a cold or flu, says Nicolette Pace, R.D. of Great Neck, New York. Ginger supplies alkaloids and tannic acid, which both have antiviral and antimicrobial effects.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that may fight tumor-promoting free radicals. And gut inflammation, which is linked to colon cancer, dropped 28 percent in people taking ginger pills, Cancer Prevention Research finds.
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