In a world full of unhealthy eating practices and hectic lifestyle, we often lose focus on keeping our health in check. The unhealthy foods cause a lot of damage all over our body and it’s organs and causes many hormonal imbalances. This coupled with lack of physical exercise, too much stress and lack of sleep can be disastrous for our body if proper care is not taken and changes in unhealthy eating and lifestyle practices are not made.
Thankfully, there’s a lot of things we can do to prevent breakdown of our health, including adopting a proper exercise and healthy eating regimen, avoiding unhealthy eating and lifestyle choices and maintaining a work-life balance.
In this article, we will discuss two such implementations we can make in our daily life and their many health benefits. These two are: Ginger and turmeric. Both of them are closely related in terms of the plants they originate from and also some of the benefits that they share.
Ginger is a perennial flowering plant. It’s root which is what we normally call ginger, is used as a spice and diet supplement for naturally treating some body conditions and improving the overall health of our body. Ginger has been used as part of diet by people from India, China and other Asian countries and also by ancient Greeks and Romans, as it was exported to their countries.
Today, ginger and it’s extract is used in myriad of ways such as eaten raw or used as spice in vegetable or soup recipes, pickles and even as part of different beverages. Dried ginger is powdered and used as an ingredient in making gingerbread, ginger ale & beer, cakes and cookies.
Ginger’s strong flavor and also it’s smell are the because of some volatile oils, that are only 1-3% of their weight. We said volatile, as that’s why when ginger is stored for long and it loses that aroma and taste. Ginger is composed of a natural component called Gingerol, which forms a major part of it’s medicinal uses.
Let’s now take a look at the many health benefits of ginger:
1) Very effective in treating nausea: Nausea, be it caused by motion sickness, chemotherapy, seasickness or even during pregnancy can be treated with ginger.
2) Ginger is anti-inflammation: As ginger is composed of gingerol, paradol and shogaol, all these compounds give ginger anti-inflammatory properties.
3) Highly effective against common cold and sore throat: No wonder the many natural ingredient cough syrups make ginger an important part of them, as research has shown it to provide relief from common colds and even sore throats.
4) Antibacterial: Ginger is highly effective anti-bacterial spice and can be used in treatment or supplement from diseases caused by harmful microbes and pathogens.
5) Helps with indigestion and even proper assimilation of nutrients: Indigestion be it due to overeating, eating foods that are not compatible for your body or just due to you having a slow metabolism can be very uncomfortable especially if accompanied with bloating. Ginger helps stimulate digestion so that the food is digested properly with no or less gas formation and also it’s nutrients are properly assimilated into our body. So by doing all this basically ginger helps in improving your overall metabolism.
6) Helps control and keep blood pressure in check: High blood pressure is mostly caused by unhealthy eating practices with eating too much processed foods everyday, eating too much salty/spicy foods and eating too much sugary foods. If not kept in check high blood pressure, can then cause many other health problems related to heart, kidneys etc. Ginger helps control blood pressure by working as vasodilator, which basically means that it improves blood circulation by expanding blood vessels. Also potassium is a found in good quantity in ginger which again helps keep blood pressure at normal level.
7) Helps in menstrual pain: Sometimes such pain can be unbearable, so ginger comes to the rescue owing to it’s anti-inflammatory property, it’s often labelled as a natural pain killer.
8) Boosts our immune system: Ginger gives a good boost to our immune system too. Due to it’s antibacterial and anti-inflammation properties, our immune system can perform better naturally as it can avoid the energy and efforts required for counteracting too much inflammation and pathogens.
9) Reduces bad cholesterol: Ginger helps in keeping check over levels of low-density lipoproteins or LDL, also known as bad cholesterol in the health communities. It’s called bad as high levels of LDL have been linked with a higher risk of getting heart disease. Even in low quantities, it has been found to reduce the bad cholesterol level.
10) Lowers blood sugar level: For people suffering from high levels of blood sugar and insulin, especially in diabetics, ginger has proven to be high effective remedy. This can especially be quite helpful when combined with healthy diet low in carbs and other foods which keep blood sugar in check.
11) Prevents dandruff: It has proven to be an effective remedy for dandruff, it works by improving blood circulation to the scalp, controlling the secretion of oil glands present in scalp and clearing the accumulated gunk on the scalp. The juice can be applied on hair half an hour to taking bath.
12) Improves health and vitality of skin: When eaten raw or taken in juice on an empty stomach, it is highly beneficial towards the health of our skin. Also we can beat it to a pulp and apply the paste on our face. It smooths out the wrinkles, improves blood circulation to face, cleans and refreshes skin pores and exfoliates dead skin cells thereby improving skin texture and glow and works against acne, boils, blackheads and scars, providing you with a great looking skin overall.
Another perennial flowering plant related to ginger family of plants and like ginger, turmeric’s root is also used as a spice and natural medicine to treat various conditions. It’s plant is traditionally native to and found in India and Southeast Asia. Rhizomes or root-stalks are harvested from the plant, which are then boiled in water for some time and then dried in sun. The dried root-stalks are then grounded into powder form of turmeric.
The filtered form of turmeric powder is used as a condiment in many cuisines native to Southeast Asia. Turmeric comprises of curcuminoids such as curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and also bisedemethoxycurcumin, these are basically compounds which play an important role in providing many medicinal properties to turmeric.
Let’s now check out the several health benefits of turmeric:
1) Anti-inflammatory: Turmeric is highly anti-inflammatory in nature owing due to it’s curcumin compounds. Inflammation when kept in check is a natural component of our immune system, whereas high and chronic inflammation can cause damage to our internal organs and body systems.
2) Rich in antioxidants: Antioxidants are compounds derived from everyday food, which prevent or inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is basically a chemical reaction that ends-up producing free radicals which can make us age, slow down the normal functioning of our internal organs and affect our skin and hair also. Antioxidants protect us from this damage.
3) Effective in preventing heart disease: Curcumin has been found to improve the health and functioning of endothelium, which is a thin membrane covering our heart insides and also the blood vessels. This membrane is vital in keeping blood pressure in check. The already discussed anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties of turmeric, also help in keeping our blood pressure normal and our heart performing normally.
4) Helps with digestion: Turmeric induces a healthy environment inside our stomach for it to properly digest the food by helping with secretion of various digestive juices such as bile. Food when properly digested subsequently can be assimilated and the remaining waste can be separated effectively.
5) Provides relief in Arthritis: A condition that affects our joints to due chronic inflammation of our body, arthritis can be quite debilitating, painful and problematic in normal body movement. Due to turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammation property it proves effective in treating people suffering with arthritis.
6) Improves brain function: Turmeric has been linked to improve health and functioning of brain, it’s neurons and the stem cells present in the brain. The antioxidants property of turmeric helps in improving working capacity of the neurons and also improves neuroplasticity, which is the our brain’s ability to form and organize synaptic connections which in short is basically our brain’s ability to observe, focus and react to certain impulses.
7) Improves skin health and function: Due to it’s healing properties in the form of it being anti-inflammation, antimicrobial and antioxidant, turmeric forms an important part of many natural face moisturizing creams, face washes, face masks and lotions. It not only acts as a cleanser for our skin pores but also induces healing of the skin cells, prevents free radicals from damaging the elasticity of our skin, improves skin glow and improves collagen synthesis.
8) Improves body’s immunity: Turmeric has been proven to improve overall health of our internal organs and various body systems including our immune system. When taken with milk in small quantities, it boosts our immunity, provides relief in cold and also helps heal wounds. Curcumin’s healing property also helps in expediting repair of wounds and other body systems.
9) Helps in detoxification: Turmeric, helps flush out toxins from our liver and kidneys. Also it’s anti-inflammation ability improves the overall functioning of those organs to ensure their health and proper functioning.
10) Helps our brain fight against depression: Curcumin kind of acts like an antidepressant, which are drugs taken to improve the chemical imbalances of the neurotransmitters present in our brain, responsible for keeping us aware, focused and also our mood. Depression, when left untreated can be highly damaging to a person both mentally and physically and also financially in some cases.
11) Works as an anti-ageing agent: Due to it’s medicinal, anti-inflammation, anti-microbial and antioxidant properties, turmeric works against degeneration of our internal organs and provide the an excellent boost, as a result of the proper functioning of these organs our skin, hair and various body systems continue to perform well, which in short keep us young.
Now that you know the many benefits of ginger and turmeric, it’s your responsibility to make them a necessary part of our daily lives. They are key to good health and even treating the various ailments. Always make sure to eat a healthy and balanced diet, properly hydrate yourself either with water or with fresh fruit juices and follow a healthy regimen of exercising and proper sleep.
Maintaining a work-life balance and healthy diet regimen is vital to improve our overall health. Ginger and turmeric can be added as condiments when preparing those healthy foods without much notable risks to health. When opting to try new healthy supplements or even natural foods such as ginger and turmeric, make sure to take them in small quantities and to keep in mind that they are their to only supplement your daily diet and nutrient requirements.
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