Interestingly, Ginger has tons of health benefits. It can be eaten as part of a healthy balanced diet.
1. Decrease Body Weight
This is a great finding! Reduction in body weight can have lasting health benefits.
2. Improve Insulin Resistance
Insulin is the hormone released by our pancreas which helps our bodies regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin is important, but so is insulin sensitivity! Some people can produce plenty of insulin, but the body’s cells are not always responsive in taking the cue from insulin to absorb blood glucose.
3. Decrease Waist To Hip Ratio
Your waist to hip ratio can be a marker of cardiovascular health. Those with a higher waist to hip ratio have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. The cutoff for normal is .90 for men and .80 for women.
4. Improve Fasting Glucose
A normal fasting glucose is below 99 mg/dL. Levels from 100-125 mg/dL indicate prediabetes and fasting glucose over 126 indicates diabetes. Better (lower) fasting glucose values point away from diabetes and toward a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Improve Cholesterol
The “good” cholesterol we always hear about is HDL and the “bad” cholesterol is LDL. Ginger is shown to increase the good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease our bad cholesterol (LDL). This is important because HDL helps protect us from heart disease by recycling cholesterol from around the body to the liver. High LDL levels increase our risk for heart disease and stroke because it contributes to buildup in our arteries which can eventually lead to heart attacks and/or strokes.
Ginger might be a game-changer in modern medicine and nutrition. How can we get more ginger in our diet? We can cook it into food, steep it into teas, and make ginger juices. Just two tablespoons of ginger daily was shown across multiple clinical trials to be effective! Ginger tea anyone?
Eva Shelton, M.D.
Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital