Garlic and ginger aren’t just delicious; they’re also packed with many health benefits that can strengthen your immune system, lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of certain cancers, fight off colds and flu, and more. Here are 7 surprising ways garlic and ginger can improve your health every day.
Heath benefits of ginger and garlic
1) Power herbs
Both ginger and garlic can help with a number of health issues. In fact, these foods are so powerful that they’re often called power herbs. Below are just a few of their benefits – Heart disease: Many studies have shown that consuming garlic or ginger regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. – Asthma: The compounds in both plants have been shown to be effective in reducing asthma symptoms, particularly in children. – Cancer: Several studies suggest that consuming large amounts of either herb may lower your risk for certain types of cancer; however, more research is needed to determine whether there is any connection between eating these foods and a reduced risk for developing cancer.
2) Antibacterial properties
Both garlic and ginger contain a compound called allicin, which has powerful antibacterial properties. Allicin can help your body fight off infections. Plus, it has been found to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels too. In fact, in one study published in 2012 in Phytotherapy Research, researchers gave participants either raw garlic or a placebo every day for 12 weeks. At the end of that time period, those who consumed raw garlic had significantly lower total cholesterol than those who took placebos. And when they tested their blood after an overnight fast, they also had lower triglycerides (another type of fat) than those who didn’t consume any garlic at all.
3) Reduce inflammation
Both garlic and ginger are often thought of as anti-inflammatory foods. Some research supports these claims, but more study is needed to determine whether or not they really reduce inflammation over time. One thing is for sure: these spices do help manage some inflammatory conditions such as gout, arthritis, muscle aches, indigestion, nausea, colds, and flu. And there are many natural compounds in garlic and ginger that can have an anti-inflammatory effect when taken regularly.
4) Fight colds
Both garlic and ginger contain active compounds that can help you fight off colds. In fact, both are part of many traditional remedies for colds. An easy way to consume these culinary stars is to use them in cooking—garlic in curries, sautés, or roasts; ginger in tea, marinades, or stir-fries. The spices’ strong flavours can easily overwhelm a dish if you eat them raw. (Here are some other natural ways to stay healthy.)
5) Balance hormones estrogen dominance is a condition that occurs when your body doesn’t have enough of its own progesterone, or is resistant to its effects. It can be brought on by birth control pills, pregnancy, stress, an unhealthy gut microbiome (the collection of microbes in your gut), blood sugar imbalances, too much caffeine or alcohol intake, as well as health conditions like diabetes and hypothyroidism. Many hormones are affected by estrogen dominance, leading to symptoms like bloating and water retention.
6) Improve circulation
When we suffer from poor circulation, it limits our body’s ability to transport oxygen around our systems. This is why people with poor circulation are often blue around their extremities. Increasing your intake of garlic can give you better, stronger blood flow throughout your whole body—making it easier for your heart to pump oxygen throughout your entire system. It may also help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Choose foods that include lots of garlic (and/or ginger).
7) Boost the immune system
The way to keep sickness at bay is by boosting your immune system. And garlic can do just that: It’s rich in antioxidants that boost natural killer cells, which help fight colds, flu, and other illnesses. Meanwhile, studies have shown that people who consume more ginger are less likely to develop cold symptoms compared with those who don’t eat it. This is because ginger has antibacterial properties.
How to buy good ginger
Fresh ginger root is often used in Asian cooking. Choose plump, firm roots without shrivelled skin or soft spots. Store it in a perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer for up to two weeks. For longer storage, place it in a paper bag with a slightly damp paper towel and place it in your freezer for up to four months. To prepare, use a paring knife to cut off any brown skin on its surface; then grate or finely chop it before using.