It seems like many of you took notice of the spices that prevent cancer post so I thought I would continue this type of educational content on the blog and talk about other (easy!) foods that are great for your health. Let’s start with ginger and its many medicinal and health properties.
First off – what exactly is ginger? Ginger is a flowering plant that originated in China and has a long history of treating nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, loss of appetite, infections, and so many other common ailments. Before scientific studies were conducted on ginger, it’s been used for centuries in India and China, and in later years across Europe. In Indian Ayurvedic practices, ginger is also used and recommended to enhance the digestion of food. Many times, I feel we can look to these traditional forms of medicine, as it relates to food, for some guidance on how to treat ourselves in this modern world.
Now hundreds (or thousands) of years later, science is catching up and there have been several studies done that show the positive benefits of ginger against fighting cancer. Experimental studies have shown that ginger’s active components called 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol produce anticancer activities against gastrointestinal cancer, which is a leading cancer around the world.
Common risk factors for GI cancer include smoking, drinking alcohol, high fat diet, age/race/gender/family history and so many others! There is also a higher risk of cancer in developed/Westernized countries (much like other forms of cancer). However, evidence shows a change in lifestyle could prevent cancer, by making small lifestyle changes that are within our control, such as: avoiding tobacco, increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, moderately drinking, exercising, minimizing meat consumption. Eating more plant-based foods is actually one of the important reasons for a lower incidence of cancer in Asian countries. In many Asian dishes, these recipes include ginger.
Not only do studies reveal that ginger has potential for the prevention and treatment of different GI related disorders but studies also show that ginger delays the nausea that is stimulated during chemotherapy. In one clinical study, patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy were given normal diets, a protein drink with ginger, and additional high protein with ginger – two times a day. They found that the protein meals that included ginger reduced the nausea due to chemotherapy and reduced the use of anti-nausea medications.
As you can see ginger is a superfood in my view, used for many different reasons, and is also very easy to incorporate into your diet.
I really wanted to highlight simple, real foods that have incredible health benefits because eating well for good health and longevity does not have to be hard, expensive, or unattainable.
If you’re looking for a quick way to incorporate ginger into your diet, simply add the following together and sip on this ginger root tea during your day:
- 2 tbsps of fresh ginger root
- 1-2 cups of boiling water
- 1-2 tbsps manuka honey
- 1 tbsp fresh citrus (lemon is a personal fave)