Many people have dubbed ginger as one of the few superfoods with many benefits. Ginger is used as a potent spice in many Asian dishes and can be incorporated in a variety of recipes. The main bioactive compound in this food/spice is gingerol, containing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, the best way to get the most out of ginger’s benefits is by drinking ginger juice.
7 Benefits of Ginger Juice
- Boosting your Immune System – the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help improve the immune system. Because inflammation harms the immune system, foods rich in antioxidants (like ginger) help combat it and keep the immune system healthy.
- Help with Digestion – ginger helps reduce the time it takes the stomach to empty after eating or gastric emptying. The people that suffer chronic indigestion can use the help of ginger.
- Fight and Prevent Cancer – gingerol is the reason for the anti-cancer properties of ginger. It can be found in large quantities in raw ginger. Studies show that cancer has a preventing effect on some types of cancer like breast cancer, colon cancer, and ovarian cancer. However, without more research, we cannot harness its healing abilities the right ways to treat cancer.
- Reduce Arthritis Pain – the anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce joint pain that’s caused by arthritis with studies showing that a large dose of concentrated ginger extract reduces the inflammation in the joints. Additionally, ginger is effective against Gout which is another form of arthritis triggered by uric acid buildup in the blood. You can apply ginger topically or take it internally to reduce the pain.
- Reduce Blood Sugar – A study was done on type II diabetes patients in 2015. In this study, the scientists concluded that two grams of ginger powder a day helped lower the blood glucose level in the patient by 12%. Additionally, it improved the HbA1c which signifies long term blood sugar levels.
- Protect Against Alzheimer’s – Many experts claim that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by oxidative stress and chronic inflammation aside from age-related cognitive decline. Ginger helps reduce the inflammatory response which occurs in the brain with age. Other studies are showing that the gingerol compound directly enhances the function of the brain.
- Reduce Nausea – ginger has been used as an anti-sickness remedy by many people for many years. It’s very effective against nausea, especially for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness. Eating or drinking 1.1 to 1.5 grams of ginger can help reduce nausea completely. However, it does not have any effect on vomiting.
Growing Ginger in your Home
If you don’t want to continuously buy ginger from the store, you can grow it at your home. Don’t worry about the effort you have to put it since it’s not too big. Even if you think it’s too much for you to do, it is worth it since you’ll have home-grown ginger. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Finding the perfect root – go to a grocery store and purchase organic ginger (ones at supermarkets are irradiated to stop it from sprouting) the size of your thumb with bumpy nodules at the tips. These bumpy nodules are the buds of the root. Make sure you get one with plumb chunks with the skin on the delicate buds being light-colored.
- Encourage sprouting – it takes a lot of time to get the ginger to sprout so hurrying up this process is ideal. The perfect way to do this is by creating a terrarium using a container with a clear lid. Add some drainage holes to the container which should be a bit larger than the root. Add one to two inches of potting soil below the seed and add half an inch above it. Make sure you water it well and don’t seal the lid. The soil needs to be at 70 degrees and moist to the touch. You’ll need to water it when the soil dries out. In 6-8 weeks, the sprout will show up.
- Replant it in a large container – the ginger needs room to grow since it’s a heavy feeder and drinker. In six months, the thumb-sized ginger will grow to fill a 2-gallon pot. When replanting it into the other container, you’ll need 4 inches of soil below the sprouted rhizome. Fill the rest of it with soil, leaving only the sprout tip uncovered from the soil. Place it in a warm place where temperatures are kept from 60-90 degrees.
- Hill the soil – ginger rhizomes will burst through the soil, turning green in the sun. Make sure that you water them weekly with organic plant food. Once per month, sprinkle a couple of inches of rich compost to the pot. It will help protect the rhizome from exposure to the sun.
- Harvesting – when harvesting the ginger make sure you snap off a chunk of the rhizome, replanting the rest back in the pot. Additionally, you should add more potting soil or compost as well as heavy water for a few days.