What are the benefits of Ginger Tea?
Ginger tea has many benefits and has been used in ancient populations, like those in India practicing the holistic medicinal practice called Ayurveda, for literally thousands of years.
What is ginger tea? It’s actually very simple – just fresh ginger root seeped in boiling water to create an herbal “tea”.
Ginger naturally contains no caffeine since it isn’t made using black, white or green tea leaves. Instead it’s completely caffeine-free and actually hydrating, as opposed to acting like a diuretic like most traditional teas and coffee do.
Ginger tea can be bought in stores, but its’ super simple to make at home. If the taste of ginger tea seems too basic and bland for you, you can also try adding some fresh squeezed lemon juice or raw honey to add even more detoxifying enzymes and improve the taste.
Why is ginger tea loved so much in eastern cultures? First off, ginger tea is believed to be one of the best natural methods for improving digestion and getting rid of nausea. This is why some people like to drink Ginger Ale (which is clearly a much more processed, less beneficial drink than ginger tea) to soothe their stomach when they’re sick.
Ginger has been extensively studied over the years, and aside from helping to get rid of nausea, ginger and ginger tea are associated with these benefits:
- Helping to fight cancer and inflammation – ginger contains antioxidants that fight oxidative stress and inflammation, two of the key contributors to chronic diseases like cancer.
- Improves Circulation – Ginger helps to increase blood flow, which is why it’s said to have a “warming” or “fiery” effect. Better circulation can help with loads of health problems, from arthritis to chronic fatigue. Ginger may also be able to help with blood pressure levels and improve heart health.
- Healing digestive problems like irritate bowl syndrome (IBS) or morning sickness – the condition “IBS” is basically assigned to anyone who has ongoing digestive problems, like constipation or diarrhea, but doesn’t have any other known form of a digestive disorder that’s causing the problem. IBS can be hard to clear up since it’s usually tied to lifestyle factors like sleep and stress, but ginger tea can help reduce inflammation and stress-related problems within the digestive tract.Ginger can also help relieve morning sickness during pregnancy and is completely safe. It acts as a natural calming agent to both the brain and gut, while also helping to reduce muscle pains and soreness.
- Protecting Brain Health – some research has shown that ginger and ginger tea can help fight oxidative stress in the brain, which over time can lead to age-related cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or Parkinson’s. Antioxidants in ginger help to preserve brain cells and naturally slow the aging process caused by “free radical damage”.
- Regulates Appetite – for people who have a sluggish digestive system or metabolism that makes it hard to ramp up an appetite enough in order to take in all the nutrients they need, ginger can be beneficial with helping them to find healthy foods to be more palatable. Ginger also helps balance levels of stomach acid and digestive enzymes that regulate hunger signals and digestion.
- Can Help with Weight Loss – for the same reason, ginger might be able to help you lose weight by balancing hormones that make you feel hungry and full. A healthier gut, balanced insulin levels, along with a sharper acting brain, control food cravings and how likely you are to overeat.
- Can Help Prevent Muscle Pain and Arthritis Symptoms – ginger reduces inflammation, which is one of the leading reasons people experience chronic muscle and joint pain. Ginger can also help speed up recovery time after a workout and reduce pain brought on by arthritis or osteoarthritis. It’s also completely natural and a great alternative to take arthritis medication or pain killers long-term.
- Helps Manage Hormones, Including Insulin – Some research points to the fact that ginger can help regulate hormones, including the “fat storing” hormone insulin. Ginger works to balance blood sugar levels by regulating how much glucose (sugar from food) is released into the blood stream. This helps prevent insulin resistance that can eventually cause diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
- Helps With Nutrient Absorption – many people suffer from nutrient deficiencies despite eating a pretty healthy diet because of an unhealthy digestive tract, especially a damaged gut, that cannot properly absorb nutrients. Ginger helps improve gut health and balance gut bacteria, which is crucial for actually utilizing vitamins and minerals from foods. This is another reason ginger is beneficial during weight loss – when you’re consuming less food, it’s even more important to properly use the nutrients you’re getting.
As you can see, there’s pretty much nothing ginger can’t help with.
The cool thing about ginger is that its benefits can be obtained whether you choose to make ginger tea, to use ginger raw in dressing or smoothies, or to cook with it and add some to stir-fries.
Try making some easy, homemade ginger tea and having it first thing in the morning and again before bed in order to improve digestion, nutrient absorption, fight inflammation and even get better sleep.
photo credit: ginger tea
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