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Benefits of Garlic and Ginger – Why Are They Part of Super Foods?

garlic-and-ginger-the-wonder-food
5 October

Benefits of Garlic and Ginger – Why Are They Part of Super Foods?

Benefits of Garlic and Ginger – There is a very interesting anecdote about Ginger. A writer had visited a friend’s home in Singapore. It was lunchtime. Unfortunately, the weekend vegetable shopping had not been done. So, the home had only curd, rice, and ginger. The lady of the house did some Jugaad and prepared curd rice and rasam rice using ginger in the rasam. The guest shared his experience that the food tasted divine.

Similarly, Garlic also has a lot of prominence in the Indian traditional life science – Ayurveda as well as in the currently prevalent Advanced Science.

How can Ginger make a difference in our lives?

In Cooking and Diet

Ginger is a herb that has been used in Indian cooking as a condiment from time immemorial. Ginger murabba is a famous sweet in the South of India. It is acidic and that is why it causes irritation in the stomach if used in raw form. However, the diluted ginger juice is a good remedy for correcting menstrual disorders in women.

Ginger adds that tanginess to our diet that has no parallels. It is a flowering plant that originated from China. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family. The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root, or simply ginger.

For Digestion and Abdominal Health

Ginger has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few. Regular consumption of ginger juice early in the morning can help flatten your tummy if your tummy is bulging out. The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Pregnant women can overcome nausea by keeping a small slice of ginger in the mouth. Ginger can be rubbed against the hard surface to make a paste along with a little water and this paste can be applied on the forehead to ward off headaches.  Ginger can also reduce muscular pain that results from strenuous exercises.

Chronic indigestion (dyspepsia) is characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. It is believed that delayed emptying of the stomach is a major driver of indigestion. This is called incomplete evacuation. Interestingly, ginger has been shown to speed up emptying of the stomach in people with this condition.

Osteoarthritis is now a common health problem among senior citizens. It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms like joint pain and stiffness. An oil made from ginger, sesame and cinnamon can be externally applied to cure people of knee pain.

For a Healthy Circulatory System

Research in this area is still emerging – however, ginger seems to be having properties that can help control diabetes or blood sugar. Regular consumption of ginger resulted in improvement in HbA1c (a test that assesses the accumulation of blood sugar over a period of time).

Some research studies have proved that ginger can reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Ginger-Lemon juice can be a rejuvenating tonic if consumed regularly. It can tone your skin and give it a unique glow. Adding a small piece of ginger in chutney, sambar, lentils or rasam can have a beneficial effect.

How can Garlic make a difference in our lives?

Now let us come to the next superfood. Garlic is full of antioxidants. It is an excellent herb for effective control of blood pressure. Regular consumption of raw garlic (2 or 3 cloves) can help in reduction of cholesterol. Garlic has ample fiber. This fiber helps in reducing constipation; however Garlic can lead to the generation of heat in the body – while consuming garlic, people have to be careful about the quantity that they are consuming. Readymade garlic capsules are available but nothing can substitute the medicinal effects of garlic in its natural form.

Benefits of Garlic

  • Garlic is beneficial due to the presence of Sulphur containing compound called Allicin. This is found in fresh, crushed or chewed garlic. This is the reason for garlic’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  • Garlic is a part of the onion family and the ‘bulb’ of this herb typically consists of 10-20 smaller sections called the ‘cloves’. Each small clove is a powerhouse of flavor as well as medicinal properties.
  • Every 100 grams of garlic will serve you with close to 150 calories, 33 grams of carbs, 6.36 grams of protein. Garlic is also enriched with Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
  • Garlic is a blood purifier. It will help in cleaning out your system and flushing the toxins. In fact, if you have an irritating cold or a cough, swallow one or two raw garlic cloves with warm water. Garlic also reduces acne.
  • When garlic is cooked, Allicin loses its medicinal value. So, consumption of garlic in its raw form is recommended.

Conclusion

Both garlic and ginger are superfoods. So, making a ginger-garlic rasam or using ginger-garlic paste sometimes in food preparation is an excellent way to maintain your health.

Benefits of Garlic and Ginger are plenty. Regular consumption of ginger and garlic will help fight all diseases and help us to be healthy and fit.

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