Nutritional qualities and Benefits

Ginger is a rich source of magnesium, calcium and phosphorus-minerals that support bone formation, muscle contraction and nerve transmission. Potassium also protects us from developing fragile bones, from kidney damage and from mental confusion, and helps regulate our blood pressure and heartbeat. It also contains iron, antioxidants Vitamin A and Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and Vitamin B3 or niacin.

The main active substances in ginger are gingerols, which are also the sources of the spice's pungent odor and flavor. The health benefits of gingerol, through the regular consumption of ginger, are relatively well researched and documented.

Studies have shown that ginger can lessen pregnancy related nausea and vomiting through a small and safe dose. This is true even in severe cases called hyperemesis gravidum that can lead to hospitalization of the pregnant patient. One 2005 study involving 675 patients showed not only the effectivity of ginger in these pregnancy-related problems but its safety. There were no signs of significant side effects, in contrast to some anti-vomiting drugs that can cause severe birth defects in the baby.

Gingerols have also been shown in 2 clinical studies to reduce pain and swelling in 75 percent of patients suffering from arthritis and in all patients suffering from muscular aches and pains. In a separate year long study, 23 patients who used fresh ginger not only felt less pain; the swelling in their knees also subsided from a mean measurement of 43.25 cm to 36.38 cm.

The gingerol in ginger is a real killer-an assassin of cancer cells. Laboratory experiments performed by scientists from the University of Michigan exposed ovarian cancer cells to a 5 percent gingerol solution. All cells died from programmed cell death or self-digestion.

Ginger is also one of the few plants that are sources of the vital antioxidant melatonin, which can access even our brain and nervous tissue and get rid of the bacteria in our bodies that are the principal cause of stomach cancer. It has the ability to neutralize or inhibit highly toxic free radicals. Melatonin also stimulates glutathione, the "mother of all antioxidants" which recycles antioxidants and prevents our bodies from being overwhelmed by free radicals and succumbing to serious and chronic illnesses.