Ginger: Health benefits and Dietary tips 0

Ginger is a popular ingredient in cooking, and especially in Asian and Indian cuisine. It has also been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes.

Possible health benefits include relieving nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness, and pain.

The root or underground stem (rhizome) of the ginger plant can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form, or as juice. Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, alongside cardamom and turmeric. It is commonly produced in India, Jamaica, Fiji, Indonesia, and Australia.

It is available fresh and dried, as ginger extract and ginger oil, and in tinctures, capsules, and lozenges. Foods that contain ginger include gingerbread, cookies, ginger snaps, ginger ale, and a wide variety of savory recipes.

Fast facts on ginger:Here are some key points about ginger. More detail is in the main article.

    • Ginger has long been used for culinary and medicinal purpose.
    • Possible health benefits include reducing nausea, pain, and inflammation.
    • Ginger can be used to make tea, chopped or crushed in curries and savory dishes, and dried or crystalized in sweets and confectionary.

Benefits

Root or powdered ginger adds flavor to many dishes, and it can benefit health too.

Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.

However, some herbs and spices may offer additional health benefits. One of these is ginger.

Scientific analysis shows that ginger contains hundreds of compounds and metabolites, some of which may contribute to health and healing. Of these, the gingerols and shogaols have been most extensively researched.

1. Digestion

The phenolic compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastrointestinal (GI) irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production, and suppress gastric contractions as food and fluids move through the GI tract.

At the same time, ginger also appears to have beneficial effects on the enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase, and to increase motility through the digestive tract. This suggests ginger could help prevent colon cancer and constipation.

2. Nausea

Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger tea is a common home remedy for nausea during cancer treatment.

Taking ginger for motion sickness seems to reduce feelings of nausea, but it does not appear to prevent vomiting.

Ginger is safe to use during pregnancy, to relieve nausea. It is available in the form of ginger lozenges or candies.

3. Cold and flu relief

During cold weather, drinking ginger tea is good way to keep warm. It is diaphoretic, which means that it promotes sweating, working to warm the body from within.

To make ginger tea at home, slice 20 to 40 grams (g) of fresh ginger and steep it in a cup of hot water. Adding a slice of lemon or a drop of honey adds flavor and additional benefits, including vitamin C and antibacterial properties.

This makes a soothing natural remedy for a cold or flu.

4. Pain reduction

A study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia found that daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25 percent.

Ginger has also been found to reduce the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, the severe pain that some women experience during a menstrual cycle.

5. Inflammation

Ginger has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and treat inflammatory conditions.

A study published in Cancer Prevention Research journal reported that ginger supplements, which are available to buy online, reduced the risk of colorectal cancer developing in the bowel of 20 volunteers.

Ginger has also been found to be “modestly efficacious and reasonably safe” for treating inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.

6. Cardiovascular health

Other possible uses include reducing cholesterol, lowering the risk of blood clotting, and helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. More research is needed, but if proven, ginger could become part of a treatment for heart disease and diabetes.

Nutrition

Ginger provides a variety of vitamins and minerals:

In 100 grams (g) of fresh ginger root, there are:

  • 79 calories
  • 17.86 g of carbohydrate
  • 3.6 g of dietary fiber
  • 3.57 g of protein
  • 0 g of sugar
  • 14 mg of sodium
  • 1.15 g of iron
  • 7.7 mg of vitamin C
  • 33 mg of potassium

Other nutrients found in ginger in ginger are:

  • vitamin B6
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • zinc
  • folate
  • riboflavin
  • niacin

Fresh or dried ginger can be used to flavor foods and drinks without adding unnecessary salt or sugar. Since it is often consumed in such small amounts, ginger does not add significant quantities of calories, carbohydrate, protein, or fiber.

Diet

Ginger tea with lemon and honey can be a soothing cold remedy.Ginger tea with lemon and honey can be a soothing cold remedy.

Other anti-inflammatory and antioxidantcompounds found in ginger that that are beneficial to health include gingerols, beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate.

Ginger pairs well with many different types of seafood, oranges, melon, pork, chicken, pumpkin, rhubarb, and apples, to name a few. When buying fresh ginger, look for a root with smooth, taut skin, with no wrinkles, and a spicy aroma.

Store fresh ginger in a tightly wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator or freezer, and peel and grate it before use. Add it to any suitable dish for extra flavor.

If fresh ginger is not available, you can use dried.

In most recipes, one-eighth of a teaspoon of ground ginger can be substituted for one tablespoon of fresh grated ginger. Ground ginger can be found in the herbs and spices section of most grocery stores.

Recipe tips for ginger

Here are some tasty ways to use ginger:

  • Add fresh ginger to a smoothie or juice
  • Add fresh or dried ginger to a stir-fry or homemade salad dressing
  • Make ginger tea by steep peeled fresh ginger in boiling water
  • Use fresh or dried ginger to spice up any fish recipe

These tasty ginger recipes have been developed by a registered dietitian:

Spicy cinnamon ginger roasted carrots

Maple gingerbread cookies

Winter vegetable soup

Cilantro-lime tuna burgers

Slow cooker Thai coconut curry

Cure-all juice

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Ketogenic Diet, Benefits and Side Effects 0

“Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread.

How It Works

When you eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This typically takes 3 to 4 days. Then you’ll start to break down protein and fat for energy, which can make you lose weight. This is called ketosis. It’s important to note that the ketogenic diet is a short term diet that’s focussed on weight loss rather than the pursuit of health benefits.

Who Uses It?

People use a ketogenic diet most often to lose weight, but it can help manage certain medical conditions, like epilepsy, too. It also may help people with heart disease, certain brain diseases, and even acne, but there needs to be more research in those areas. Talk with your doctor first to find out if it’s safe for you to try a ketogenic diet, especially if you have type 1 diabetes.

Weight Loss

A ketogenic diet may help you lose more weight in the first 3 to 6 months than some other diets. This may be because it takes more calories to change fat into energy than it does to change carbs into energy. It’s also possible that a high-fat, high-protein diet satisfies you more, so you eat less, but that hasn’t been proved yet.

Cancer

Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use or store sugar as fuel. Ketogenic diets make you burn through this fuel quickly, so you don’t need to store it. This means your body needs — and makes — less insulin. Those lower levels may help protect you against some kinds of cancer or even slow the growth of cancer cells. More research is needed on this, though.

Heart Disease

It seems strange that a diet that calls for more fat can raise “good” cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol, but ketogenic diets are linked to just that. It may be because the lower levels of insulin that result from these diets can stop your body from making more cholesterol. That means you’re less likely to have high blood pressure, hardened arteries, heart failure, and other heart conditions. It’s unclear, however; how long these effects last.

Acne

Carbohydrates have been linked to this skin condition, so cutting down on them may help. And the drop in insulin that a ketogenic diet can trigger may also help stop acne breakouts. (Insulin can cause your body to make other hormones that bring on outbreaks.) Still, more research is needed to determine exactly how much effect, if any, the diet actually has on acne.

Diabetes

Low-carb diets seem to help keep your blood sugar lower and more predictable than other diets. But when your body burns fat for energy, it makes compounds called ketones. If you have diabetes, particularly type 1, too many ketones in your blood can make you sick. So it’s very important to work with your doctor on any changes in your diet.

Epilepsy

Ketogenic diets have helped control seizures caused by this condition since the 1920s. But again, it’s important to work with your doctor to figure out what’s right for you or your child.

Other Nervous System Disorders

These affect your brain and spine, as well as the nerves that link them together. Epilepsy is one, but others may be helped by a ketogenic diet as well, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and sleep disorders. Scientists aren’t sure why, but it may be that the ketones your body makes when it breaks down fat for energy help protect your brain cells from damage.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

This is when a woman’s ovaries get larger than they should be and small fluid-filled sacs form around the eggs. High levels of insulin can cause it. Ketogenic diets, which lower both the amount of insulin you make and the amount you need, may help treat it, along with other lifestyle changes, like exercise and weight loss.

Exercise

A ketogenic diet may help endurance athletes — runners and cyclists, for example — when they train. Over time, it helps your muscle-to-fat ratio and raises the amount of oxygen your body is able to use when it’s working hard. But while it might help in training, it may not work as well as other diets for peak performance.

Side Effects

The more common ones aren’t usually serious: You might have constipation, mild low blood sugar, or indigestion. Much less often, low-carb diets can lead to kidney stones or high levels of acid in your body (acidosis). Other side effects can include the “keto flu,” which may include headache, weakness, and irritability; bad breath; and fatugue.

Diet With Care

When your body burns its stores of fat, it can be hard on your kidneys. And starting a ketogenic diet — or going back to a normal diet afterward — can be tricky if you’re obese because of other health issues you’re likely to have, like diabetes, a heart condition, or high blood pressure. If you have any of these conditions, make diet changes slowly and only with the guidance of your doctor.

 

6 Health Benefits of Atadwe (Tiger Nuts) 0

Tiger nuts, also known as chufa, yellow nutsedge or earth almonds, are not actually nuts, but rather edible tubers.

Tiger nuts were one of the first plants cultivated in Egypt and traditionally used as both food and medicine.

They’re rich in a variety of nutrients and have been linked to several health benefits — ranging from better digestion to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Here are 6 emerging health benefits of tiger nuts.

Tiger Nuts

1. Rich in Nutrients

Tiger nuts contain a variety of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.

Their specific nutrient content depends on the type. There are three main varieties of tiger nuts: black, brown and yellow.

On average, one ounce (28 grams) provides (1):

  • Calories: 103–121
  • Fiber: 2–7 grams
  • Carbs: 9 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 7–9 grams
  • Vitamin E: 278% of the daily value (DV)
  • Iron: 13–40% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 9–11% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 2–8% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 7% of the DV
  • Zinc: 5–7% of the DV
  • Potassium: 3–5% of the DV
  • Calcium: 1% of the DV

Tiger nuts are also a rich source of antioxidants, which are beneficial compounds that protect your body against aging and diseases like cancer and heart disease (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source).

Research shows that germinating tiger nuts prior to eating them increases their antioxidant content (4Trusted Source).

That said, tiger nuts also contain antinutrients, such as phytates, oxalates, saponins and tannins, which can reduce nutrient absorption in your gut.

Germinating or roasting the tubers prior to eating reduces their antinutrient levels, making it easier for your body to absorb and use the many nutrients they contain (5).

2. May Improve Digestion

Tiger nuts may promote a healthy digestion in various ways.

For starters, they are high in insoluble fiber, which passes through your gut without being digested. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stools and helps food move through your gut easily, reducing the likelihood of constipation (16Trusted Source).

Tiger nuts are also presumed to contain resistant starch, a type of fiber that can feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, helping your digestion run smoothly (7).

Moreover, tiger nuts may contain enzymes, such as catalases, lipases and amylases, which help break down foods in your gut, relieving gas, indigestion and diarrhea (7).

Keep in mind that the high fiber content of tiger nuts may initially cause unpleasant gas or bloating. Those interested in trying them should increase their portions gradually.

3. May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

Tiger nuts may help keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Animal studies show that tiger nut extract may help reduce blood sugar levels. This may, in large part, be due to the high fiber content of the tubers which may slow down the absorption of sugar in the gut (5).

Tiger nuts are also rich in the amino acid arginine, which may increase insulin production and sensitivity, both of which are important for blood sugar control (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Moreover, test-tube studies show that tiger nut extract may inhibit the action of carb-digesting enzymes in your gut.

As a result, less sugar may be absorbed from your gut in a way similar to the action of some blood-sugar-lowering diabetic medications. This is thought to potentially lower blood sugar levels, though more research in humans is needed (11Trusted Source).

4. May Improve Heart Health

Tiger nuts may also be good for the health of your heart.

That’s partly because of the high amount of monounsaturated fats they contain, which give them a fat profile similar to that of heart-healthy olive oil (1213Trusted Source14Trusted Source).

Diets rich in monounsaturated fats are linked to lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. They are also associated with a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

What’s more, tiger nuts are rich in the amino acid arginine. Arginine can promote heart health because your body can use it to make nitric oxide, a compound that helps arteries and veins dilate, hence lowering blood pressure (17Trusted Source18Trusted Source).

Research also links tiger nuts to better blood circulation and a lower likelihood of blood clots — both of which can reduce your risk of heart disease (7).

5. May Boost Your Immune System and Help Fight Infections

Tiger nuts may contribute to a stronger immune system.

In one test-tube study, tiger nut extracts were tested against several types of bacteria that can infect humans. The extract was effective against E. coliStaphylococcus and Salmonella bacteria (19Trusted Source).

Another cell study found similar results. The researchers added that tiger nut extracts might also be effective at fighting antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections (20Trusted Source).

However, more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be drawn.

6. May Act as an Aphrodisiac

Tiger nuts have a history of being used to boost libido.

They’re used as aphrodisiacs in Ayurvedic medicine. In addition, men in Nigeria have used tiger nuts for generations to treat erectile dysfunction, increase sperm count and boost libido.

That said, few studies have investigated these supposed aphrodisiac properties.

One mouse study showed that tiger nuts helped preserve testicular weight and sperm production following heavy metal poisoning (21).

In a rat study, eating large amounts of tiger nuts for 30 days increased testosterone levels, boosted sexual activity and reduced intermission time between mating sessions (22Trusted Source).

However, there are no studies on using tiger nuts as an aphrodisiac in humans, so more research is needed before any conclusions can be made.

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