One of the most common types of liver disease is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and it generally occurs in people who are sedentary, overweight and/or eating too many simple sugars. Medically speaking, the risk goes up in individuals with type 2 diabetes and other conditions related to metabolic syndromes like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Conventionally speaking, there’s no effective therapy for NAFLD – aside from making lifestyle modifications that minimize damage to cells and help control blood sugar levels. Of course, if you present any of the symptoms (mentioned above) to a conventionally-trained physician, you’ll probably just be sent home with a bag of (toxic) prescription drugs – which only add to your troubles.
However, one study suggests that adding ginger to an anti-inflammatory lifestyle may benefit individuals with liver disease. Today, we’ll explain why this herb (sometimes referred to as a spice) is so valuable.
Ginger increase the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions for people with liver disease
Study participants were provided with advice on making lifestyle modifications like adding physical activity and diet modifications and were supplied with either 2 grams of ginger or a placebo that was taken daily for 12 weeks. Liver health was measured before and after the study via blood samples.
At the end of the 12 weeks, the group of study participants taking ginger saw significant improvements in their liver enzyme health, overall liver health, and insulin sensitivity when compared to participants who made lifestyle changes alone. Researchers believe that supplementing with ginger likely increases the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions in these patients, such as physical activity and diet modifications.
Other proven health benefits of ginger
Beyond helping patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, ginger offers many other health benefits backed up by science, as well. Packed with healthy compounds like shogaols, gingerols, gingerones, phenolics, and paradols, these compounds are what give ginger its anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Researchers continue to study ginger’s ability to kill cancer cells, with one study discovering that it killed prostate cancer cells without harming healthy cells. Some evidence supports using ginger to prevent ovarian, pancreatic, and breast cancers, too.
The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of ginger make it useful for treating many health problems. Taking ginger extract reduced inflammation and pain in patients studied with osteoarthritis.
It’s also been shown to reduce muscle pain and soreness after excessive by lowering inflammation levels.
Other proven health benefits of ginger include:
- Relieving nausea and vomiting
- Treating morning sickness
- Reducing blood sugar levels
- Improving heart disease risk factors
- Treating chronic indigestion
- Lowering cholesterol
- Fights infections
Ginger supplements offer an excellent way to enjoy the health benefits, just make sure you go with one that has 5% gingerols for the best results. You can also add fresh ginger root to veggie dishes, stir-fries, or your favorite meats.
And, finally, ginger tea made from fresh ginger root is both tasty and healthy. However, before adding a ginger supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor. It has blood-thinning properties and may not be safe for people already taking blood-thinning medication.
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