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    You Ask, I Answer: Ginger

    ginger-root1I love, love, love ginger.

    I make my own juices at home three or four times a week and always add one or two hefty chunks of ginger.

    I feel fine, but should I be concerned about so much ginger doing something to my intestinal tract?  One of my friends says I should be careful because since ginger is spicy, so much of it could cause ulcers.

    — Jordan Yeats
    (City withheld), FL

    Ah, the “spicy foods cause ulcers” myth.

    The vast majority of ulcers are actually caused by h. pylori bacteria.  Stress and spicy foods don’t play any role in ulcer formation.  They can, however, make existing ulcers more painful.

    FYI: The h. pylori connection was first made by Australian doctors Barry Marshall and Robin Warren in the early 1980s — and garnered them the 2005 Nobel Prize in Medicine!

    Ulcers aside, there is no need for you to be concerned about the amount of ginger you are eating (provided you don’t have certain health conditions such as gallbladder disease or taking cardiac or diabetes medication).

    Healthy individuals can reap plenty of health benefits from fresh ginger!

    Ginger is not only a powerful anti-inflammatory food (remember, cellular inflammation is the principal factor behind the development of most degenerative diseases), it has also been shown to significantly slow down the reproduction of tumor cells and be a powerful weapon against free radicals.

    Ginger is so good at reducing inflammation that it is a wonderful natural remedy to help alleviate arthritis symptoms (as long as it is consumed consistently, of course).

    Ginger is also an excellent source of curcumin, the antioxidant in turmeric that helps significantly reduce the risk for a variety of cancers.

    Another bonus?  Ginger has been shown to help reduce blood platelet aggregation (thereby helping lower atherosclerosis risk).

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    One Comment

    1. Lauren Slayton said on February 6th, 2010

      Thanks for ginger post, I actually never realized it was the same antioxidant in turmeric! I just did a segement for Valentines day on alleged aphrodisiacs and ginger made that list too!

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