It’s hard to avoid holiday treats that are usually packed with sugar and calories, but this year you might want to trade in your candy cane for a cookie! Ginger bread cookies are a spicy holiday favorite that people of all ages can enjoy, but did you know that ginger is one of the healthiest spices on earth?
The most common use of the ginger root is to treat all types of nausea, from morning to motion sickness. In the past it was used as a seasickness remedy, but these days it’s more suited for roller coasters and tilt-a-whirls. Ginger also may reduce muscle pain and soreness due to the anti-inflammatory properties in its natural oil, also known as gingerol. These pain-killing properties can even aid in menstrual pain relief!
In some studies, daily consumption of a small amount of ginger may drastically lower blood sugars, cholesterol levels, and can reduce the risk factors for heart disease. Other studies support ginger as an aid in preventing cancer, but many studies suggest that the key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, can be lessened by the natural antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger. There are also studies in animals showing that ginger can protect against age-related decline in brain function.
So this holiday season, do yourself a favor and grab a gingerbread man! If you’re lacking a sweet tooth, try integrating ginger tea or ginger powder into your diet. Be sure to talk to your doctor regularly taking any dietary supplement.