Using ginger for gut health has been around for centuries. Ginger or Zingiber officinale is a vey versatile herb that can spice up any dish. Its medicinal properties and oily resin in the roots of the ginger plant contains many bioactive compounds such as gingerols and shogaols. This is why ginger has been used for thousands of years as an ancient remedy for ailments from head to toe, including bloating, nausea, pain, inflammation, and so much more. Needless to say, ginger is a powerful plant. In fact, did you know it is considered to be an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant? It really is an all in one remedy and powerhouse superfood!
While there are many reasons someone should incorporate ginger into their routine, I am a huge advocate for including ginger into a routine specifically for individuals who are experiencing GI distress and trying to heal their gut.
Regardless of the stage you are in along your gut and autoimmune journey, protecting and soothing the integrity of the gut lining is always our main priority. While there are many steps to healing the gut, cooling down inflammation along the tissue and villi is always a place we want to focus on. If you have active autoimmunity, Celiac disease, leaky gut, or other inflammatory conditions, ginger might be a great addition to your wellness routine.
You can use ginger in many different forms such as fresh, dried, pickled, candied, or powdered and add it to your meals, bone broth, and smoothies. It’s great when used in a stir fry, for sushi, blended as a dressing, pickled with sweet vinegar, and used in baking. My personal favorite way to enjoy it though, is as a tea.
Ginger tea is incredible healing and the best way to incorporate it into a gut healing routine. You can add other spices to it, such as cinnamon for extra blood sugar support to improve insulin sensitivity, or even turmeric which contains curcumin and provides an extra anti-inflammatory kick.
Preparing a fresh and healing ginger tea is easier than you might think. Simply sipping on warm ginger water throughout the day provides many health benefits for your digestive tract. Here’s the low-down on implementing a ginger tea so that you can use fresh ginger for gut healing.
Studies reveal incredible results when participants consume just 1 serving of fresh ginger per day after only a few weeks (PRO TIP: 1 serving of fresh ginger root is equivalent to 1 TBSP).
Consuming ginger is considered generally safe with little interactions, although the mechanisms of action are still widely misunderstood. Individuals on blood thinning medications are advised to keep consumption below 4g per day to prevent the risk of hemorrhage and should always speak to their physician before consuming ginger tea daily. In addition, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should keep consumption below 2g per day. As with any herb, consuming too much of a good thing is possible and can lead to diarrhea, heartburn, or irritation in the mouth.
It’s best to sip first thing in the morning before food or coffee. You can add fresh lemon juice (from 1 wedge) and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, too. These health foods help balance your pH, alkalize the body, and improve the breakdown of food you eat throughout the day. This potent combination activates natural gastric juices and enzymes to enhance optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.
After your first cup in the morning, sip just the ginger and hot water before lunch and dinner to improve reflux and balance stomach acid.
If you’re dealing with chronic bloating and gas, arthritic pain, PMS, chemotherapy side effects, or morning sickness, you might want to consider sipping on ginger tea throughout the day in between meals. Not only can ginger ease your symptoms, it can also reduce inflammation and help heal your body from the inside out.
Do you currently use ginger as part of your wellness routine?
"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."
-Nikki Yelton, RD
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