Having a bit of ginger in your diet has always been a good bet. It's been used in Chinese, Indian and Arabic medicine since ancient times and it's widely used today for its ability to calm the digestive system and prevent nausea.
Interest in ginger has picked up recently because it has been shown to have antioxidant properties which can protect against heart disease.
A group of researchers in Canada decided to look at the ability of ginger to prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol. LDL is is referred to as the "bad" cholesterol, and when it is oxidised, it plays a key role in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, which can block blood vessels and cause heart attack and stroke.
The team observed up to 71% less LDL oxidation after treatment with ginger extracts and identified a number of natural substances in the plant that had strong antioxidant effects.
Heart disease is one of the biggest killers of both men and women in this country. While eating well and exercising definitely reduces your risks, cardiovascular disease has a strong genetic component, and can strike anyone.
A cardiovascular system that is in good shape is one of the keys to good health. Good blood flow gets more nutrients and oxygen to the muscles faster, and it is responsible for the huge pumps and vascularity that many bodybuilders aim for, not to mention better endurance and ultimately, bigger gains.
On top of this, antioxidants work in many other ways too, and there's a lot of evidence that they can help muscle recovery.
While a bit more research needs to be done before we declare ginger the next superfood, it is definitely earning its place on the menu.
Gunathilake KD, Rupasinghe HP. Inhibition of Human Low-Density Lipoprotein Oxidation In Vitro by Ginger Extracts. J Med Food. 2014 Jan 9.