Top 5 Health Benefits of Ginger + Nutrition Info and Fun Facts

Written by Natalie Bickford, MScN

Ginger is a root vegetable with a distinctive taste that can add a lot of flavor to any food.

Ginger can be added to stews, curries, marinades, sauces, or simply made into a tea.

Ginger's health benefits include improved digestion, nausea relief, better joint health, blood sugar regulation, and reduced cancer risk.

In today's modern world you can find ginger pretty much anywhere, and there is no reason not to eat more of it!

Ginger Health Benefits

1. Ginger Helps to Relieve Nausea

Ginger historically has been used medicinally to treat nausea. It has been largely studied in pregnant women for morning sickness and in chemotherapy patients for post-chemotherapy nausea. One study showed that pregnant women who took ginger to relieve nausea had a reduction in their symptoms (1). In another study, patients undergoing chemotherapy were given ginger capsules and saw a significant improvement in the severity of the chemo-induced nausea (2).

2. Ginger Helps Improve Digestion

Ginger has many beneficial digestive properties that can help with a variety of gastrointestinal conditions. Ginger can help to relieve stomach pain, discomfort, and gas. It causes the smooth muscles in your intestines to contract, stimulating digestion and accelerating gastric emptying (3). Such benefits make it a great natural remedy for GERD symptoms, constipation, and gas.

3. Ginger Can Improve Joint Health

Ginger contains a substance called gingerol that has strong anti-inflammatory effects. Gingerol can reduce the formation of inflammatory cells called cytokines that are found in arthritic joints. One study showed that supplementation of ginger extract improved symptoms of patients with knee osteoarthritis (4). Another study showed an improvement in symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis with ginger supplementation (5).

4. Ginger Can Help Regulate Blood Sugar

Ginger contains gingerol and other chemical substances that may help control blood sugar. Though the mechanism is not entirely known, most attribute these effects to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. One study showed that ginger supplementation significantly improved fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and many other biomarkers for diabetes (6).

5. Ginger Can Help Prevent Cancer

Ginger has anti-cancer properties that have been widely studied for many different types of gastrointestinal cancers. Studies show that gingerol compounds found in ginger can inhibit the growth and proliferation of colon cancer cells (7). This study also showed promising results for gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, and liver cancer (7).

Nutrient Info For Ginger

Serving size: 1/4 cup sliced

Top 10 Nutrients by %DV
  • Potassium3% DV
  • Manganese3% DV
  • Copper3% DV
  • Magnesium3% DV
  • Vitamin C2% DV
  • Vitamin B62% DV
  • Fiber2% DV
  • Carbs1% DV
  • Choline1% DV
  • Calories1% DV
Table for Common Nutrients
Calories 19cals 1%
Fat 0.2g 0%
Protein 0.4g 1%
Carbohydrate 4.3g 1%
Sugars 0.4g ~
Fiber 0.5g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Saturated Fats 0.049g 0%
Calcium, Ca 3.8mg 0%
Iron, Fe 0.1mg 1%
Potassium, K 99.6mg 3%
Magnesium, Mg 10.3mg 3%
Vitamin A, IU 0IU 0%
Vitamin C 1.2mg 2%
Vitamin B-12 0μg 0%

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database - Release 28.
See the complete nutrition facts with over 150 nutrients, or the nutrition facts comparison of Ginger vs other foods.

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Ginger Fun Facts

  1. India is the world's largest producer of ginger, followed closely by China.
  2. In Japan picked ginger is called "Gari" and often served alongside sushi.
  3. Ginger can be boiled or steeped in hot water to make ginger tea, a particularly useful home remedy for colds or stomach maladies.
  4. Ginger is part of the same botanical family as turmeric and cardamom.
  5. A tall and beautiful plant with yellow flowers, ginger is often used in tropical climates for landscaping purposes.
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Data Sources and References

    1. A randomized controlled trial of ginger to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
    2. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces acute chemotherapy-induced nausea: A URCC CCOP study of 576 patients
    3. Effects of ginger on gastric emptying and motility in healthy humans.
    4. Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
    5. Zingiber officinale: A Potential Plant against Rheumatoid Arthritis
    6. The Effects of Ginger on Fasting Blood Sugar, Hemoglobin A1c, Apolipoprotein B, Apolipoprotein A-I and Malondialdehyde in Type 2 Diabetic Patients
    7. Ginger and Its Constituents: Role in Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancer