The holidays are a time when gingerbread men and houses reign supreme, but there are plenty of reasons to incorporate ginger into your diet all year round.
Let's start with the winter season, when cold weather means more people stay indoors. Sharing a cozy couch with friends and family is great, but it's also a good opportunity to spread viruses and germs.
If you do feel like you got more than just socks from your Aunt Sue over the holidays, ginger can help you sweat out that cold. In addition to detoxification, ginger-induced sweats produce dermicidin. This germ-fighting agent can offer protection against invading bacteria and fungi, according to German researchers.
If you're looking to put a little spring in your step now that it's well, spring, count on ginger to be there whenever there are muscle aches. Just don't expect it to kick in immediately.
A 2013 study from the American Pain Society found two grams of ginger taken daily for 11 days significantly reduced pain for people suffering from exercise-induced muscle soreness. So the next time you grab that bottle of water, add a few slices of ginger for good measure.
Summer's prime time for training regiments, especially if you're a runner gunning for a personal best for an upcoming fall race. But all that training can take a toll on your joints. If you are detecting pain in your knees or ankles, introducing ginger to your diet can have some benefits.
Ginger contains gingerols, a collection of anti-inflammatory compounds, that block the chemical messenger that transmits the pain from inflammation to your body, according to the BBC.
Now, not everyone's a marathon runner. Some of us are better suited for marathon of Netflix, or come fall and Thanksgiving, marathon eating. If you've found yourself biting off more than you can chew again, ginger can offer some relief.
For anyone who deals with indigestion, ginger can help speed up the process it takes to empty your stomach. Ginger also does double duty if you get bloated by functioning as a carminative. Carminatives help eliminate excess gas from the intestinal tract, according to Examine.com
And last but not least, ginger is tasty. Ginger is popular in Asian cuisine as the spice pairs well with poultry, seafood and vegetables.
But don't take our word for it. Watch as Toronto chef Susur Lee whips up some of his guo tie, a dumpling dish that marries ginger with a medley of vegetables perfect for any occasion.