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The mighty root that puts ‘zing’ in amazing

Ginger, scientifically known as Zingiber officinale, belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, alongside other notable spices like turmeric and cardamom. The main compound in ginger ‘gingerol’ provides many of the medicinal properties found in this potent, yet delicious herb.

The list of ginger’s benefits is endless:

  • provides powerful anti-inflammatory effects
  • helps reduce oxidative stress in the body
  • can help significantly reduce body weight and waist to hip ratio
  • helps reduce body mass index and insulin levels

One particularly compelling reason to incorporate ginger into your diet is its benefits for women over 40 who are experiencing the first changes due to perimenopause.

During this phase, hormone levels fluctuate, leading to irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances, weight gain (especially around the belly) and other symptoms. While these changes are a natural part of the aging process, they can significantly impact our quality of life.

Natural remedies can help make this process as smooth as possible, and ginger is one of them. It can help through providing: 

  1. Digestive support and fat-burning properties

Hormonal changes during menopause often slow down metabolism leading to weight gain, especially around the belly. Ginger's digestive benefits can help soothe gastrointestinal discomfort, improve digestion, and increases metabolism. 

  1. Bone health and reducing systemic inflammation

As women approach menopause, declining estrogen levels can increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone loss. Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce inflammation in the body, potentially supporting bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. 

  1. Alleviating menstrual discomfort:

For centuries, ginger has been used to ease menstrual cramps and discomfort, offering a natural alternative to conventional pain relievers.

  1. General health benefit – effective immune booster:

Rich in antioxidants, ginger aids in bolstering the immune system, helping the body fend off infections and diseases.

Incorporating ginger into your perimenopause routine: 

  • Ginger Tea: brew fresh ginger slices in hot water for a soothing and warming tea.
  • Cooking: add fresh, dried, or powdered ginger to soups, stews, curries, stir-fries, baked goods and sauces. It will give a zingy warmth to both savoury and sweet dishes.
  • Smoothies: blend fresh ginger with fruits, vegetables, and yogurt for a refreshing and nutritious smoothie. 

My personal preference for a recipe is a Ginger lemonade, because it’s colourful, refreshing and loaded with nutrients and immune-boosting compounds.