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Ginger Consumption Linked with Improved Heart Health

Ginger is a popular spice worldwide and it may also be good for your heart. A recent study suggests that eating ginger daily may lower the risk of a range of chronic conditions, including high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.

4,628 people over the age of 18 took part in the study. The researchers examined the relationship between daily intake of 0 to 2 grams of ginger, 2 to 4 grams, and 4 to 6 grams and chronic diseases including anemia, cerebrovascular disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver disease, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension.

The only illnesses that showed a reduction associated with ginger intake in people over 18 were hypertension and coronary heart disease. When they examined only people over 40, they found similar associations. However, when they looked at people over 60, there was no association with ginger consumption and lower risk of hypertension but there was still an association with lower risk of coronary heart disease.

The researchers believe ginger may lower the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases by inducing an inhibitory action on angiotensin-1-converting-enzyme and by helping to prevent lipid peroxidation in the heart. The effects may also be linked to the polyphenol content of ginger.  They recommend that further studies be undertaken to determine the exact mechanism.

Researchers from Shandong Centre for Tuberculosis Control, Shandong University, and Shandong Medical Doctor Association — all in China — conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 3, 2016, in Nutrition.

Ginger is used as a folk remedy for upset stomach in cultures across the globe. It has also been linked to easing arthritis pain, calming headaches, and relieving intense menstrual cramps. It can be consumed raw, cooked, or in tea form.

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