In a previous article we described the pros and cons of ginger. We informed you that ginger has many health benefits. The most important properties are that ginger (root) has a strong anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effect. It is also packed with vitamins and minerals and is very high in fiber. It purifies the body, prevents the build-up of toxins and stimulates blood flow. Three of the main active ingredients in ginger are gingerol, shogaol and zingerone. In this article we will zoom in on that.
In Eastern (especially Chinese and Indian) medicine , ginger is regularly prescribed for its medicinal properties. The use of ginger to promote health can even be traced back to the philosopher Confucius (5e /6 e century BC). This is not yet the case in Western medicine, although ginger was one of the first spices that the Greeks and Romans bought from Arab traders. The Greek physician Dioscorides even described the warming effect on the stomach, the promotion of digestion and the detoxifying effect. Nevertheless, here too the positive properties of ginger (root) increasingly recognized. The spicy seasoning is increasingly not just an addition to the meal, but is increasingly seen as a medicine or as a support for good health.
A spice with value
Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae plant family. Spices belong to this family, which not only because of their aromatic properties , but also because of their therapeutic or medicinal properties as very valuable being seen. There are nearly 150 species within this plant family. Besides ginger also belong turmeric and cardamom to the Zingiberaceae. The tuber or root of ginger (Zingiber officinale) is used as a spice. The plant is harvested by hand and India is still one of the largest producers. The active ingredients in fresh ginger, which provide the aroma, taste and medicinal properties include gingerol and shogaol. An active ingredient, which is not present in fresh ginger, but which is formed when it is heated, is zingerone. These are the main components that give ginger its value.
Gingerol and shogaol: pungent compounds
Two of the active ingredients in ginger, namely gingerol and shogaol, are excitatory compounds. Gingerol is related to capsaicin (chili peppers) and piperine (black pepper). These are the substances that provide the spicy and hot taste of the products. Gingerol is the most studied active ingredient in ginger. The fabric is a powerful antioxidant and can neutralize harmful free radicals and help reduce inflammation. Shogaols may seem to have an even stronger effect if anti- inflammatories and also provide the analgesic effect of ginger. In addition, shogaol appears to play an important role against neurological disorders through its antioxidant and anti-neuro-inflammatory effects. Shogaol is created when ginger is dried. To indicate how pungent gingerol and shogaol are, the substances have been translated into a Scoville unit: Gingerol has a sharpness of 60,000 SHU and Shogaol even has a sharpness of 160,000 SHU! In comparison, piperine has a sharpness of 100,000 SHU.
From Gingerol to Zingerone
When ginger is heated, the substance gingerol changes into zingerone, which is related to vanillin (vanilla) and eugenol (cloves). This makes the taste of ginger softer after heating. Zingerone is thus absent in fresh ginger. It is the least pungent ingredient in ginger, but it also has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. It also supports the operation of the blood sugar , stimulates fat burning and is beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, it strengthens the immune system. It also works antispasmodic, meaning it reduces stomach and intestinal contractions and spasms. Gingerol and shogaol also have this function and soothe it digestive system .
Together with the substances described above, ginger contains more than 100 bioactive substances , which are important for the health effects worry about ginger. A bioactive substance is a substance in food or supplements for which no need has been established, but which is have a positive or beneficial effect on health. Actually, all substances that have a certain biological activity or function are called bioactive substances. With the use of (ginger) supplements the amount of bioactive ingredients in the supplements often differs, so the required amount of the supplements may differ. The use of fresh ginger (heated or unheated) is therefore highly recommended.
Looking for something tasty with naturally healthy curcumin and gingerol? Then take a look at our CURCUM. A turmeric-ginger extract based on agave with an undertone of oak and a slightly spicy bite! Spicy, floral and fresh-sweet. To be used as syrup.