In this article, we will explore why is ginger good for acid reflux and how you can incorporate it into your diet.

Acid reflux is a common digestive disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. The symptoms of acid reflux can be uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life, but there are many remedies and natural treatments available.

One such treatment is ginger, a root commonly used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.

What is Ginger?

Ginger is a flowering plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family. It grows in tropical regions such as Southeast Asia, India, and China. The root of the ginger plant is what is commonly used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for various ailments, such as nausea, inflammation, and pain relief. It contains essential oils and antioxidants that give it its unique flavor and health benefits.

In cooking, ginger adds a delicious spicy flavor to dishes. It can be used fresh or dried, grated or sliced, depending on your preference. Ginger is commonly used in Asian cuisine, particularly in Indian curries and Chinese stir-fries.

Aside from its culinary uses, ginger also provides numerous health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. 

Ginger can also alleviate digestive problems such as indigestion, bloating, and constipation.

Moreover, studies have shown that ginger may help lower blood sugar levels which makes it beneficial for people with diabetes.

It has also been found to improve brain function by enhancing cognitive performance and reducing oxidative stress in the brain.

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is a medical condition that occurs when the stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube that connects the mouth to the stomach and serves as a conduit for food and liquid.

When you eat or drink, food passes through the esophagus into the stomach. In normal circumstances, there is a band of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which acts like a valve opening to allow food in and closes afterward to prevent it from coming back up. 

However, sometimes this muscle doesn’t function properly, allowing stomach acid and undigested food particles to flow back up through this valve into your throat, causing irritation and discomfort.

The most common symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of sour liquid or food, and coughing, especially at night time or after meals. 

These symptoms may vary in severity depending on how often they occur and can be triggered by specific foods such as spicy fried foods or carbonated beverages.

Several risk factors contribute to developing acid reflux, including obesity, smoking habits, and pregnancy. Certain medications like NSAIDs and antidepressants can weaken LES muscles leading to more frequent occurrences.

If not treated, chronic acid reflux can result in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

How Is Ginger Good for Acid Reflux?

1. It can soothe inflammation

Ginger contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols, which have anti-inflammatory properties. 

These compounds work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals responsible for causing inflammation in the body.

By reducing inflammation, ginger can help soothe the inflammation in the digestive system, which makes acid reflux worse.

2. It can promote digestion

Ginger has long been known as a natural remedy for digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and nausea. It also stimulates proper digestion by promoting the production of enzymes that break down food in the stomach. With proper digestion, it’s less likely that one would experience acid reflux symptoms.

3. It can reduce acidity

Ginger has an alkalizing effect on the body, which means it can help reduce acidity in the stomach and prevent acid from backing up into the oesophagus.

4. It protects against damage

Acid reflux can cause damage to the lining of the oesophagus over time if left untreated. Ginger contains antioxidants that can protect against this damage and promote healing.

5. Antimicrobial properties

Some types of acid reflux are caused by bacteria or viruses in the digestive system. Ginger has potent antimicrobial properties that can kill these pathogens and prevent them from causing further irritation.

Other Benefits of Ginger

Besides relieving acid reflux, consuming ginger can offer additional benefits, including:

1. Relieving nausea

Nausea is an unpleasant feeling that often leads to vomiting. It’s commonly experienced during various health conditions, during pregnancy, motion sickness, and as a side effect of some drugs like cancer medications.

According to research, taking ginger during the first trimester of pregnancy can lower nausea and vomiting by up to 4 points on a scale of 40. It could also help stop vomiting in 1 out of 3 women. That being said, it’s always good to talk to your doctor before taking large amounts of ginger during pregnancy.

2. Boosts immunity

If you want to boost your immune system and prevent disease, adding some ginger to your diet can promote your ability to do so.

Ginger is a rich anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial food that can help the body fight against infections and prevent inflammation from occurring. Ginger is also rich in antiviral properties and vitamin C, both of which can protect you from various common conditions like flu and the common cold.

3. Ginger can lower blood sugar levels

Research studies have shown that ginger can help reduce fasting blood sugar levels by up to 12% and improve insulin sensitivity. This makes it an excellent natural remedy for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing it.

The active compounds gingerols and shogaols are responsible for these blood sugar-lowering effects. These compounds work by increasing glucose uptake into cells and reducing insulin resistance.

In addition, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation, which is often associated with high blood sugar levels and diabetes complications.

To reap the benefits of ginger for lowering blood sugar levels, add fresh or dried ginger to your meals or drinks. Ginger tea is also a popular way to consume this spice and to provide potential health benefits.

However, it’s important to note that while ginger can be beneficial in managing blood sugar levels, it should not replace prescribed medications or medical advice from a healthcare professional. It’s always best to consult your doctor before incorporating new remedies into your treatment plan.

4. Relieves muscle pain

Muscle pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It can be caused by various factors, including inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the body’s immune system responds to an injury or infection.

When inflammation affects muscles, it causes muscle pain and stiffness. To relieve this pain, several studies have supported the effectiveness of ginger.

study conducted on 74 volunteers found that taking a daily dose of ginger reduced muscle soreness by 25% after strenuous exercise compared to a placebo group. Another study showed that applying a ginger-based gel on the skin before exercise reduced muscle pain intensity by 24% (2).

Ginger tea or smoothies with grated fresh ginger are delicious ways to incorporate this ingredient into your diet.

5. Enhances brain function

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can help protect the brain against oxidative damage.

Several studies have found that consuming ginger can improve cognitive abilities, memory, attention span, and reaction time. 

In one study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, participants who took a standardized dose of ginger extract had significantly better cognitive performance than those who did not.

Another study on middle-aged women found that consuming ginger powder improved working memory and reaction time compared to a placebo.

Ginger also contains compounds called sesquiterpenes which increase blood flow to the brain. This increased blood flow delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the brain cells, improving their overall functioning.

Additionally, researchers believe that ginger may play a role in preventing age-related cognitive decline due to its ability to reduce inflammation in the brain.

6. Reduces menstrual pain

Women who experience painful periods may find relief by incorporating ginger into their diet. This is because the compounds in ginger can inhibit the production of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that cause cramping and inflammation in the uterus.

In one study, women who took a daily dose of ginger for two days before their period and continued for up to 3 days during menstruation reported significantly less pain compared to those who took a placebo. Another study found that ginger was just as effective as ibuprofen in relieving menstrual pain.

7. Ginger can fight infection

Studies have shown that ginger can help fight against several types of infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens.

One study found that ginger extract inhibited the growth of several strains of harmful bacteria, including Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli (E.coli).

Another study showed that ginger could inhibit the replication of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes respiratory tract infections.

In addition to its antimicrobial properties, ginger also helps boost the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infection.

It also contains antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic compounds which protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

8. Improves heart health

Studies show that ginger can help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation, and improving blood circulation. 

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can build up in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease. Ginger has been found to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. This helps prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.

Inflammation is another factor that contributes to heart disease. Ginger contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds help reduce inflammation in the body, including inflammation in the cardiovascular system.

Ginger also helps improve blood circulation by preventing blood clots from forming and promoting healthy blood flow throughout the body. This reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Moreover, ginger has been found to have antioxidant properties that help protect against oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body. Oxidative stress can damage cells and contribute to various diseases, including heart disease.

How to Use Ginger for Acid Reflux:

  • Ginger Tea: A simple way to incorporate ginger into your diet is by drinking ginger tea. To make this tea, simply peel and grate fresh ginger root into a pot of boiling water. Let steep for 10-15 minutes, then strain out the grated pieces before drinking. You can add honey or lemon juice for added taste.
  • Ginger Juice: Peel a small piece of fresh ginger root (about 2 inches long) and cut it into thin slices. Place the sliced ginger in a blender or food processor with some water. Blend until smooth, then strain to remove any pulp and drink before meals.
  • Ginger Smoothie: Blend fresh or frozen fruit with yogurt and grated ginger for a tasty breakfast smoothie that also helps soothe acid reflux symptoms.
  • Ginger Capsules: You can take supplements containing dried powdered ginger root capsules after meals.
  • Ginger Chews: If you experience acid reflux after meals, consider carrying some ginger chews in your purse or pocket. These chewy candies contain real pieces of crystallized ginger and can help soothe your stomach. 
  • Grated Raw Ginger: Add freshly grated raw ginger to salads or stir-fries instead of processed sauces high in preservatives that trigger heartburn.
  • Ginger Drops: These drops contain concentrated amounts of pure organic juices extracted from fresh roots. Add a few drops to some water and drink before meals.
  • Ginger Powder: Add some ground powder form directly into your food, such as soups, stews, sauces, etc

Final Thoughts

Ginger has been shown to have promising potential as a natural remedy for acid reflux. Its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to soothe the digestive system make it a popular choice among those looking for alternative treatments.

While more research is needed to fully understand its effects on acid reflux, incorporating ginger into your diet may offer relief without the side effects associated with traditional medications.

As always, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your treatment plan.

More about herbs and spices:

If you enjoyed this post, “Is Ginger Good For Acid Reflux”, and would love to see more, join me on YoutubeInstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Fortunately, because of the ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.