Turmeric and ginger roots both offer an extensive list of health benefits, only some of which we will be covering here.
Health research on these two roots is already quite abundant and is sure to continue in years to come as we invest more into understanding the reasons behind long held traditions and beliefs in the ability of specific natural ingredients to help maintain good health.
We’ll first cover some of the benefits of turmeric and ginger and then we’ll talk about fermentation.
Turmeric root has been used as a medicinal herb in India for thousands of years. Now, many studies show that turmeric contains compounds with several important benefits for the body and brain.
One of these medicinal compounds is curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
It can help reduce joint inflammation and contribute to better overall health by fighting off common diseases linked to chronic systemic inflammation.
Curcumin can also contribute to the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth hormone which acts on the brain and helps neurons multiply, thus improving brain function.
Closely related to turmeric, ginger root also has a history of extensive use in traditional medicine in fighting off the common cold and the flu, in helping with digestion, and in reducing nausea and menstrual pain, and so on. We now know that ginger’s primary bioactive compound is gingerol, which has significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
It has also been suggested that ginger may have anti-diabetic properties. A 2015 study found that 2 grams of ginger powder a day meaningfully lowered blood sugar over the short and long-term while at the same time reducing markers for oxidized lipoproteins—both being important risk factors for heart disease.
Finally, a study on middle-aged women found that the consumption of ginger extract improved working memory and reaction time—in other words, brain function.
Fermentation is an ancient process that increases the amount of beneficial probiotic bacteria in foods and makes them easier to digest, increasing the bioavailability of the beneficial compounds in them.
This is particularly useful for foods like turmeric and ginger where we want to try to maximize the absorption of compounds like curcumin and gingerol.
Fermentation has been linked to a wide range of benefits—all starting in the gut—, including a stronger immune system.