Enjoy the Benefits of Ginger in Immune Boosting Soup

By: Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH

Brothy soups provide a gentle avenue for providing nutrition to stressed bodies, perfect to convey the health benefits of gingerYou may know ginger for its ability to alleviate nausea, especially in pregnant women, but that’s just the beginning of the benefits of ginger.

Ginger helps improve digestion and improves the body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients by stimulating the digestive tract to release gastric juices and the pancreas to secrete enzymes. By improving the efficiency of the digestive tract, ginger eases discomfort, not just from morning sickness, but also motion sickness, and even discomfort caused by cancer treatment. Using ginger every day can even be used to treat the symptoms of chronic indigestion.

Containing some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory substances currently known, ginger is a potent pain reliever. Research suggests that ginger may be as effective as ibuprofen at reducing the pain of osteoarthritis when taken daily, without the potential for liver damage that can occur from daily use of ibuprofen. Another study found that 2 grams of ginger a day can help reduce exercise induced muscle soreness. It’s important to note that ginger doesn’t ease pain immediately, but needs to be used consistently over several days.

The antiinflammatory properties in ginger aren’t limited to relieving pain. It can also help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative conditions caused by inflammation, and may even help reduce your risk of many cancers. One study suggests ginger may improve brain health beyond reducing cognitive decline late in life. One study found that ginger improved reaction time and working memory in middle-aged women.

Ginger has also been traditionally used to ease pain in menstruating women. One study found that a gram of ginger taken every day for the first three days of a woman’s period could ease pain as effectively as ibuprofen.
Ginger is a surprisingly good source of several minerals, including magnesium, chromium, and zinc. All of these can help improve blood flow, which can help regulate body temperature more effectively.

Many cultures over the centuries have recognized and made use of the health benefits of ginger, incorporating them into their recipesGinger is an age old immune booster that has been proven to help protect against the cold and flu. According to research conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center, drinking a tea made from a couple tablespoons of fresh ginger a couple of times a day during flu season can significantly reduce your risk of falling ill.

Ginger can also help ease cough, congestion, and other symptoms of respiratory illness by expanding the lungs and breaking down mucus to make it easier to expel.

It’s not just cold, flu, and respiratory illnesses that ginger can help protect against. Ginger builds up the immune system as a whole. Consuming ginger every day can help fight cardiovascular disease by blocking the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries and reducing bad cholesterol levels and triglycerides.

A recent study suggests that ginger may be able to help reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes by as much as 12%, as well as improving certain markers for associated with long term blood sugar.

There does not seem to be a best way to consume ginger, most or all of the above benefits can be seen whether ginger is consumed as a tea, powder capsule, sprinkled over food, or baked into treats.


  • 1 oz (30 g) dried shitake, porcini and oyster mushrooms.

Helping fight against the flu, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are some of the many health benefits of gingerIngredients B:

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 med white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2-in piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, peeled and crushed

Ingredients C:

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Soak the dried mushroom in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes.
  2. Put Ingredients B in a large pot, fry until soft and aromatic over medium heat.
  3. Add in the rehydrated mushrooms and their water.
  4. Add Ingredients C.
  5. Simmer for at least 2 hours. Or you can transfer everything into a Crockpot and cook.

Serves 4

Ginger and stress
Ginger has an ingredient known as gingerol, an antioxidant that is responsible for fending off toxic chemicals in our bodies that lead to physical and psychological stress. Ginger can be useful in reducing the load on our bodies that we receive from stressful influences in our lives that contribute to encumbering our neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response. When the NEM response is triggered, it can present with symptoms such as fatigue, depression and a whole host of other debilitating symptoms. Ginger has many positive qualities in fending off stress and pain relief and would be a great addition to your dietary consumption.

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.