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Why Your Heart Loves Ginger

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What is savory, spicy, sweet, and loaded with heart health benefits? If you answered ginger, you are right. Ginger can reduce inflammation, lower heart disease risk, relieve period cramps and nausea, and so much more.

But you’re not exactly going to grab a piece of raw ginger and eat it like an apple, so how do you incorporate this zippy rhizome into your life? Read on as we delve into the benefits of this beloved spice and easy ways to get more in your diet. 

Ginger and the heart

Reduces inflammation

Chronic inflammation puts strain on the heart, leading to plaque buildup in the arteries, which can cause heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. Ginger fights this inflammation, inhibiting genes that contribute to the inflammatory process. 

Regulates cholesterol

Cholesterol itself isn’t harmful or dangerous. However, an unhealthy lifestyle and large amounts of triglycerides can cause low-density lipoproteins (LDL) containing cholesterol to become dense, small particles that easily oxidize and cause heart disease. 

Ginger could potentially reduce these harmful, small LDL particles and triglycerides and protect the heart.

Eradicates free radicals

Free radicals, created by pollution, unhealthy food, toxic water, alcohol, smoke, and radiation, can build up in the body, causing damage to your DNA and contributing to oxidative stress, a risk factor for heart disease. 

Eating antioxidant-rich food, such as ginger, battles these free radicals, restoring your heart to a place of balance and health.

Lowers fasting blood sugar

Even people without diabetes should strive to keep their blood sugar within normal levels, as unchecked blood sugar can lead to blood vessel and nerve damage. 

Studies have shown that ginger can allow your body to process blood sugar better, lowering fasting blood sugar levels and reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Other benefits of ginger

Eases nausea

Perhaps the most well-known and well-studied use of ginger is alleviating nausea and soothing an upset stomach. Researchers have been studying the nausea-related benefits of this highly effective root for years, with many peer-reviewed studies backing up centuries of medicinal use. 

It could be particularly effective in relieving chemotherapy-related nausea in cancer patients and reducing the effects of morning sickness in pregnant women. 

Reduces menstrual pain

Many women dread “that time of the month” due to headaches, acne, back pain, and menstrual cramps that can sometimes interfere with normal activity. Instead of turning to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), sip on a cup of ginger tea. 

One study showed that a 250 mg dose of ginger powder was equally effective in reducing period-associated pain as a 400 mg dose of ibuprofen. Load up on ginger before you expect to start your cycle and throughout to alleviate pain and minimize cramp severity.

Could protect against cancer 

Though more research is needed to confirm the effects, some limited evidence shows that gingerol (a compound in ginger) could reduce cancer risk. Studies have shown that ginger effectively prevents pancreatic, breast, and ovarian cancer cell growth.

Ginger can also…

  • Improve brain function  – Ginger could improve working memory reaction time and protect against age-related cognitive degeneration. 
  • Relieve chronic indigestion – Numerous studies show that ginger could help treat chronic indigestion by hastening digestion and removing stomach discomfort. 
  • Enhance immune response – Ginger is loaded with antioxidants and has immune-boosting benefits that can give your body the tools it needs to fight off a cold or flu. 
  • Could help with weight loss Animal studies show that ginger could aid in weight loss. Switch from sugar-laden drinks to a soothing lemon-ginger tea if you are trying to get healthy and lose a few pounds. 
  • Reduce pain from osteoarthritis Topical application of ginger oil (along with other natural oils) has been shown to alleviate joint pain and stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis. 

How to eat more ginger

Fresh, dried, and powdered ginger is incredibly versatile. With a bit of creativity, you will find ways to eat this incredible root every day. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Ginger juice shot 

Not every occupation or busy schedule allows you to leisurely sip a few cups of ginger tea throughout the day. If that’s the case, you might prefer to get your daily ginger dose in a more concentrated fashion – a ginger juice shot. Buy fresh ginger in bulk and juice it at home to avoid the sugar added to many pre-made juices and protect your heart.

Add to root soup

There is nothing more comforting than a piping hot bowl of root soup on a chilly fall or winter day. Grab sweet potatoes, onions, parsnips, potatoes, a knob of fresh ginger, and add some hearty broth and meat, if desired. The ginger adds a delightfully spicy kick that brings this humble soup to a new level. 

Ginger tea

 A simple ginger tea can soothe the tummy, reduce harmful inflammation, and keep you from developing a cold. Grate a small piece of fresh ginger and steep it in hot water to reap the benefits of this amazing root. You can add some lemon and a small squeeze of honey to enhance the flavor and health benefits. 

Pickled ginger

If you’ve ever eaten sushi, you’ve likely seen a piece of pickled ginger sitting alongside your first course. This pickled ginger (also known as gari) is intended to be eaten between courses to cleanse your palette and allow you to distinguish between subtle flavors. Though this is the primary use of pickled ginger, it can be a delicious addition to salads and meat dishes. 

Top your favorite dish

Pair with fish, chicken, stir fry, and any other savory dinner dish. Ginger goes exceptionally well with any Asian cuisine and you can easily incorporate it into your diet for heart health.

Add to a smoothie

Your daily green smoothie will become even more of a health powerhouse with the addition of a little fresh ginger. It can help offset some of the “green” flavors and add a spicy kick to your morning shake.

Ginger supplements

While ginger in your diet is certainly effective, try ginger as a dietary supplement if you don’t like the taste of ginger yet still want to reap the benefits. You can find it as a capsule or liquid extract from many safe, reputable supplement companies. Make sure that whatever ginger supplement you buy contains only ginger, no added fillers, sugars, or chemicals. 

Side effects of ginger

Ginger is generally considered safe for most people and unlikely to cause any side effects. However, it does act as a natural blood thinner, and large amounts could cause an adverse drug interaction with prescription blood thinners. Talk to your doctor before incorporating lots of ginger into your diet if you are on prescription medication. 

Next steps

Ginger is, without debate, truly one of the most “super” of all the superfoods. It is loaded with protective properties and bioactive compounds that can reverse and prevent chronic disease and has been used for thousands of years to bring the body to a place of balance. 

Now science has caught up, with modern studies supporting this unassuming tubular plant that is once a vegetable, spice, herb, and one of nature’s greatest gifts for health and well-being. Get this plant into your diet — your heart will thank you.

Eat Well · Live Well · Think Well 


Medical Review 2022: Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD

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Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

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About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

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As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

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About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

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Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

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Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.

Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.