Ginger has long been touted as one of the world's healthiest spices, and rightly so. Packed with nutrients and bioactive compounds, ginger is incredibly beneficial for the body. It's especially effective in the case of ailments with the digestive system. Yet despite its benefits, ginger may, in certain situations, cause more bodily harm than good. Here are four situations where ginger is not recommended:
1. Blood disorders: One of ginger's health benefits lies in its ability to boost blood flow, stimulating circulation. This makes it a beneficial spice among those suffering from obesity, diabetes, Raynaud's disease, or peripheral artery disease. In this genetic disorder, blood clotting is reduced, which means that even a small injury can lead to death. In this case, ginger should be avoided, as it may aggravate the situation and cause hemorrhaging.
2. Taking certain types of medications: Those taking high blood pressure or diabetes medication form part of a special risk group, as ginger has been found to change the medicinal effects on the body. In fact, it has been shown that combining ginger with anticoagulants, beta-blockers, or insulin drugs can be extremely harmful. As ginger stimulates blood thinning and reduces blood pressure, these properties may lower the effects of such medications.
3. Underweight people: In case you need to gain some weight, ginger, including ginger supplements, should be avoided. Its high fiber content and its ability to raise pH, as well as its effectiveness in stimulating digestive enzymes, enables ginger to burn fat and lower food cravings, which consequently, may lead to weight loss, menstrual irregularities, hair loss, and poor muscle mass.
4. Pregnancy: Ginger supports muscle health and helps digestion. But, during pregnancy, these properties may lead to premature contractions and preterm labors. It should especially be avoided in the last trimester of pregnancy. Ginger also inhibits the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and dietary iron. Used in small amounts, however, ginger can effectively alleviate morning sickness. Nevertheless, it's essential that you speak to your doctor beforehand.
What can you substitute ginger with?
If you fall under one of the aforementioned categories, substitute ginger with alternative spices like sweet peppers, cayenne pepper, or red paprika. Opt for red paprika if you fancy spicy foods, or sweet peppers if you don't.