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Ginger to Beat Bloating, Aid Digestion

Do you feel bloated after a meal? Ginger can help stop the excess gas before it expands your midsection. Find out how.

Bloating can make you more than uncomfortable physically. The change in your waistline can be so drastic others may notice and your clothes could no longer fit.

The natural remedy to try next time you feel bloated after a meal is some ginger. This spicy root can help your digestive stay on track, so it doesn't start acting up.

The Facts On Ginger
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a type of plant whose root, or rhizome, is commonly used as a spice for cooking. As a member of the Zingiberaceae family, it's related to turmeric and cardamom. Ginger has a robust and spicy flavor that has made it a staple of Asian cooking. This root is also used medicinally for a number of ailments, including pain relief and respiratory health. Supplements are made from the dried root or oil of the ginger root and can sometimes retain it's spicy flavor. You may even experience a gentle warming sensation in the abdomen after taking one.

Ginger and Digestive Issues
The most popular reason people take ginger in supplement form is for digestive problems, such as upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea and bloating. Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is known to soothe the digestive system to help it function properly, releasing the excess air you take in while eating so it doesn't stay trapped in the colon. This action prevents gas and bloating as well as other symptoms of indigestion, such as belching or flatulence.

On the October 14 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed ginger as one of the best natural remedies for bloating. He suggested carrying ginger chews with you to pop in your mouth after eating a meal to prevent the excess gas from puffing you up (Editor's Note: Dr. Oz isn't affiliated with this blog or eVitamins in any way. He doesn't recommend specific products or brands.).

A 2011 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found ginger promoted gastral emptying as well as antral contractions (stomach contractions) in people with functional dyspepsia, which is described frequent pain of the upper abdomen without a preexisting condition. Ginger is also a favorite of pregnant women, who take ginger to combat nausea associated with morning sickness and to keep their digestive system on track, as constipation can be common during pregnancy. Those who suffer from motion sickness when traveling may also benefit from ginger.

Other benefits of consuming ginger may include reduced pain from osteoarthritis as well as cardiovascular and immune system support. These benefits, and those previously mentioned, continue to be studied.

Getting More Ginger
Ginger chews, as suggested on "The Dr. Oz Show," are a great place to start to help you fight bloating. Just be prepared, they have just as strong a flavor as you would expect! You can also get more ginger into your diet in many other ways. You can start by adding the root (either fresh or dried) to your favorite recipes. It works well in a marinade for chicken or fish. You can also find ginger supplements made with either powdered ginger or ginger oil. Taking up to 2 g of ginger in supplement form can help you experience its benefits throughout the body. Lastly, sipping on ginger tea at the end of a meal can be helpful to prevent uncomfortable bloating.

If you're pregnant and considering taking ginger to combat morning sickness, be sure to speak with your physician first to determine if this natural remedy is right for you and how much to take. As with all supplements, speak with your doctor before taking ginger if you've been diagnosed with a medical condition, especially those related to the digestive system, or are taking any medication (prescription or over the counter).

Spice up your daily routine for more bloat-free days. Check out our selection of ginger products at eVitamins and let us know how they work!

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