What Ginger Can Do to Protect Your Brain

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gingerThis article originally appeared on Live in the Now.

Research published in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology suggests that ginger spice may be an effective supplement for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) because its properties help fight the illness in multiple ways.

In the study, scientists found that supplements of 6-shogaol, a compound in ginger, helped prevent cognitive impairment in animals. The compound hindered the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter needed for memory, sustained attention and other brain functions.

Ginger appears to have no toxic effects when consumed in the recommended doses for medicinal and dietary purposes, the authors said. “In experimental trials, ginger at a dose as high as 2 g daily has been shown to be well tolerated by both experimental animals and humans with occasional reports of mild gastrointestinal complaints,” they add.

Previous research shows ginger improves memory as well as contains antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties that curtail the neurodegeneration characteristic of AD. In addition, one study discovered the spice prevented behavioral symptoms typical of the disorder.

See Also: 8 Reasons to Eat More Ginger

Cook With Ginger

The zesty flavor of ginger is delightful any time of year, especially this time of year when nothing is more appetizing than a steaming bowl of soup. Here is a great recipe for pumpkin bisque provided by Rene Ficek, registered dietitian and lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating.

Ginger Pumpkin Bisque


  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 3/4 cup shallots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons ginger root, grated
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium, canned
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 15 ounces pumpkin, canned
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon dried ground thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a dutch oven or large pot, heat the walnut oil. Add the shallots, onion and ginger.
  2. Cook until tender. Stir in the flour.
  3. Carefully add the chicken broth and cider. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
  4. Stir in the pumpkin, maple syrup, bay leaves, dried thyme, cinnamon, pepper, and cloves. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves. Pour mixture into a blender and blend until a smooth consistency is reached.
  6. Pour pureed soup back into the pot and stir in the Greek yogurt and vanilla until it is thoroughly combined.
  7. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and fresh thyme on top if desired.

Nutrients Per Serving (Makes 8 Servings)

Calories: 160
Fat: 4.0 g
Saturated Fat: 1.0 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Sodium: 60 mg
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Fiber: 2.4 g
Sugar: 14.2 g

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