This story originally appeared on Time.com by Amanda MacMillan.
Ginger, as a supplement or an ingredient in food and drink, may protect against obesity and chronic disease, according to a new research review. While experts can’t yet recommend a specific dosage for preventive purposes, they say that consuming more of the pungent spice is smart for several reasons.
The new review, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, examined the findings of 60 studies, performed on cell cultures, lab animals and humans. Overall, these studies “have built a consensus that ginger and its major constituents exert beneficial effects against obesity, diabetes, [cardiovascular diseases] and related disorders,” wrote the authors from China Agricultural University.
The authors focused their research on the different aspects of metabolic syndrome, a combination of three or more risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Metabolic syndrome is a “growing health problem that has reached pandemic proportions,” they wrote, “as it now affects a quarter of the world’s population.”
There has been a lot of interest into potential strategies to treat and prevent metabolic syndrome, including non-pharmaceutical options. And ginger, one of the most widely consumed spices in the world, has a long history of use as an herbal medicine to treat a variety of ailments, the authors wrote, thanks to its various phytochemicals and antioxidants.