You can go a long way toward a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced, varied, and nutritious diet. The trick is not to miss out on essential nutrients by overdoing one type of food. That said, there are a few foods that are so healthy, you should eat a small portion every day. You may have heard of the benefits of turmeric, blueberries, and spinach, but how about ginger?

As well as being delicious, ginger has a lot of benefits for your body. Ginger contains gingerol, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and it is this that provides many health benefits. So, how does a small piece of ginger a day help your long term health?

Ginger Lowers Cholesterol

You've no doubt heard of good and bad cholesterol. Your diet has a massive impact on how much of each is in your bloodstream.  Studies show adding around 3 grams of ginger a day can reduce bad cholesterol by a similar amount as atorvastatin, one of the leading cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Ginger Is Excellent for Treating Nausea

There are many scientific studies on the use of ginger as a way to treat nausea. Around 1.5 grams a day seems to be the magic amount that helps relieve symptoms. A lot of the research is on pregnancy-related nausea, but ginger also helps in chemotherapy recovery, post-surgery nausea, and seasickness.

Ginger Helps with Indigestion

The main cause of indigestion is the slow emptying of food from the stomach. Research suggests ginger speeds up this process, reducing discomfort. Around a gram of ginger before each meal is all that's needed to give the maximum benefit.

Ginger Helps Improve Brain Function

The gingerol in ginger is a powerful antioxidant, which can help reduce inflammation in the brain, improving both reaction time and memory. However, the effect it has on the aging process is why ginger is so useful. By reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, ginger could help reduce cases of Alzheimer's disease.

Ginger Can Reduce the Risk of Infection

Gingerol is also a potent antibiotic, affecting many strains of bacteria. In particular, regular ginger helps reduce cases of oral inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis. A gram a day is enough to gain the full antibacterial benefits.

With all the hype around superfoods, it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction. Yet, scientific research supports having a small amount of ginger every day in your diet. The key, as with all food choices, is not to overdo it. But, a finger-nail sized piece a day can go a long way to improving many aspects of your health.