Nutritionist outlines ‘surprising’ health benefits of gingerbread

Despite being made from cookies, your holiday gingerbread house may have some surprising health benefits.

Nutritionist Hazel Flight wrote in an article for Health magazine that gingerbread has been shaped into figurines and Christmas shapes for hundreds of years and contains many ingredients that are actually good for you. dialogue. Flatt is director of the nutrition and health program at Edgehill University in Ormskirk, Lancashire, England.

While ginger is the most obvious ingredient in gingerbread, the cookies also contain molasses, cinnamon, and nutmeg, all of which give gingerbread its signature warm flavor.

Stock image of gingerbread house. Ingredients in gingerbread may have surprising health benefits.
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ginger

Ginger has long been used in traditional medicine to aid digestion and help relieve nausea during illness and motion sickness.

“Ginger was effective in most studies, including those examining NVP relief. [nausea and vomiting]digestive function, improved expression levels of colorectal cancer risk markers, and anti-inflammatory functions,” wrote the authors of a 2020 paper in the journal Nutrients The health benefits of ginger are analyzed.

Other studies show that ginger can also help fight cold and flu symptoms, as well as relieve arthritis and even menstrual pain.

molasses

Gingerbread also contains molasses, a dark, thick syrup made during the refining of sugar cane or beets. Molasses is naturally sweet and also rich in vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and antioxidants.

These vitamins and minerals are important for bone and hair health and preventing anemia, and antioxidants protect the body’s cells from damage by free radicals, which can cause genetic mutations.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is the other main ingredient in gingerbread and comes from the bark and leaves of the cinnamon tree. It contains various chemicals such as cinnamic aldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate, which have various benefits for the human body.

“In addition to being an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, anti-cancer, lipid-lowering and cardiovascular disease-lowering compound, cinnamon has also been reported to have activity against neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Heimer’s disease.” Author of a 2014 paper in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine wrote in the study.

Other studies have found that it can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and even improve dental hygiene.

Cinnamon
Stock image of cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon has many health benefits.
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nutmeg

Nutmeg, another spice used in small amounts when baking gingerbread, has been found to be linked to reducing inflammation and benefiting heart health.

According to a 2023 paper published in the journal, nutmeg contains “biomolecules with high medicinal properties that could be used to develop new treatments, especially against drug-resistant bacterial infections.” Scientific Africans.

So, all in all, even though gingerbread is high in sugar and butter, it might end up helping you in ways you didn’t realize this Christmas.

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