WHO data showed that almost all of the global population (99%) breathe air that exceeds WHO guideline limits and contains high levels of pollutants, with low- and middle-income countries suffering from the highest exposures. And breathing is something inevitable, like it or not. One of the best defense actions that we can do is to take extra care of ourselves in this unfavorable situation.
Eating a well-balanced diet could be the easiest way to take extra care of ourselves, as some foods have been proven to protect us from pollutants. One of the most potent superfoods is undoubtedly red ginger, a close sister of ginger. Red ginger (Zingiber officinale var rubrum), is a variant of ginger that is not only rich in gingerol and shogaol, but also tannin, thus the reddish color of the rhizome, and extra antioxidant for this superfood.
Rich in potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory elements, red ginger is a natural adaptogen that helps keep one’s adrenal system healthy. It enhances the capability to tolerate and withstand different stressors, including air pollution. This air pollution contains many harmful substances and free radicals that may damage our respiratory system. Studies have shown that a diet rich in shogaol and gingerol, the potent antioxidants in red ginger, can significantly help increase oxygenation and reduce inflammatory markers in patients with acute respiratory syndrome. Another study showed that gingerol and shogaol are phytotherapeutic responsible for bronchorelaxation, making them a good supplement in supporting recovery and evading airway diseases. Related to the recent pandemic, a study on red ginger also showed that red ginger helped increase lung capacity function and, therefore, is beneficial in defense against respiratory diseases.
Red ginger itself is a native of South East Asia, including Indonesia. Its popularity as a versatile traditional medicine has prompted its cultivation in many parts of Indonesia. Realizing the many benefits of red ginger, Indesso offers red ginger extracts in many formats to simplify the application of red ginger while still delivering the health benefits present. “We standardized active content for assurance in delivering the best quality of red ginger, in liquid and powder format.”
There are certain things we can do to help tackle the environmental challenges, but taking action on our own health comes first before we can make real changes to the world. Start with staying fit and protected by regularly consuming a diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Ratriantari, Uun, Suradi Suradi, and Ari Probandari. "The Effect of Red Ginger Ethanol Extract on Blood MDA Level of White Male Wistar Strain Rats Induced with Cigarette Smoke." Proceedings of the 1st Seminar and Workshop on Research Design, for Education, Social Science, Arts, and Humanities, SEWORD FRESSH 2019, April 27 2019, Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia. 2019.
Shariatpanahi, Zahra Vahdat, et al. "Effect of enteral feeding with ginger extract in acute respiratory distress syndrome." Journal of critical care 28.2 (2013): 217-e1.
Townsend, Elizabeth A., et al. "Effects of ginger and its constituents on airway smooth muscle relaxation and calcium regulation." American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology 48.2 (2013): 157-163.
Lorensia, Amelia, et al. "Effects of Red Ginger (Zingiber officinale var rubrum) to Improve Lung Function in reducing the risk of COVID-19 in Stable COPD Patients." Teikyo Medical Journal 44.6 (2021): 2667-2676.