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Ginkgo Health Benefits

Posted on January 2, 2017 | No Comments on Ginkgo Health Benefits

Ginkgo nuts are edible gametophytes that come from the large and deciduous ginkgo biloba tree. Ginkgo trees are native to East Asia, although it is believed that they have originated in the deep forest of China. This large tree can grow up to 50 meters in height. It is also known as a very hardy plant and can survive under various environmental conditions. Ginkgo biloba trees are also said to be dioeceous, which means that both male and female trees independently exist. Female ginkgo trees produces oval to round fleshy fruit. They are soft and chewy textured nuts that are eaten either toasted, or in dishes belonging to the oriental cuisine because of their nutritional and also, medicinal properties. Nowadays, these trees are planted in as road side trees as ornaments, while also nurtured in nurseries for their leaves.

Ginkgo fruits and nuts are said to be rich in nutritional and medicinal properties. Here are some of them.

The ginkgo nuts are said to be a rich source of phyto-nutrients and antioxidants. However, they are also a source of neurotoxin, ginkgotoxin. This is the same reason why the nuts should not be eaten excessively. Consuming more than 10 raw or cooked nuts in a day may cause ginkgotoxin poisoning. When this occurs, various symptoms can be experienced including stomachache, vomiting, nausea, nervous irritability, convulsions and sometimes death. These symptoms, as well as the toxicity can be reversed by taking pyridoxine supplements. Generally, children are said to be able to stand up to five kernels per day, and adults can endure about ten per day.

The ginkgo kernels are known to be low in calories as compared to other tree nuts like walnuts and almonds. 100 grams of fresh and raw ginkgo kernels only has 182 calories.

Based on tradition, ginkgo seeds are consumed by the Chinese to cure breathing problems, as they consider them confer yang (warmth) effect. The kernels are also known to ease some respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis, and urinary tract ailments.

Ginkgo nuts possess small amounts of riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, folates and other minerals that compose of vitamin B complex.

Ginkgo nuts are abundant in some other nutrients and minerals like manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, as well as selenium. Copper is an important trace of mineral that is essential in metabolism, neuro-transmission and red blood cells synthesis.

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