January has this vibe of “are you going to do it? You gonna go through with your goals?”. Make life easier on yourself — Health was on the list? Add ginger into your life and check off that box. Ginger tea, ginger juice, dried ginger – all great ways to get more ginger in your diet. Why do we care? What are the benefits of ginger? Read on to learn more about the benefits of ginger root.
Health Benefits of Ginger Root
Ginger has been used medicinally and in cuisine for centuries and has been investigated for its medicinal properties along with other superfoods such as garlic, nutmeg and peppers (chili, cayenne, etc.). Qu’est-ce que ‘sup with ginger?
Well first of all, ginger has an amazing and versatile flavour depending on the combinations and when you add it to the dish. For example, if you add it at the beginning of the cooking process and simmer it with your dish, ginger will add a subtle lift. Whereas, if you add it at the end, ginger will add a punch and freshness. Play around with the combination if you want, it’s truly interesting.
The benefits of ginger are numerous, we’ll get to that, but did you know that this root can be used as a dietary lift or as a remedy for many conditions from the common cold to pain, soreness and digestive issues (1)?
Ginger root has a long history of being used as medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions. In China, for example, ginger has been used to aid digestion and treat stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea for more than 2,000 years (2).
Is ginger more effective dry or fresh?
An analysis found that the phytochemical compounds are more effective in fresh ginger than in dried, though dried ginger does have its convenience for meal preparation.
If you want to remember what ginger is best for, think : Anti-inflammatory.
The inflammation-fighting powers of ginger, in itself, will encapsulate a number of conditions such as digestive issues— like gas and upset stomach, arthritis and pain related to menstruation and muscle soreness from exercise. It also helps to fight the common cold, nausea (morning sickness and motion sickness), and according to Sofowora (1993) — as cited in “Comparative phytochemical analysis and use of some Nigerian spices” by Akeem et al. (2016) — even malaria fever (3).
In combination with onions and garlic, ginger is also helps with improving the health of our circulatory system.
My favourite ways to have ginger are the following:
During cold and flu season:
When the Fall rolls around, I take some organic ginger and lemons with some good quality honey and put everything together in a jar. The ginger is roughly chopped without its peel, the lemon is cut into slices and squished down with a fork, and the honey fills the rest of the jar 3/4 way. This keeps in the fridge and the concept is, when you’re sick or feel like you’re about to be sick, you spoon in a spoon or two into hot (not boiling) water. This helps you boost your immunity and get over a cold faster. It also tastes great, especially when you’re really not feeling well and not feeling like eating.
Same concept as the honey mixture, but this time, finely chop the ginger and simmer for 6 minutes (or two songs hehe) and then let that rest. Once it’s a bit cooler, mix with a bit of lemon and stevia. Nomnomnomnom! The best thing about ginger tea is that you can make a big portion and have it as iced tea throughout the day. This is especially good if you have digestive issues or chronic inflammatory conditions. Figure 1 thumb-sized nub for each 12 oz (average mug size of 3/4 a coffeehouse-style mug).
Further reading & sources:
Akeem, Sarafa, et al. “Comparative Phytochemical Analysis and Use of some Nigerian Spices.” Croatian Journal for Food Technology, Biotechnology & Nutrition / Hrvatski Casopis Za Prehrambenu Tehnologiju, Biotehnologiju I Nutricionizam, vol. 11, no. 3/4, Dec. 2016, pp. 145-151. (3)
Smith, Melissa Diane. “Medicinal Foods: Garlic and Ginger.” Better Nutrition, vol. 76, no. 10, Oct. 2014, pp. 64-69. (1, 2)0