Hi guys! How’s everyones week going? This weather has been a little weird, super gloomy and cold in the morning and then super hot during the afternoon. The heat is making it feel like summer for sure though! Cody’s going to be out of school in a few days and I seriously can’t wait till we are on SUMMER schedule. This means sleeping in (I hope) and staying up late!
Now getting down to my roots, that is my Asian roots and one of our favorite spices to use .. GINGER! Yes, ginger! If you cook a lot of Asian or Indian food you should be familiar with ginger, but if not keep reading and find out that not only is it used for cooking but also for many health reasons as well.
What is it?
Ginger is a hot and aromatic spice grown as a root and its flesh can be yellow, white, or red depending on its variety. It is loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and anti inflammatory properties. It is related to other spices such as tumeric and cardomon. It can be found fresh in most produce sections but the most widely available is the mature version, which has a tough brown skin that needs to be peeled before eating. It can also be found in powder form in spice aisles, crystalized, or pickled.
Ginger comes from a flowering plant which has been used in Chinese medicine for many years. Around the first century, the Romans imported ginger from China which led to some popularity in Europe, mostly in the Mediterranean region. It was a very expensive spice that was in high demand from China, but eventually it was traded between the West Indies, Mexico, and South America. It has been said that the cost of ginger was as expensive as a livestock would have been during those times. Now it is super affordable and found all around the world, in all of your local supermarkets.
Benefits of Ginger
Digestive Issues and Nausea:
The phenolic compounds found in ginger relieve the gastrointestinal irritation caused by indigestion. It stimulates your saliva and bile production to get things flowing and helps best if eaten before meals. It has also been said that ginger has helped for all kinds of motion sickness, morning sickness due to pregnancy, and nausea from chemotherapy.
Brain Disease and Alzheimers:
It is said that ginger reduces oxidative stress and chronic inflammation that accelerates aging of your brain. It has been proven to enhance your brain function, help with memory, and increase your cognitive behavior.
Ginger has loads of anti inflammation properties that help reduce joint pain and stiffness due to osteoarthritis. It can also help reduce day to day muscle pain or soreness from daily exercising.
Heart Disease and Diabetes:
Incorporating 2 grams of ginger powder into your daily diet has proven to lower blood sugar by 12%, which reduces diabetes, which then lowers risk of heart disease and obesity.
Ginger is full of anti inflammatories such as gingerol, that can help reduce symptoms from the common cold. If you have a cough it can expand your lungs and loosen your phlegm. It can kill rhinoviruses which cause colds in the first place and relieve sore throats quickly.
Why I love it?
Not only do I love the zest that ginger can give different dishes, I love using it when anyone in my house is coming down with a cold. As soon as symptoms arise I will make my feel better tea, which I talked about in my prior post about cinnamon, or I will make chicken broth/bone broth and add a few slices of ginger in it while heating it up over the stove. Ginger shots are another way to incorporate ginger when you’re feeling under the weather and can be found at most of your favorite juiceries. They are definitely strong in taste and is best taken with an orange chaser to reduce the burning sensation in your mouth and throat. I’ve also discovered recently that ginger can help with menstrual cramps and it was a perfect timing to test it out this week (sorry a little tmi). I took a ginger shot in the morning for the first 2 days and although it didn’t make my cramps disappear, it definitely reduced the pain drastically. So girls, get your GINGER on!!!
Ginger Shots from Sunlife Organics $1.95/shot
What are some of your favorite ways to use ginger? Has anyone tried ginger candy? I’ve always wanted to try it!