The Almighty Ginger
What Can Ginger Do for You?
Most of us know a thing or two about ginger. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed fresh or dried ginger in favorite recipes, both sweet and savory. Or maybe you’ve sipped a cup of comforting ginger tea.
But what you might not know is that ginger contains numerous ingredients with health benefits, including powerful antioxidants, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium, along with a host of other properties that may actually improve your health.
Where Did Ginger Come From?
Ginger is derived from a flowering root plant, first spotted in southeast Asia. The spice has been used in Eastern medicine practices since the ninth century and is a staple ingredient in Asian, Indian and Caribbean dishes.
Oh-So-Simple Sesame Ginger Soba Noodles from The Dish
Ginger’s Vast Health Benefits
Ginger is made up of an anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol, which has proven to be especially helpful for relief from pain, such as arthritis, menstrual cramps and general body inflammation.
There is even evidence that adding ginger to the diet may relieve nausea associated with undergoing chemotherapy and with pregnancy “morning sickness.” Ginger may also support better digestive health by reducing the incidence of gas and bloat.
Studies have also shown that ginger may help improve blood sugar regulation, which is especially important for patients with Type 2 diabetes. Other benefits include lowering cholesterol and reducing bacterial growth.
Ginger’s antioxidant molecules may help manage free radicals, which are compounds that can wear and tear on cells when their numbers grow too high.
Ginger’s Vast Health Benefits
There are so many ways to incorporate ginger to an already-healthy diet. You can purchase fresh and dried ginger at your local grocery store to incorporate into a variety of delicious recipes, such as our “Oh-So-Simple Sesame Ginger Soba Noodles.” Or try it in our soothing “Savory Sweet Apple and Butternut Squash Soup.”
Another way to enjoy ginger is to make your own tea. Here’s how!
- Peel and slice fresh ginger.
- Steep it in boiling water for about 10 minutes.
- Once the delicious, spicy flavor has been absorbed, add a bit of honey and lemon for a delicious and cozy beverage.
This method is especially effective in reducing nausea.
If you like sushi, try the pickled ginger slices that usually accompany sushi dishes. You’ll reap the benefits of the ginger as well as the probiotics within the pickling agent.
How Much Ginger Is Enough?
While ginger is a versatile, tasty and refreshing root that enhances the flavor of many dishes and may have a positive impact on your health, there is no set amount that’s proven to be effective. It depends on the individual as well as the person’s medications and health status.
Excessive levels of ginger found in some ginger supplements may actually cause gastric reflux or an adverse interaction with blood-thinning medications. For this reason, anyone looking to add more ginger-rich foods or supplements to their diet should be sure to consult with a medical professional first.
Overall, you’ll find that a little ginger added to recipes, including those that are plant-based, may enhance the taste of your meals and add a healthy dimension to your diet.