Make Ginger Your Everyday Super Food

Ginger is such a wonderful super food. Modern research has shown that ginger can reduce inflammation, modulate oxidative stress, kill bacteria, cure fungal infection, relieve pain, ease nausea and vomiting, treat gastric distress, aid digestion, lower blood sugar and blood pressure, and even prevent cancer [1]. Its health benefits are simply stunning! Not surprisingly, it has been used medicinally in eastern cultures for more than two thousand over the years. It was credited in Ayurvedic text as a “universal great medicine”. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses ginger to “restore devastated yang” and “expel cold” [2].

The ginger that we normally used as food or herb is actually the thick underground stem (rhizome) of the plant zingiber officinale. The plant grows well in warm and damp areas. More than 50% of the world production of ginger comes from India and China. It is available in many forms, including g fresh, dried, pickled, preserved, crystallized (or candied) and powdered or ground. [3]

Image source: http://topfoodfacts.com/24-facts-about-ginger/

Image source: http://topfoodfacts.com/24-facts-about-ginger/

There are many ways that you can use ginger in your cooking. You can use grated or minced ginger in your stir-fries to spice up the dishes. You can add fresh ginger, grated or pureed, into hot creamy winter soup for extra zest. You can make a hot tea with ginger – a perfect tonic drink to start your day (See the recipe below). In Chinese cooking, shredded ginger is a must have ingredient for steamed fish. Ginger can also be used in candies and desserts.

Ginger powder is also available in capsule form as a nutritional supplement. It is also an herbal remedy that can be prescribed by natural medicine practitioner, mainly for nausea, morning sickness, digestive problems, acute infections, fever, common cold, and various forms of arthritis [4].  However, caution must be exercised when using ginger as herbs or nutritional supplements. Ginger can interact with blood thinning medication, diabetes medication, and medication for high blood pressure [5]. In general, ginger is safe for all to consume as foods, even for young children and during pregnancy.

Enjoy ginger! It is a time-honoured super food that can strengthen your body and fight disease.

Homemade Ginger Tea

ginger teaPamper yourself with a hot ginger tea in the morning. It is so easy to make!

Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 thin slices of raw ginger
  • 1½ – 2 cups of water
  • Juice from ½ lime or ¼ lemon to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp of honey, molasses, or stevia to taste

Preparation:

Wash and slice the ginger thinly with skin. Boil the ginger slice in water for 10min. Simmer for another 10min if you want stronger taste. Remove from heat and add lime/lemon and honey/molasses to taste.

REFERENCES

  1. Stevenson, H. (2012). “Ginger’s Many Evidence-Based Health Benefits Revealed”. GreenMedInfo.com
  2. Andrews, R. (n.d.). “All About Ginger”. PrecisionNutrition.com
  3. Australian Ginger Growers Association (2009). “The Australian ginger industry – Overview of market trends and opportunities”.
  4. Bone, K. (2007). “The Ultimate Herbal Compendium”. Phytotherapy Press, NSW
  5. University of Maryland Medical Center (n.d.). “Ginger”. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide. Umm.edu
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