THE FOODS SERIES: Ginger

Ahh, good ‘ol ginger. Finally a Food Series post in the Herb and Spices category!

DESCRIPTION:

Ginger is a flowering plant whose rhizome (an underground stem of a plant) is most widely used as a spice and for its medicinal benefits.

The flesh of the ginger rhizome may be found yellow, white, or even red in colour and is some what coarse yet stringy. The skin ranges from light tan, beige to brown and from thick to thin, depending on the time of harvest. Many people are familiar with the ginger taste which is very aromatic, pungent and woody.


PRODUCTION:

Ginger is native to Southeast Asia and has been widely used for centuries in many cuisines. Today the top producing countries include India, China, Nepal, Indonesia and Nigeria.


NUTRITIONAL PROFILE:

One tablespoon of fresh ginger:

4.8 kcal
1.1 g carbs
0.1 g fiber
0.0 g fat
0.1 g protein
2.6 mg magnesium
24.9 mg potassium

In terms of its nutritional profile, there’s not much… mainly because you wouldn’t normally consume any large quantity of ginger in one given time. Therefore we will discuss more of it’s medicinal and other health benefits.

It has been well known that ginger is beneficial in digestion and helping with gastrointestinal relief; particularly with motion sickness, and seasickness, such as reducing symptoms of dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweating. Scientific research have found that ginger possess many therapeutic properties such as a direct anti-inflammatory effect and antioxidant effect. Ginger contains gingerols, an anti-inflammatory compound which are believed to be the component that reduces pain and improve mobility in people suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This same compound have also been found to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

I’m sure most of you know of consuming ginger when feeling under the weather and fighting a cold. Ginger promotes healthy sweating due do it’s warming properties and sweating during a cold or flu is beneficial for detoxifying. So if you want to boost your immune system, definitely incorporate some ginger into your diet.


WAYS TO ENJOY:

What a powerful food ginger is. So many ways to add ginger into your dishes. The possibilities are endless, I mean just type in ginger recipes into Google…

Beverages

Adding ginger in any beverage instantly enhances it, giving it that amazing spice and warmth. From a simple lemon ginger concoction, to a delicious and refreshing green ginger smoothie, to a super warming ginger tea latte on a cold day. Ginger beverages rarely disappoints.

Cookies

I mean, ginger cookies are so delicious. Here’s a really easy and simple RAW gingersnap cookie recipe. If you want a non-raw version, here’s a great healthy ginger snap cookie recipe as well!

Dressings

There is just something about adding ginger into dressings that gives it that umph and that extra something you can’t put your finger on! Here is a really quick turmeric ginger dressing you can add to your salads. Another great combination is carrot and ginger, YUM!


FUN FACTS:

  • A ginger plant can grow up to 4 feet tall!
  • Ginger root is very low on the Glycemic index.
  • Ginger activates the digestive enzymes in the body just from its aroma.
  • Ginger is mentioned in the Bible, Koran and the Talmud.
  • When pickled in sweet vinegar, ginger turns pink; hence what you see when you go for Japanese food.
  • Ginger oil is sometimes used topically on the skin to relieve pain.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES / REFERENCES:

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