Food of the Week : Ginger

Today is the turn of ginger. We don’t touch the plant, but focus all of our attention and taste buds on the rhizome (the stem which grows underground). Part of the Zingiberaceae family, with close family ties to turmeric and cardomon.

Use it fresh, dried, ground or in oil form. Of all of the hailed “superfoods”,  ginger holds some of the most significant and impressive scientific evidence.

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Ginger is great for gastrointestinal distress. It has long been used to eleviate motion sickness and sea sickness. During pregnancy, ginger is very effective at relieving nausea and vomiting.

Scientific studies show ginger to be a great aid for sufferers of chronic indigestion, a condition known as dyspepsia. The tuber speeds gastric emptying and thus relieves symptoms.

Within the flesh of ginger are compounds called gingerols. These fellas are anti-inflammatory, and can be amazing for significant pain reduction in osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis patients. Inflammation in the body has a major effect on ageing and can be a slippery slope to more significant and life-altering conditions and diseases. Ginger is a powerful tool thanks to not only it’s anti-inflammatory properties but also it’s antioxidant factors. Both these elements combined can delay age-delated decline in brain function.

Because of its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can be great for reducing muscle soreness after exercise.

It has been shown to be a powerful relief for dysmenorrhea, or more commonly period pain in women. Just 1 gram of ginger powder per day for the first three days of menstruation proved as effective as prescription drugs. Awesome!

This same compound has shown to be a powerful agent preventing coloretal cancer cells forming, and even kill ovarian cancer cells through apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagocytosis (self-digestion). Mega stuff.

Ginger can provide excellent detoxification. Ingesting it has a thermogenic effect, which can cause sweating. Sweating can reduce the chance of infections due to the release of dermicidin, which fights germs. Gingerol can also inhibit the growth of many different bacterias.

Chop up the fresh tuber and steep in boiled water for a spicy warming drink.

Grate the fresh tuber and add to vegetables during stir frying.

Add ground ginger to stews and curries for warmth and spice.

Ginger combines well with carrots, cook and blend together for a delicious soup.

 

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