Ginger: Great for Your Meals and Your Health
An Introduction to Ginger
Ginger is an extraordinary rhizome, classified as a plant or vegetable, that boasts a remarkable history that stretches back over 5,000 years. Its earliest recorded uses were as a potent ginger tonic by the Chinese and Indians. Eventually, it embarked on a global expedition, reaching the Roman Empire approximately 2,000 years ago. From there, ginger’s influence spread throughout Europe and beyond, firmly establishing its reputation as a versatile culinary and medicinal marvel.
Ginger dazzles in various forms, ranging from fresh and pickled to dry, candied, crystallized, and ground into a fragrant powder. It’s interesting to note that ginger that is intended for preservation or powder is typically harvested at 9 months when its skin toughens, while the fresh variety is usually plucked around 5 months, giving it a milder aroma.
But what about its nutritional prowess? In about 100 grams of raw ginger, there is approximately 78.9 grams of water. In addition, this potent rhizome packs a punch with 80 calories, 17.8 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.82 grams of protein in the same 100-gram portion. Not to mention, you’ll also find 0.75 grams of fats, 2 grams of dietary fiber, and 1.7 grams of sugar. That’s not all—ginger also serves up a wealth of essential minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, magnesium, and copper, along with a medley of vitamins like niacin, folate, retinol, carotene, and manganese, among others.
The Health Benefits of Ginger
With so many vital nutrients, ginger offers a number of different health benefits.
Soothing for the Digestive System.
For those grappling with bloating and indigestion, ginger may be the trusted ally you’ve been looking for. Brimming with fiber, it aids the digestive process and flaunts a treasure trove of enzymes that can help in the battle against constipation, excessive gas, and other digestive discomforts. As if that’s not enough, ginger has also been found to be helpful in combatting nausea, making it a great tool to keep in your toolkit.
Fortifying Your Immune System
Ginger can also be a stalwart defender for your body, armed with potent antimicrobial properties that help thwart menacing bacteria and fungi. It’s these antimicrobial properties that have made ginger such a common ingredient in recipes for “immunity shots” that are designed to nourish and support your body’s natural defenses.
Nurturing Heart Health
Ongoing research is exploring the potential benefits ginger has for cardiovascular health, and thus far the results are promising, showing that ginger has the potential to help protect heart health. It’s also been noted that this powerful rhizome can help with the management of cardiovascular indicators like blood pressure.
Aiding with Weight Management
Ginger has also been touted as a helpful tool for weight management, thanks to compounds like shogaols and gingerols that seem to work magic on various bodily functions. Preliminary studies suggest that ginger may prolong the feeling of fullness, contributing to weight-loss efforts. Just a lemon-infused water encourages hydration and weight loss, ginger is a great compliment to your wellness journey.
Elevating Cognitive Health
Ginger has also been found to exert positive influences on cognitive well-being. It boasts a lineup of over 40 antioxidants that enhance cerebral blood flow while helping to protect cognitive functions as you walk through life.
Enhancing Hair and Skin Health
Ginger’s antioxidant properties combat oxidative stress, which means they offer a helping hand when it comes to combatting the aging process. It also aids in lightening the appearance of scars and boosting collagen production to help you achieve supple, radiant skin. As for hair health, ginger’s fatty acids and mineral content help to keep your locks and scalp in peak condition.
Ways to Use Ginger
Ready to start harnessing some of the benefits of ginger? Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy this amazing, health-promoting food.
1. Brew Some Tea
Indulge in the warmth and enticing aroma of ginger-infused tea. Slice some ginger and boil it in a saucepan with water for a few minutes. Once it’s steeped, strain it into a cup and consider enhancing the experience with a slice of zesty orange or lemon, or perhaps a sprinkling of black or green tea leaves.
2. Elevate Dinners
Venture into the realm of savory delights by exploring dinner recipes that include ginger. Try Ginger chicken! This simple meal requires only chicken pieces, aromatic herbs, a bit of tomato sauce, and a garnish of cilantro and ginger. Pair it with your preferred starch and favorite vegetables for a satisfying meal that will tantalize your taste buds.
3. Delight in Pastries
For the confectionery connoisseurs among us, ginger can infuse your pastries with a touch of delectable flavor. Think ginger cookies, gingerbread cake, gingerbread cheesecake, and a myriad of other sweet treats.
4. Add it to Juices and Smoothies
Embrace ginger’s adaptability by incorporating it into your refreshing juices and smoothies. Craft a gut-pleasing elixir with ginger, lemon, pineapple, and any other complementary ingredients. Or take your favorite recipe for a homemade juice or smoothie to the next level by adding a dash of ginger to give it a delightful kick.
Looking for motivation to keep moving? I am hosting a Blast Your Belly Fat Challenge starting September 25th! Please join me in 5 days to a flatter tummy by registering here: https://tinamcdermott.com/blastbellyfat
Sending You Tons of Love and Humongous Hugs,
Tina “Loving Ginger” McDermott