Ginger is one of nature’s finest healing foods. It is not only known for its remedial properties, but also for its versatility in the kitchen. It is traditionally used in Asian cuisines, however due to its delicate flavour and medicinal uses, ginger has made its way to nearly every home in Australia. By Holistic Nutritionist Nik Toth.
Ginger root, which can be used fresh or dried, is the base of many TCM remedies (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Commonly referred to as a root, ginger is actually classified as a rhizome. It has a strong fragrant smell and a very unique flavor.
Ever wondered why Japanese eat pickled ginger with sushi? Ginger has antimicrobial properties and it is also a great pallet cleanser; it has a taste neutralizing effect and removes any competing flavours in the mouth.
When used for cooking, ginger root is a great addition to soups, marinades, sauces and other dishes such as stir-frys. It also serves great as tea not just because of its delicious taste and aroma, but also due the soothing effect it has on the gastrointestinal tract.
Additional Health Benefits
Ginger is a great source of important trace minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, copper and manganese. It is also known for its carminative properties, meaning it prevents the formation of gas in the gut. Boiled into a tea with fresh lemon, makes a great remedy for bloating. When made into a hot tea, the ginger even releases gingerol and protease, which help with cardiovascular circulation.
Other health benefits include:
- Soothes and relaxes the intestinal tract
- Relieves nausea and vomiting
- Eases gas and discomfort
- Used as a pain reliever
- Weight loss and digestive stimulant
- Protects against osteoarthritis pain and other cancers like ovarian, colorectal, lung and breast cancers
- Decreases cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Suppresses cortisol, which is a steroid hormone needed for regulating energy and mobilisation
- Boosts the immune system - it acts as an antihistamine that combats allergies
Weight Loss Benefits:
Ginger not only has a profound effect on a person’s health, but it is also helpful in suppressing hunger and making you feel satiated. It is the perfect natural appetite suppressant! Another reason why ginger is great for weight loss is because it is known to be a “thermogenic” food, which has the ability to raise the body’s temperature and aid the metabolism.
Our favourite ways to enjoy ginger:
- Sweet ginger tea – boil fresh ginger slices with lemon and add a little honey
- Ginger candies, chews and ginger lollies, such asGin Gins Spicy Apple Chewy Ginger Candy– tastes delicious and is great for motion sickness as well as for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness.
- Baking them – gingerbread cookies. Yum!
- Pickled ginger
- Adding to salad dressings
- In a refreshing green juice
- Adding it to smoothies
To find out more about The Ginger People and the benefits of ginger visit www.gingerpeople.com.au