Health Benefits of Ginger
Why this spice is useful for more than just ale and snaps
Ginger ale, gingersnaps and gingerbread may be some of the most well known ginger-based products that you can find at the grocery store. Many of us indulge in these products because we find their sweet yet spicy taste enjoyable. Did you know that ginger itself has beneficial qualities beyond its great taste? Asian, Indian and Arabic cultures have been using the soothing qualities of this spice since ancient times. Recent studies done here in the United States have proven that this perennial plant may have the ability to relieve upset stomachs and some forms of inflammation.
The ginger plant grows mainly in tropical and subtropical climates, but is also cultivated in the United States, India and China. The most important parts of the plant are the volatile oils and phenol compounds, which are thought to contain the soothing powers for remedying minor illnesses. Studies have shown that ginger is most effective for relieving nausea due to motion sickness, nausea due to pregnancy, and inflammation due to arthritis. Some studies have also shown that ginger is an effective way to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy treatments. Please keep in mind that it is always best to consult your doctor before beginning any form of treatment, herbal remedies included.
The bulk food aisle is a great place to stock up on ginger-filled products that won’t break your budget. Some of our stomach soothing favorites include:
Crystallized (Candied) Ginger
The sweet sugar coating makes crystallized ginger a kid-friendly treat. Use these slices to ease upset stomachs, as a snack, or chop them up and add them to your favorite baked good recipes. Try dipping the slices in chocolate for a unique and extravagant treat.
These hard candies are individually wrapped, making them perfect for taking on the go to ease upset stomachs and motion sickness. Stash some in your car, drop a couple in your purse, or hide a handful in your carry-on luggage to ensure safe travels free of upset stomachs.
Wake Up Tea
The bold taste of peppermint combined with the aroma of ginger will get you out of bed and ready to start a new day. Rooibos adds a natural sweetness to this blend of tea, which is 100% Caffeine free.
You can also find ground ginger in the bulk food aisle, which is perfect for adding to many dishes, from rice and curries to cookies and cakes. Ground ginger also makes a great addition to fresh cut fruits like peaches and pears. Introduce ginger to your family tonight by cooking up any one of these delicious recipes:
Honey Ginger Grilled Salmon
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Banana Bread with Chocolate and Candied Ginger
Spiced Pear Crisp
Do you have a favorite recipe that uses fresh, crystallized or ground ginger? Send your recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to have your recipe featured on the website!
Ginger. University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ginger-000246.htm
Five Things You Need to Know About the Health Benefits of Ginger. Livestrong.com. http://www.livestrong.com/article/5286-need-health-benefits-ginger/
Roufos, Anna. Spice of Life: Health Benefits of Spices and Herbs. Fitness Magazine. May, 2006. http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/nutrition/health-benefits-of-spices-herbs/
Altshul, Sara. Acupuncture, Ginger and Ginseng: New Studies Confirm Benefits. Health.com. http://living.health.com/2009/05/17/acupuncture-ginger-ginseng-science-confirms-benefits/
Ginger. MayoClinic.com. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ginger/NS_patient-ginger/DSECTION=evidence