I love ginger! It wasn't until I discovered the power of nutrition that I purchased whole ginger root in the store and incorporated it into my diet regimen. It's very healthy and very versatile in the kitchen. If you're looking for another way to boost your health, ginger can be a great tool!
Ginger's Health Benefits:
Ginger is actually a perennial herb that has thick tuberous roots. It's taste is pungent, fragrant, and hot. It comes in many forms: whole fresh roots, dried roots, powdered ginger, preserved or "stem" ginger, crystallized ginger, and pickled ginger. Ginger is native to southeastern Asia, India, and China, where it is commonly used in the local cuisine. It has long been valued for its aromatic, culinary, and medicinal properties. It is even mentioned in the ancient Chinese writings of Confucius.
Here are 2 important features:
1. It's very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. It helps with motion sickness symptoms and with nausea because it absorbs and neutralizes gastrointestinal hormones, toxins and acids. Use ginger the next time you need to "settle your stomach".
2. It is a potent anti-inflammatory food through it's compounds called gingerols. Many people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain and improved mobility when they consume ginger regularly.
Ginger is potent, so dosages do not have to be high to achieve beneficial effects. Although powdered ginger works well, fresh ginger root is believed to yield even better results due to having more active enzymes.
Source Book: Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, By Michael T. Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, Lara Pizzorno
Selecting & Peeling Ginger Root
Fresh ginger is commonly found at the grocery store in the produce section. Whenever possible, choose fresh ginger over powdered because it is superior in flavor and higher levels of anti-inflammatory compounds. Ginger can be stored in the refrigerator up to three weeks if not peeled. Dried ginger should be organic to insure it has not been irradiated.
Do you know to peel fresh ginger? I always try to look for pieces that are straighter, which are easier to peel. Simply take a potato peeler and peel the skin off your ginger. However, all ginger is somewhat bulbous. So, to get into the tiny curves, take a spoon, turn it over, and scrape it with the edge of the spoon. Easy! And no precious ginger will be wasted!
However, ginger does not necessarily need to be peeled!
It all depends on its usage. For my smoothies, I just wash the ginger & throw it in... skin & all! Ginger can also be grated with a fine cheese grater. Try freezing it first for ease of grating. Add it into "old" recipes for a new twist!
Jenny Yelle, MHNE Holistic Wellness Educator
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