Ginger Root

It took me a long time to realize how a few pieces of fresh ginger could really add a wallop to my chicken or vegetable stir fry.  Then I discovered various ginger salad dressings – positively refreshing!

However, ginger isn’t just about good taste, it’s also about all the terrific health benefits stuffed into this rather twisted looking root.

Whenever I have a queasy or upset stomach, I grab a ginger ale or ginger chew.  My friend turned me on to the ginger chews.  They are sold at most grocery and specialty stores like World Market, Trader Joe’s, etc.  They are really tasted and do seem to put my stomach at ease.  They look and taste like candy (some stores have them in the candy aisle), with a refreshing burst of ginger flavor.

Here are more attributes of ginger root:

  • Can help reduce blood sugar levels.
  • Can ease nausea.
  • Can help ease the pain of osteoarthritis by reducing the symptoms of inflammation.
  • Gingerol, a substance found in ginger, can help combat bacterial, viral and some fungal infections.
  • One cause of indigestion is the slow emptying of food from your stomach. Ginger can speed up this process.
  • Can aid in lowering bad cholesterol.
  • Can improve brain function through its antioxidant properties that protect your brain from oxidative stress.
  • Evidence suggests it may improve brain function, memory and reaction times.

As with anything, use ginger in moderation.  A little goes a long way.  Ginger in powder form is good too, but if you’ve never used fresh ginger root, now is a great time to give it a try.  Store the root in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator (can also be frozen).  When ready to use:  grate, shave or slice off the pieces.

Where to use it:  Add it to salad dressings, your favorite fish dishes, hot or cold teas or stir frys.

Even a very small amount of fresh ginger will add a zing.  Be careful not to add too much or it will overpower your dish.  Experiment by starting off with a few very small shaved pieces added to your dish.  Your taste buds will tell you if you’d like to add more ginger or not.

Cold or flu got you down?  Try some hot ginger tea.  Place several small pieces of ginger root in a cup.  Add hot water and two teaspoons of honey and a splash (or two) or lemon.

So here’s to Ginger – the Professor, Mary Ann, Gilligan, and the Skipper too!