Ginger, Ginger, Get in my Belly!
by Jill Sung, JUARA Co-Founder
Ever since I learned that ginger is one of only a few spices that has proven anti-inflammatory benefits after consumption. I have been avidly trying to figure out how to add it, and it’s other anti-inflammatory spice friends into my cooking. Don’t like reading articles, watch this video. So let’s get to the point. Why is it exciting to add ginger to your food regimen?
1. It’s anti-inflammatory…
Not sure what’s great about being anti-inflammatory? It means that when your body faces stress or pain – ginger can help stop it. It’s been shown to be effective against osteoarthritis, muscle pain and soreness and even pro-inflammatory cancers like colon, ovarian, or pancreatic.
2. It’s an anti-oxidant!
By now, we all know anti-oxidants help slow down aging or damage of our cells, but ginger’s 6-gingerol’s antioxidant ability is posited for being the reason ginger helps to slow down cognitive decline or even improve brain function in some.
3. It can help with nausea, menstrual pain, stomach discomfort etc.
4. It may be slimming!
Ginger activates the same slimming pathway as sleeping in a cold room or eating capsaicin in peppers. How cold? 62 F degrees cold. Cayenne pepper, like ginger, increases energy expenditure by activating brown fat tissue which helps to burn calories and thus lose weight.
Don’t get me started on the budding research showing ginger’s effects on diabetes and heart disease risk factors.
Convinced?!? Let’s do this!
TIPS ON HOW TO USE GINGER…
- Crush it! Release the juices and increase the surface area. If you like the spiciness of ginger, but don’t want to eat it, take a large piece and crush it with the side of your knife, sharp side away from you of course. Then you can use the piece of ginger for soups, sautéing, etc. but fish it out since it’s still one big chunk.
- Add a chunk to your morning smoothie – wakes up your senses and potentially keeps that blood sugar down. My smoothie this morning: banana, apple, fingertip of ginger, strawberries, and kale with cold brewed hibiscus green tea and crushed flax seeds.
- Remove the skin with the side of a spoon. Then grate, julienne or mince it. Use it to make tea, spice up soup, add it to almost every stir fry, or brighten up anything sweet. Or try making ginger beer – a probiotic gingery drink!
- No fresh ginger? Or don’t want to bother with the root? (I buy mine in bulk and freeze it), ground ginger from the spice rack works too. Ginger tea is just 1/4 teaspoon with hot water, and a touch of honey.
I hope you find more ways and reasons to keep Ginger around! Please share your tricks!