Ginger, Zingiber officinale, is an herb that is used as a spice in various cuisines throughout the world. The edible part of the fresh ginger is the rhizome.
Slightly sweet and strong aromatic, the pleasant fragrance of ginger is attributed to two of its chief ingredients namely, gingerol and shogaol.
Ginger is used mostly in its fresh, dried, and powdered forms. The ground, dried, and preserved forms of ginger is internationally traded while the fresh form of ginger is consumed in areas where it is grown and cultivated.
Apart from adding flavour to the food, ginger also offers plenty of health benefits as it is full of nutrients.
Ginger is a good source of carbohydrates, fibre, potassium, sodium, iron, and vitamin C. It also contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. Ginger is a good source of antioxidants.
100 gms of ginger contains 80 calories, 18 gm of carbohydrates, 3.6 gm of fiber, 3.5 gm of protein, 1.15 gm of iron, 33 mg of potassium, 14 mg of sodium, and 7.7 mg of vitamin C.
Possible Health Benefits of Ginger…
Reduces arthritic pain
1. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic property of ginger helps in soothing the pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Ginger extract is used to benumb and reduce pain.
2. Gingerol and non-gingerol contents of ginger help prevent inflammation and destruction of the joints.
3. Essential oils present in ginger are quite beneficial in treating inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis.
Helps fight infections
1. Gingerol, the active component of ginger helps in lowering the risk of infections.
2. The antibacterial property of ginger restricts the growth of several different types of bacteria.
3. Due to the anti-inflammatory activity of gingerol, ginger is quite useful against the oral bacteria linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums.
1. The antibacterial properties of ginger make it effective against diarrhoea, caused by bacteria.
2. Enzymes present in ginger help expel gas.
3. Ginger relaxes the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract thus, preventing bloating and soothing an upset stomach.
4. It hastens the contractions used in digestion food.
5. It decreases cramping in intestines, treats chronic indigestion, and enhances digestion.
Lowers risk of cancer
1. The anti-cancer property of ginger is attributed to one of its active component 6-gingerol. Gingerol helps in reducing tumour growth and reducing inflammation markers.
2. The high content of antioxidants in ginger too, aids in protecting against cancer.
3. The long-term risk of certain cancers is reduced due to the cell-protecting properties of ginger.
Lowers blood sugar levels
1. Ginger possesses anti-diabetic properties thus; it lowers fasting blood sugar and improves HbA1c levels. HbA1c is a marker indicating long-term blood sugar levels.
2. There is an improvement in insulin and metabolism due to some active contents of ginger.
3. It also reduces the risk of diabetes.
How to use ginger?
To reap the benefits of ginger, it can be used in multiple ways as a whole, grated, or minced. It can be used:
- In tea.
- In soups
- In pickle.
- In cocktails.
- In smoothies.
- As ginger ale.
- In vegetables.
- As ginger juice.
- In turmeric milk.
- In salad dressing.
- In baked desserts.
- As herbal supplements.
- To marinate meat and fish.
Closely related to turmeric, cardamom and galangal family, ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant kitchen herb.
Other health benefits of Ginger…
Please go through the link Medicinal Health benefits of Ginger…
How to make Ginger Tea?
Take 1 inch long fresh ginger. Peel it and slice it thinly.
Take 1 ½ cups of water and bring it to a boil.
Add the ginger slices into the water.
Boil it for 1 minute, then cover the pan, and reduce the heat. Simmer it for approximately 8- 10 minutes.
Strain the liquid, pouring it into a cup. Lemon juice and honey to be added for taste.