Ginger Root

Ginger is the best. I use it almost every day and given I'm not big on routine, (I hope to be and I try to be, but I'm usually not) this is saying something. 

It's certainly not a bland food; ginger is pretty zingy and because of this, a lot of people find it a little too intense. Solution: I suggest putting that opinion aside, and having it anyway! That's correct, I'm just ignoring your tastebuds and saying, be better. For instance...

First story:  My youngest brother doesn't enjoy ginger (he is in no way a picky eater, so this is strange to me) and instead of respecting that, I either forget or actively ignore this detail and make him try smoothies or juices I make that contain ginger. I hold out a glass, tell him to drink it ("what is in it?" he'll ask, "just drink it" I'll say (annoyed, as if he has the right to ask that question), Glug glug glug. pause. "There's ginger in this" he says, "yes of course. oh sorry!" I remember how he hates ginger, get a kick out of it and walk away happy because I am actually doing him a favour. 

Second story: My partner, when we first started dating, would casually remind me that he didn't love ginger (yes, it was a subject that came up a lot) but every time either of us are sick I make ginger tea, and I swear the homemade tea converted him. At first he would say he didn't want any, then I would prepare a mug for him anyway (loaded with raw honey - but over time, slowly and secretly I reduced the amount of honey) and now he just knows better. When I ask if he wants ginger tea, he doesn't say yes just to please me, and he doesn't ask for a ratio of 3,000,000:1 honey to ginger, he actually tolerates it!

So, if these instances aren't proof enough of how ginger is a miracle worker that you should demand people consume then I shall keep going...

gingerroot


HEALTH BENEFITS

  • Digestive aid
  • It helps with stomach pains and soothes the intestinal tract
  • Anti-nausea  (read: travel, car sickness, hangover cure, morning sickness) 
    There are lots of different ginger candies these days that you can have on hand for these times when you don't feel like eating but need a distraction in your sick bed; or these are great as a healthy candy alternative
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Reduces pain and inflammation which can make you feel better, in the sense that you will feel lighter and less bloated
  • It can help increase mobility and reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Immunity boosting - it fights colds, flus, bacterial infection, coughing etc
  • It promotes detoxification and because of its concentration of active substances, there is no need to use a huge amount

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Despite it being widely available in grocery stores Ginger root is a native plant from Southeastern Asia
  • It's translation is "horn-shaped" due to the fact that its roots tend to be curved, resembling an animal horn (think: Rhino horns vs Unicorn or you won't understand)
  • It grows in warm climates up to 3-4 feet in height
  • Boiled ginger with none other than... Coca Cola (yup!) is a cold remedy commonly used in China. It's believed this concoction stems from people originally using brown sugar to sweeten ginger tea, but instead it became easier to use Coca Cola (Cola is still made with sugar in China versus corn syrup as it is in other countries). Supposedly it unblocks plugged noses, soothes the throat and the flat coke helps with digestion.
  • Also, not so much an interesting fact as much as it's a cheap hack : you can buy ginger candies at re-sellers like Home Sense or Marshall's (I know many people will complain that the natural ginger candies are too expensive in regular grocery stores) so voila, everyone can access this spicy candy

STORAGE

  • I prefer to use fresh ginger although it is handy to have powdered ginger as a supplement to cooking - it goes well with other anti-inflammatory spices such as turmeric, cumin and cayenne
  • Look for firm and unmarked fresh ginger
  • If sealed in refrigerator it will stay good for up to 3 weeks; frozen will keep for 6 months! Juiced it should be used within 1-2 days (3 max) for optimal nutrient absorption

OTHER USES & RECIPES

  • Ginger juice extract - a strong, warming shot of ginger at any time of day is a huge pick me up. Add lemon, oil of oregano and/or cayenne to make it immunity-boosting
  • Pickled ginger is one of my favourite things to eat! I add it to macro-bowls or keep a jar in my fridge for when I order take-out and pile it on top of my sashimi. Just make sure you're having the type that is free of MSG
  • Ginger tea (see my post under "recipes")
  • Juice Recipe:
    • One of my favourite fresh juices with ginger is: 50% Carrot, 15% Apple. 25% Parsley and 10% Ginger
  • Smoothie Recipe:
    • Almond milk or brazil nut milk, coconut oil, banana, dates (optional to sweeten), ginger extract (juiced or pressed pulp), 
  • Candied Ginger is such a treat and I like to serve it as a garnish on sangria glasses! Such a nice combination of flavours:
candiedginger

[Disclaimer:  I am in no way a nutritionist or health expert nor do I pretend to be. Simply sharing some things I do in my daily life that help elevate my mood and wellbeing in hopes that you may be interested]