GINGER: A MISSING INGREDIENT IN YOUR FOOD?
Basking in the glory of the “elders”, my parents are these days, very particular about their health especially my dad. Having crossed the 70’s, watching his diet is even more important to him than before. Prior to this stage, he has always been meticulous about what he engages in and what goes into his system but now, even more so.
I visited them a while ago and apart from the sumptuous meals my mom always prepares, I was welcomed to a cold glass of smoothies. It was different from the one I normally have and I enjoined every bit of it. My parents have taken smoothies to a whole new level adding even ginger to spice it up. I finished the contents of my glass in no time and was soon in line for some more.
Putting together all kinds of fruits including tomatoes, which they also consider fruits even though some nutritionists put them in the class of vegetables, a singular glass of my parents’ smoothies is enough to send the stomach, colon and all the systems in the body working in full gear…LOL…Funny right? But you would be amazed.
The catch for me in the drink was the ginger. I had always heard about its benefit and I am a huge fan of this rhizome which in its fresh form can fall into the class of vegetables as well but I haven’t really bothered to know so much about it. Having this drink and hearing my dad emphasize on the ginger, I had to go check it out and you wouldn’t believe what I found. Apart from serving as a culinary spice, it has several health benefits including reduction of pain and inflammation.
Other benefits are:
- Nausea: Ginger helps to curb nausea especially during cancer treatment. Chewing raw ginger or even drinking it as tea has also been shown to help motion sickness although it is unsafe to use to alleviate nausea during pregnancy. Now there are ginger lozenges or even candies.
- Cold and flu relief: Drinking ginger tea during cold weather is a good way to keep warm and is a great soothing natural remedy for cold or flu. It promotes sweat by making the body warm from within. This makes ginger diaphoretic. One great way to enjoy ginger as tea is with the addition of a slice of lemon or even a drop of honey to add flavour and other additional benefits.
- Reduction of pain: Research has shown that daily ginger supplementation indeed reduces exercise-induced muscle pain by 25 percent. It has also been found to reduce symptoms of menstrual pain also.
- Inflammation: For centuries, ginger has been used to reduce inflammation and its various conditions. Studies have especially found it to be reasonably safe for treating inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. Other studies on 20 volunteers who had the risk of developing colorectal cancer, also showed that ginger reduces this risk too.
- Cardiovascular benefits: Other possible advantages of ginger may be to reduce cholesterol, lower the risk of blood clotting and also maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Having seen these benefits, I hope we can start incorporating ginger into more of our foods.
PHOTO CREDIT: Healthfully