Spicy and Soothing - Ginger can be both

Do you remember when you were little and your mother gave you a glass of ginger ale and a few saltine crackers to calm your upset stomach? Then you experienced first hand that ginger root has some pretty powerful effects on the body. Now that we are a little older, and hopefully wiser, there are even more ways to reap the healing benefits of ginger.

Adding superfoods like ginger to your diet can be a source of antioxidants, or substances that shield our bodies from cell damage and help prevent disease. Today I’d like to highlight one of my favorite spices - Ginger! Here’s some of the background, health benefits, and uses for ginger.

The healing powers of Ginger go way back

Ginger root was used in early civilizations in the Middle East and Asia by healers and began to gain traction as a medicine during the spice trade when it was introduced in Europe. Since then, modern medicine practitioners have been able to confirm that ginger does help reduce nausea and vomiting. Today, ginger is used to treat a variety of ailments, including nausea, upset stomach, motion sickness, gas, menstrual cramps, stimulating circulation, common cold prevention, and pain reduction and inflammation making it valuable after a heavy lift.

Ways to consume ginger

While you can buy fresh ginger root at the grocery store, ginger can also be consumed through a variety of methods, including as a drink (tea/ale), capsules, powder, minced in a jar, crystallized and more.

Some of my favorite ways to include this superfood in my diet is to steep it as a tea, add some powder to green smoothies for an exotic twist, sprinkle it on pancakes (check out my pantry list for my favorite “sprinkle”), mince ginger into a hearty soup and I especially enjoy crystallized ginger dipped in dark chocolate as a special treat.

QUICK GUIDE to ginger:

Superfood: Ginger (a.k.a. Ginger Root)

Origins: Used thousands of years ago as medicine by healers in Arabic, Indian, and Asian cultures

Health Benefits:

  • Reduces pain and inflammation

  • Help prevents colds by inhibiting rhinovirus

  • Reduces gas and other issues within the intestinal tract

  • Provides a warming effect and stimulates circulation

  • May help prevent stomach ulcers caused by anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen

Macros for 1 tsp. (1.8 grams) Ground Ginger:

  • Calories 6

  • Total Fat: .1 g

  • Carbohydrate: 1.3 g

  • Protein: .2 g

  • Sugar .1 g

  • Dietary Fiber .3 g

  • Potassium: 24 mg