Ginger is often used to add flavor to dishes, but it’s also relied on for medicinal purposes in various cultures. India, for example, introduced the Western world to ginger root when Europe was trading it heavily in Asia. In Eastern households, it’s common to use a lot of ginger in dishes to add plenty of flavor and spice. And in Western cultures, ginger is typically used to sweeten foods like ginger ale, gingerbread, and ginger cake. In addition to being incredibly versatile for cooking, ginger is also surprisingly nutritious touting a number of health benefits.
Health benefits: Ancient Chinese medicine men were the first to document the health benefits of ginger root. Several studies found that the roots can help pregnant women lessen symptoms of morning sickness.
Cancer treatment is another benefit of ginger. The University of Michigan conducted a study that linked ginger powder to the death of ovarian cancer cells. In addition to this study, the University of Minnesota found that ginger can slow the growth of colon cancer cells. Ginger root can also help reduce menstrual cramping, migraines, heartburn, and pain and inflammation.
Nutritional statistics: One quarter cup of raw ginger root has approximately 19 calories, 0 g of fat, 3 mg of sodium, 0 g of sugar, and 0 g of protein.
Cooking methods: Ginger can exhibit a range of flavors depending on how it’s cut. The peels and scraps of ginger have plenty of flavor as well, so they shouldn’t be discarded. Ginger can also be chopped, sliced, or grated. In cooking, you can add ginger powder to baking recipes for a spicy kick, or peel the skin off of ginger and eat it fresh. Additionally, try switching out your normal tea flavor for ginger tea or adding grated ginger into stir-fry recipes for a rich and refreshing flavor.
If you haven’t fallen in love with ginger for its health benefits alone, give one of these recipes a try and we can almost guarantee it will become a staple in your kitchen in no time.
September 9th, 2012