I had a bad experience with ginger and up until recently, I had been afraid of it since. Let me explain. Several years back I used to work overnight as companion to seniors who wanted someone home with them during the night, for safety reasons. As we all know, people tend to offer you things when you’re in their home as a nice gesture. Over the months that I’d worked with a particular client, she’d offer me a snack here and there usually I would politely decline. This final time, I felt bad for constantly saying no and so I accepted one of the crystallized ginger candies that she offered and popped it into my mouth. Instantly. My eyes watered and my nose (that wasn’t stuffed to begin with) was open wider than the sea. Like a toddler, I spit it out in my napkin and hid it under the table until she went to bed.
Why does this matter? Because up until a year ago, I’d been denying myself the benefits of ginger because of a nasty candy. Now I’m obsessed. Ginger, originating in Southeast Asia, is a root that has been used medicinally for centuries. Historically, trading exposed ginger to the rest of the world, being used as a warming spice and flavor for food, a digestive aid and to calm nausea and vomiting. Fresh mature ginger is most easily found in the produce section of your local supermarket, but is also available in powdered form, candied form (bleh), dried, pickled, and preserved (sushi aficionados recognize this as Gari).
A study found in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that properties within ginger help in the prevention of certain cancers and can improve diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and gastrointestinal health. If a you head to the doctor’s office with digestive symptoms or stomachache, a nurse or medical provider may recommend ginger to help prevent or treat further nausea or vomiting, and even cancer chemotherapy. They most won’t prescribe a liter of ginger ale" So consider going straight to the source and trying ginger rather than that Ginger Ale full of sugar, to help with nausea."
Here are a few ways to eat ginger -
Tea- Grate or slice fresh ginger to create a tea. Pour boiling water over it to make a tea. Add honey and lemon if you like and enjoy for a nice start to the day. You can even add a little bourbon for a hot toddy for that cough you can't get rid of. *wink*
Smoothie - Add the fresh ginger to a smoothie or juice for a kick! My favorite – fresh pineapple (and the juice), cucumber, fresh ginger and water. Perfect for a juice cleanse or as a fresh drink on a summer day.
Soup - Fresh ginger, whether grated or pureed, brings a nice spice to creamy winter soups
Sweet Tooth - Many people enjoy the burst of flavor of the caramelized ginger, you might just too!
Pro-tip: Adding two to three drops of Ginger Essential Oil to a diffuser can be a major mood booster. Similarly, try adding several drops to a warm bath.
Let me know how you use Ginger! I'm always looking for new uses. Until next time.
Brittany Waters is a health educator in Raleigh, NC. A self-proclaimed product junkie and obsessed with DIY projects, she's always looking for her next travel adventure, a glass of wine and is known for putting on concerts in the car. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @missbrittanymadison.