Food Focus: Ginger

I eat fresh ginger every day, either to flavour my meals or as a supplement due to its significant health benefits.

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Why I use it

  • Anti-inflammatory

A compound called shogaol, exhibits the most potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in ginger. This can help to control ageing and has the potential to reduce muscle pain after exercise1. I use ginger as a general anti-inflammatory.

  • Cardiovascular health

As well as being able to help treat degenerative diseases such as arthritis, ginger can also protect against cardiovascular disorders such as high blood pressure2. I have neither of these but I use my diet as preventative rather than curative.

  • Gastrointestinal health

Ginger has been used for thousands of years to aid digestion. It can help relieve bloat, constipation3, and motion sickness4. I make a tonic of bone broth with freshly grated ginger when feeling sick, it works wonders!

  • Immunity-boosting

Through its warming effect, it is thought that ginger is able to break down toxins in the body which might lead to respiratory infections5. When feeling under-the-weather, I make my Cold-Busting Chicken Soup, which contains ginger, bone broth and garlic; all of which help to kick-start the immune system.

  • Anti-bacterial

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials showed that ginger was the most potent remedy for fighting two common strains of bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, compared to three other frequently prescribed antibiotics, chloramphenicol, ampicillin and tetracycline6. I have been prescribed tetracycline in the past and it actually did more harm than good.

Ways I use it

  • In cooking

Ginger is one of my favourite flavours. It’s fresh, tangy and adds a deep heat to dishes. It can be used in traditional spicy recipes such as curry, see my Chicken Curry with Fresh Ginger Cauli-rice, or grate fresh ginger over vegetables – that accompanied with a spoon of grass-fed ghee and a pinch of sea salt is heavenly! I also used ginger in baking, try my Paleo Gingerbread Stars, on the blog Saturday.

  • As a supplement

If I don’t eat ginger with my meals, I finely chop and take it with water.

  • In tea

Adding freshly grated ginger to herbal teas is sure to give you a boost. One of my favourite teas at the moment is Neal’s Yard Organic Vitality Tea, it is delicious with ginger.

G.

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