Remember when everyone was obsessing over kale? Well, I think ginger is the next kale.
I put ginger in everything I can. It is a superfood that is super good for you and has amazing benefits I bet ya didn't know about!
Ginger root has been used as a spice and herbal medicine for thousands of years in Asian, Indian, and Arabic traditions. Ginger root contains a ton of bioactive compounds, including gingerol, shogaol, and terpene volatile oils, with a variety of beneficial pharmacologic effects.
A lot of people aren't into ginger because it has a super strong flavor, but the flavor is actually thanks to the volatile oils and phenol compounds that researchers think are what gives ginger its amazing medicinal properties.
Ginger has proven time and time again to be an anti-inflammatory food. Inflammation is one of the root causes of several chronic diseases and many day-to-day ailments, such as sore muscles, bloating, skin problems, and fatigue. Basically, preventing or reducing systemic inflammation is what we want. Eating ginger, an anti-inflammatory food, helps us do this.
Ginger is also known to have strong antioxidant properties, which may also contribute to its health benefits. Many diseases and general aging is in part caused by oxidation within our body. That's why consuming antioxidants (and helping our body produce its own antioxidants!), like ginger, is so important: to prevent aging and disease.
Preliminary research even suggests that ginger may also have hypoglycemic effects. This could help keep your blood sugar in check, particularly if you have or are at risk for diabetes.*
So, ginger is pretty much a triple threat to aging and disease: it's an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that also lowers blood sugar!
It's really easy to add some ginger to your favorite recipes. Just mince up some fresh peeled ginger and toss it into your favorite stir fry, rice/pasta dish, or entree! I'll be sharing some recipes with ginger soon, including a 15-minute homemade butternut squash risotto!
*MINOR Interaction with Diabetes Medications: Be watchful with this combination. Ginger might increase insulin levels and/or decrease blood glucose levels, and could theoretically have an additive effect with diabetes medications and cause hypoglycemia.
Photos by Tania Arceo