Luckily for me, I naturally love spicy foods, and I’ve found that a lot of the spices/ herbs/ condiments that I love most are also awesome for my digestion. Given that I have always suffered from digestive issues, I have now been eating a lot more of these digestive-friendly spices (and yes, my digestion has improved SO MUCH since I cleaned up my diet and added more of these spices - and all of nature’s superfoods - into my diet). One of these miracle digestive spices is GINGER.
Ginger is a widely used condiment, that’s part of the same family as turmeric and cardamom, all of which are great for your health. And like turmeric (which most of you know is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent if you read my blogs), ginger also has a ton of other health benefits, that should give you reason to consume more of this potent root!
Here are 5 BENEFITS OF GINGER:
- DIGESTION & NUTRIENT ABSORPTION. Ginger helps promote regular digestion and metabolism of your food. It relaxes the smooth muscles in your gut lining, helping food move along throughout the digestive system. Adding grated ginger to your meal, or sipping a ginger tea with/after your meal, helps you digest a heavy meal, and helps you to avoid malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies. It’s also been known to prevent against stomach ulcers, GERD and acid-reflux.
- NAUSEA. Ginger is a natural remedy for all types of nausea (from menstrual & pregnancy nausea, food & tummy ache related nausea, etc). Whenever anyone around me mentions nausea, I also suggest they have some fresh (and strong) ginger tea. The more, the better! (See my recipe below!)
- IMMUNITY & DETOX. For centuries, both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine have talked about ginger’s ability to support the immune system. Ginger is known to be very effective at warming the body, cleansing the lymphatic system (our body’s” sewage system”), and breaking-down the accumulation of toxins in our organs. This in turn helps avoid buildup of bacteria and infections.
- ANTI-BACTERIAL & ANTI-FUNGAL. Ginger can help avoid bacteria and fungus from growing in our bodies. If you go anywhere that you fear you might catch some bacteria/virus, make sure to add ginger to your water and/or keep some ginger essential oil with you. For a topical anti-fungal treatment, try mixing coconut oil with ginger oil and tea tree oil; it’s extremely effective!
- DISEASE FIGHTING. Studies have shown that ginger, when consumed daily, helps to slow down growth of CANCER cells, helps prevent and reverse DIABETES, has showed reduction in CHOLESTEROL levels, reduction in ARTHRITIS-related pains, and more! Also, ginger (especially when combined with garlic and onion) has anti-blood-clotting properties that help prevent against HEART ATTACKS and STROKE
So HOW do I incorporate Ginger into my daily diet?
- SMOOTHIES: I add a small chunk (about 1-2 cm, peeled) into my daily green breakfast smoothie. See recipe below for one of my favorite daily smoothies.
- JUICES: I add it to my fresh cold-pressed green juices, which I consume most weeks, a few times per week. For this I usually juice a combo of: kale, lettuce, parsley or cilantro, celery, cucumber, green apple, lemon, sometimes other fruits (passion fruit or pineapple) or sweet veggies (beets, carrots), and tons of ginger.
- SOUPS / STEWS / CURRIES: I shred or finely chop some ginger and sauté with some garlic and onion as the first step to most of my curry dishes or vegetable soups.
- EGGS: I finely chop or shred some fresh ginger and sauté together with chopped zucchini, in a bit of olive or coconut oil, and toss with scrambled eggs for a delicious immune-boosting digestive-friendly breakfast.
- DRESSINGS: One of my favorite salad dressings combines minced/shredded ginger, apple cider vinegar and olive oil - awesome for the gut and immune system.
- TEA: When I have a heavy meal, or feel I’m catching a cold, or I feel a bit nauseous, I’ll enjoy some homemade ginger tea 1-3 times/day until I feel better. If it's too hot for tea, i'll enjoy some cool Ginger Lemonade. See recipes below!
FOUR OF MY FAVORITE GINGER RECIPES:
HOMEMADE GINGER TEA (serves 2)
TROPICAL GREEN GINGER PROTEIN SMOOTHIE (serves 1)
How do you plan to start incorporating more ginger into your diet? Please comment and share your favorite ways to use ginger!
Love and Ginger,