Ingredient Spotlight: Ginger
“GET MORE GINGER!” is proudly displayed on the windows of all our Village Juicery locations. Why is that? Ginger is one of the most powerful foods on our planet, and has been used for hundreds of years for its medicinal properties among many different cultures.
Belonging to the same plant family as turmeric, ginger is highly anti-inflammatory and contains many potent antioxidants due to its active chemical component, gingerol.
Let’s explore the benefits of this warming and delicious spice, all of them backed by scientific research!
Inflammation plays a role in almost every major disease, so it is important to both lower our intake of inflammatory foods and incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into our diet daily! Ginger’s ability to reduce inflammation in the body may also be why individuals with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience a reduction in pain and an increase in mobility when they consume ginger regularly.
2. Improves Digestion
Ginger helps relax the smooth muscle in your intestinal lining, and therefore helps to move food through your digestive tract, relieving bloating and constipation. It is also commonly used to treat all kinds of nausea.
3. Reduces Pain
Ginger has been found to reduce muscle soreness for individuals post work-out in when consumed regularly. It is believed that ginger not only affects the pain pathways, but its anti-inflammatory compounds help to offset the inflammation caused by vigorous exercise! It is also a great remedy for menstrual pain, when consumed at the beginning of the menstrual period.
4. Immune Boosting
Ginger is great for boosting your immune system this flu season! Not only does it warm the body and improve circulation, but it also cleanses our body’s lymphatic system, pushing out any accumulation of toxins. Ginger is also an all-natural, powerful anti-bacterial that out-performed conventional antibiotics in one 2011 study by the Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials.
5. Improves Disease Risk
Due to ginger’s cholesterol-lowering and anti-blood-clotting effects, ginger helps to reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Several studies have also found that ginger has the ability to lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity, therefore naturally improving diabetes.
Ginger has recently been studied for its anti-cancer properties. In one study conducted by the University of Minnesota, it was found to inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells. In another study, ginger was found to induce cell death in ovarian cancer cells, likely due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Now that you know all the ways ginger can benefit your health, it’s time to incorporate it into your diet:
1. Ginger tea: To make your own, finely mince ginger or beat it up in a mortar and pestle before adding it to a tea pot with hot water and letting it steep for 10-15 minutes.
2. Raw ginger: Fresh ginger can be peeled and added to smoothies, or minced and added to stir-fries and salad dressings!
3. Fresh cold-pressed ginger: Ginger in this form is great when gently heated with lemon and honey, added to smoothies, or even consumed straight! You can find it in our 60ml pure Ginger Shot and in our hot immune elixir- Ginger Fireball.
4. Powdered ginger: Although less potent, powdered ginger is a great way to sneak some ginger into homemade baked goods, or your oatmeal in the morning.
Ruthie Cooper-Simpson is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Village Juicery’s College location. Inspired by her love for making healthy and nutritious meals, Ruthie began studying nutrition and soon found that a diet rich in whole foods cured many of the digestive issues she had been living with for so long. She believes that moderation and balance are the key to living a healthy and happy life. Follow her on Instagram @rucoopsimp, or check out her blog www.almondsanddates.com where you can find healthy recipes and nutritional tips!
The George Mateljan Foundation. (2001) Ginger. (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72)
Ehrlich, Steven D. NMD. (June 22, 2016). Ginger. (http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/ginger)
Ozgoli, G., Goli, M., Moattar, F. (2009). Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)., 15(2), 129-32. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19216660)
Axe, J. (2014) 10 Medicinal Ginger Health Benefits. (https://draxe.com/10-medicinal-ginger-health-benefits/)
Leech, J. (2015). 11 Proven Helath Benefits of Ginger. (https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger/)
Sebiomo, A., Awofodu, A. D., Awosanya, A. O., Awontona, F. E., Ajayi, A. J., (2011). Comparative studies of antibacterial effect of some antibiotics and ginger on two pathogenic bacteria. Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials. 3(1), 18-22. (http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1380017545_Sebiomo%20et%20al.pdf).