Ginger

Benefits of ginger

GingerGinger is a spice which is not only pungent and aromatic but it also has a bit of a spicy taste. Ginger adds a special flavor to Asian stir fry dishes, vegetable dishes and fruit. Ginger is currently found all over the world and can be added to food in different forms. For example, both ginger powder and fresh ginger are commonly used in many dishes all over the world.

History

Ginger is a herbaceous perennial. It grows stems which usually grow up to a meter tall, and make green leaves and yellow flowers. Ginger belongs to the same family as galangal, turmeric and cardamom. Ginger is native to South East Asia. This is a region which uses ginger in the majority of its dishes. The spicy herb has been renowned in many areas throughout the world. Moreover, the spice has been mentioned in both Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern writings. This implies that it is a spicy which has been prized for its medicinal and culinary properties for many centuries. Almost two thousand years ago, the ancient Romans imported ginger from China. At the time ginger was a very expensive spice since it had to be imported from Asia. Nevertheless, the product remained popular and people were willing to pay the price for the herb. From this moment onwards, its popularity in Europe and the rest of the Western world increased and it is now mostly used in the Mediterranean region and its surrounding countries. Another theory states that ginger finds its origin in India. This is due to the fact that ginger found in India has the largest number of genetic variation. It is said that the longer the plant has thought to have grown in the region, the more genetic variations it has. Today the main producers of ginger include Australia, Indonesia, Jamaica, Fiji and India.

Description

Ginger is in some languages referred to as ‘singabera’, which means ‘horn shaped’. It has been given this name due to its physical characteristic since it looks a bit horn shaped. Ginger has a brownish skin which can either be thick of thin. The thickness of the skin depends on whether the product is mature or young, or when it has been harvested. Moreover, the flesh of the ginger can be red, yellow or white. The color of the flesh depends upon the variety of the ginger plant. Moreover, the product has a firm texture which is also a bit striated. Moreover, it has a hot and pungent flavor which is also interpreted by many as being very distinct and a bit spicy. In order to use ginger for cooking, remove the skin of from the fresh mature ginger. You can do this by using a paring knife. After you have removed the skin, the ginger can be julienned, minced or sliced. The taste ginger gives to a meal depends on when it is added to the meal in the cooking process. When ginger is added at the beginning of the cooking process, it adds a subtler flavor to the dish. When it is added at the end of the cooking process, it gives it a more pungent taste.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Ginger is a product which contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These potent anti-inflammatory compounds are thought to be the components which contribute to pain reduction for people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Moreover, this component is also believed to improve the mobility of people who experience rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Research shows that when ginger is consumed regularly it can have a positive influence on the abovementioned diseases. Two research studies show that patients who consumed ginger for a longer period of time, experience a relief of pain and swelling. This was true for 100% of patients who experience muscular discomfort, and true for 75% of the arthritis patients. While ginger offers great benefits, there are people who are allergic to ginger. An allergic reaction mostly results in a rash. While ginger has been recognized as being a safe product to consume, it could cause heartburn and might have some other side effects. This is especially true when ginger is consumed in powdered form. Moreover, ginger is not recommended for people who have ulcers or an inflammatory bowel disease. This is because people with these conditions might not enjoy the benefits of gingers but would only be negatively affected by large quantities of fresh ginger. It is also not meant to take consume large quantities of fresh ginger since this could cause intestinal blockage. However, the effects are again different for people with gallstones. It is said that people with gallstone experience positive effects with regards to heart rhythms, clotting and blood pressure.


Nausea and vomiting

Another positive benefit of ginger is that it reduces nausea and vomiting. Most research has been done with pregnant women. A study conducted in 2005 shows that ginger indeed is effective in relieving the severity of vomiting and nausea during pregnancy. The study was conducted among 675 women. This study also confirmed the absence of significant side effects with pregnant women. Ginger is often recommended instead of anti-vomiting drugs. This is because anti-vomiting drugs could cause severe birth defects. Moreover, in order to experience the benefits of ginger, only a small dose is required and ginger is considered to be a safe spice. Research also shows that ginger could help in the case of hyperemesis gravidum. Hyperemesis gravidum is the condition of experiencing extreme vomiting and nausea. This condition mostly requires hospitalization, but its effects could be reduced by consuming small amounts of ginger. Another study shows that taking an average of 1,5 gram of ginger one hour before a surgery reduces nausea and vomiting for 24 hours after the surgery. However, ginger is only effective when taken in its pure form and not in combination with anti-vomiting medication and medication against nausea.

Immune boost action

Ginger is also known for giving the immune system a boost. Ginger helps healthy sweating. This is especially helpful when you have a flu or experiencing a cold. Often sweating is a better medicine compared to medication gotten from the pharmacy or giving your body a detoxification cure. As mentioned before, only a small amount of ginger is needed to experience its benefits. While for nausea, a cup of ginger tea or adding fresh ginger to boiling water is enough to calm down the stomach. In order to boost the immune action it is recommended to have fresh ginger once every few days. A German research study has recently found that sweat contains a germ-fighting component which fights infections. This component is produced in the sweat glands of the body and is transported to the surface of the skin where it provides protection against microorganisms. It provides protection against fungi and skin infections. This component is activated by ginger and it is for this reason that ginger is recommended when fighting a cold or the flu. While it is not recommended to take too much ginger since this could cause stomach problems, it is noted that people having ginger when they have a cold are reported to recover quicker and better.

Select and store

When buying ginger in the supermarket, choose ginger which is fresh. This is because the dried form of ginger is not as concentrated as fresh ginger. Fresh ginger contains higher levels of gingerol and the anti-inflammatory component which helps fighting off a cold. Fresh ginger is mostly sold in the vegetables and fruit department, while the powdered form of ginger can be found with the other herbs and spices. When buying ginger in the supermarket it is important that the ginger root is free of mold, smooth and firm. In most Western supermarkets it is only possible to purchase the mature ginger. Mature ginger has a tough skin which requires you to peel it off. However, the young ginger is usually available in Asia markets and does not have to be peeled. Additionally, when you want to buy the powdered form of ginger make sure that is comes from an organically grown ginger. When buying powdered ginger which is not organic it could be that it is irradiated, while organically grown ginger gives you the assurance that this has not happened. Ginger can also be bought candied or pickled. Pickled ginger is mostly served with sushi, in combination with wasabi. Fresh ginger can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three weeks when it is left unpeeled. When it is left for longer, it usually starts to mold. Ginger can also be stored in the freezer. When kept in the freezer unpeeled it can last up to six months. Ginger powder can either be stored in a dark dry place, or in the refrigerator. Ginger powder can last up to one year.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1527x
Added: 02-07-2016 21:22
Last modified: 29-07-2016 22:52

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