What is ginger?
Ginger, or zingiber officinale in botany speak, is a gnarly root that can be found all over the world. It’s been used for centuries as both a spice and a medicine, and it’s even said to have mystical powers (we’ll get to that later). But what exactly is ginger? And why do people keep putting it in their tea?? Let’s dive into the spicy world of ginger and find out.
Origins of Ginger
Ginger has been around forever – well, at least since ancient times. It was first cultivated in Southeast Asia but quickly spread across the globe thanks to its popularity as a flavoring agent and medicinal plant. The Greeks loved ginger so much they made little cakes out of it called “gingerbread” (yes, like the ones you eat during Christmas time). But enough about history (boring!). Let’s talk about what makes this root so damn special.
The Many Uses of Ginger
It turns out that ginger isn’t just good for putting in baked goods; it also has tons of health benefits. Here are just a few:
- Relieves nausea: If you’ve ever felt nauseous after eating too much or getting carsick on long trips,ginger could be your new best friend. Studies have shown that taking ginger supplements can reduce nausea caused by chemotherapy drugs or surgery.
- Reduces inflammation: Got joint pain? Sore muscles after working out? Rub some ginger on those babies! Well, not really – but consuming ginger can help alleviate inflammation throughout your body.
- Lowers blood sugar: For all you diabetics out there,ginger might just save your life. Studies suggest that taking 2 grams of powdered ginger per day can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 12% (Disclaimer: Please consult with your doctor before incorporating any dietary changes).
But wait, there’s more! Ginger is also said to have aphrodisiac properties (read: it can make you horny), act as a natural detoxifier, and even help with migraine headaches. All of these benefits are thanks to the active compounds found in ginger called gingerols and shogaols (yes, those are real words – we looked them up).
Cooking With Ginger
Now that we know just how awesome ginger is for our health, let’s talk about how to incorporate it into our diets. Luckily,ginger goes great with pretty much everything, from stir-fry dishes to smoothies.
Here are some ideas for cooking with ginger:
- Grate fresh ginger over roasted veggies or fish for extra flavor.
- Add ground ginger to spice up your morning oatmeal or pancakes.
- Infuse hot water with sliced ginger and lemon for a soothing tea (bonus points if you add honey).
- Mix minced garlic, grated onion, grated ginger,and soy sauce together in a bowl.
If all else fails (and you’re feeling lazy), simply buy some pre-made products containing ginger like spicy snacks,chips,cakes etc… But be vigilant while picking such foods because many manufacturers use artifical flavors instead of actual extract/ginger which doesn’t do any good.
The Mystical Powers of Ginger
Okay okay, we promised not to get too mystical on you but hear us out: Some cultures believe that carrying a piece of dried-ginger root in your pocket can help ward off evil spirits…so yeah,we’d say that qualifies as mystical powers. Maybe gift one during Halloween?
In addition to its spiritual significance,Ginger was carried by ancient sailors believing it would etch their journey safe’n sound & wouldn’t let mermaids lure them down(those poor sailors had no idea).Fast forward today people still chew on pieces during long journeys for quelling nausea & dehydration.
The Bottom Line
Ginger is a weird little root that packs a big punch. Not only does it taste great in baked goods and Asian cuisine, but it also has numerous health benefits – from reducing inflammation to helping with diabetes.The mystical history behind these never ending powers of ginger sure makes up for an instant mood-boost! Incorporating ginger into your regular diet through several ways mentioned above should help you enjoy greater benefit reaping mesmerizing zingy flavor.
So if you’re not already using ginger as a spice or dietary supplement,give it a try! Your body (and maybe even your soul) will thank you.