This post is brought to you by my mild (definition: mild, a word used to cloak what is, in actuality, something of massive proportions) sudden ginger obsession. I mean, I’ve always been okay with ginger. It’s there. It’s nice in some things. But lately I haven’t been able to get enough of its zingy-ness! And that’s okay, because ginger has some great health benefits:
- aid digestion
- strengthen immunity
- known to relieve nausea and morning sickness.
- has anti-inflammatory qualities that may relieve swelling and pain.
- ease headaches and sore throats
- can help reduce menstrual pain
- helps the body absorb nutrients
- reduces gas and bloating
- may help prevent cancer
(you’ll notice beverages are how I be rollin’ lately)
I’m always looking for ways to introduce probiotics into my diet (especially since I have to be dairy free, meaning no Greek yogurt <sad face>) so I was instantly drawn to kombucha. This gingerade version is simply deeeeeelicious.
NOTE: In preparation for this post I did some reading on the host of health claims surrounding kombucha, and found a few things to take note of. One being that a kombucha’s probiotics do not survive the pasteurization process and unpasturized/DIY-ing has its own risk because harmful bacteria and dangerous molds can find their way into the mix. In addition, there’s a lot of talk about GT’s misleading labels (there’s even a lawsuit against them.)
The general consensus seems to be that kombucha is a healthy drink, but that little scientific research has been conducted on it. My personal stance is that it’s been around for thousands of years for a reason, but to take into consideration that nutritional labels and claims can be misleading. So. Proceed with knowledge, my friends.
Shall we get back to the ginger? 😉
I’ve already spoken about my love for Traditional Medicinals, and lately a cup of Ginger Aid tea has been finding its way into my hand after a meal (normally once a day). It help to get the digestive juices flowing and relieves indigestion making it a perfect drink for either before, or after a meal. This particular tea is a tantalizing blend of sweet, citrus and ginger zip.
Smoothies have been my mantra always (fiber, whole foods, no waste, etc.) but I’ve been trying to research the “other side.” And I must say, for the last week I’ve been having a juice in the afternoon for a pick-me-up, and it has been seriously refreshing as well as a great energy boost! It feels incredibly satiating to my body – it’s hard to describe. But I am such a juicing baby in terms of knowledge and know-how. After reading this list of common juicing mistakes I may have to switch up my usual of: carrots + two handfuls of spinach+ half an apple + a knob of ginger (didn’t realize that carrots were on the high end of sugar.) But, oh lawdy! that juice is good! The ginger changes everything. It’s going to be a while before I want to switch that out.
I’ll leave you with answers to some common questions about ginger, adapted from here.
Does ginger boost metabolism?
One of ginger’s properties is to increase your metabolism, but it does so only slightly, and not enough to rely on as the sole way of getting the job done.
Will ginger make you sleepy?
Though it is very soothing for the internal organs due to its anti-inflammatory effects, there are other properties of ginger that make it unlikely to make you sleepy (or, in some cases, actually cause restlessness.) Since it increases the circulation most users report it gives them more energy, not less.
Is ginger a laxative?
There is some anecdotal evidence that ginger helps keep you regular, or acts as a laxative, but it is not as reliable as other all-natural herbs and spices that are known to get things moving.
Is ginger easy to digest?
For most people ginger is easy to digest, and actually aids in the digestion of other foods. However, it’s important not to over-consume ginger which can lead to adverse effects such irritation in the mouth, diarrhea, nausea, flatulance and even heartburn. If you are worried about being able to process it properly, start off with a little bit and see how you respond to it, gradually increasing your intake as you get the all clear from your body.
Is ginger high in vitamins?
Ginger isn’t known for high amount of vitamins, but rather the effect it has on the body directly. It is, however, a good source of minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
Does ginger dehydrate you?
Ginger acts as a diuretic, so if you don’t keep yourself properly hydrated you might find that you get dehydrated more quickly. Be sure to drink an extra glass of water to account for your ginger intake.
How much can I ingest per day?
Herbalists advise not to take more than four grams of ginger in a single day. Ginger products can be bought in dried form, powdered, as oil, tinctures or extracts, but many herbalists suggest using fresh ginger. Avoid ginger if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are taking blood thinners, including aspirin.
Do you like ginger? What’s your favorite ways to use it?