More and more, people are looking to natural foods and sources for health remedies, preventive and curative treatment of different rampant illnesses. What is particularly interesting besides the ‘discovery’ of super foods, is the reinvention and reintroduction of old foods and roots such as (Ginger, Turmeric & Garlic) into amazing new recipes and with the tech savvy-ness that seems to be a core part of today’s millenials, there is available information to allow people be more deliberate and informed about their choices. One of such foods, is the ginger root, which is as old and common as suya itself.
Ginger called ‘ata ile’ in Yoruba, ‘jinja’ in Igbo and ‘chitta’ in Hausa, is one of the common locally grown spices in Africa. The root or underground stem (rhizome) of the ginger plant, which is the part we eat, can be consumed fresh or in dried powdered form. Extracts of ginger are also used in drinks, lozenges and sweets, as well as a spice for food and pastries. Besides the unique and delicious kick they bring to our kitchen, ginger also offers a host of health benefits. Here are reasons you should stay ‘gingered’.
The phenolic compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastrointestinal (GI) irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production, Ginger also helps prevent constipation and cancer.
Ginger can be chewed raw and drinking ginger tea is a common home remedy for nausea during motion sickness and pregnancy.
- Cold and flu relief
Dealing with itchy ears and clogged nostrils? Try a slice of lemon with a drop of honey in your ginger brew. It also provides soothing relief from sore throat.
- Pain Reduction
Ginger is anti-inflammatory. It reduces pain in swollen joints from conditions like arthritis. It has also been found to reduce the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, the severe pain that some women experience during a menstrual cycle.
5. Cardiovascular health
Ginger aids circulation and blood flow. It serves as a blood thinner and lowers the risk of blood clotting. However, people with bleeding disorders or who are about to undergo surgery would be wise to stay away from ginger.
Nutrition you can get from ginger
Ginger provides a variety of vitamins and minerals:
Per 100 grams (g) of fresh ginger root, you’ll get:
- 0 g of sugar
- 15 g of iron
- 14 mg of sodium
- 86 g of carbohydrate
- 57 g of protein
- 6 g of dietary fiber
- 33 mg of potassium
- 7 mg of vitamin C
- 79 calories
- vitamin B6
Since it is often consumed in such small amounts, ginger does not add significant quantities of calories, carbohydrate, protein, or fiber. In most recipes, one-eighth of a teaspoon of ground ginger can be substituted for one tablespoon of fresh grated ginger.
RECIPE TIPS FOR GINGER
Here are some tasty ways to use ginger:
- Add fresh ginger to a smoothie or juice or local drinks like kunu and zobo
- Add fresh or dried ginger to a stir-fry or homemade salad dressing
- Make ginger tea by steeping peeled fresh ginger in boiling water
- Use fresh or dried ginger to spice your meat and fish or and for your marinades too