Maybe it was the Get Ripe Challenge we held this July. Maybe it is our own wellness fatigue. Whatever the catalyst, we've been chatting lots about diet and wellness culture this summer, defining where Everipe wants to live in those conversations. We don't have all the answers on how to fix a broken system that relies on restriction and depravity, but one thing we are sure of: we will always focus on the things we can add to our lives to pursue better health. Whether it's a new positive habit, a small change to our daily routine, or a new food we can seamlessly incorporate into our diets, we will always help you find easy ways to take small steps forward to better health, physically and mentally.
In that spirit, in this week's blog post we are dishing on one of our favorite superfoods: the mighty ginger root. Come for the fun history facts, stay for the super easy and delicious ginger recipes:
Ginger: Sought After Kitchen Spice, OG Cure-All
Ginger’s roots (pun intended) can be traced back to ancient China. It first spread throughout Asia and Africa before landing on the shores of Europe in the first century when the Romans traded with India, and it became a popular spice in Rome. Once the Roman Empire fell, the West forgot about ginger (cue the gasp) until Marco Polo brought it back from his travels to the East. During the Middle Ages, the price of half a kilogram of ginger was the same as the price of a live sheep or other livestock. And we thought face serum was expensive!
Ginger is known as a kitchen spice, but has been moonlighting as a staple in folk medicine for centuries. Ginger has treated stomach ailments in the Caribbean, headaches in India, been used for flu prevention in Burma, as a cure-all in the Congo, and to help the circulation of blood in Japan. Talk about diversifying your skills set!
Ginger’s versatility in the kitchen cabinet and the medicine cabinet is still appreciated today.
The Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger contains many active compounds, but the captain of the varsity squad is gingerol. Gingerol gives ginger its bold flavor and is associated with many of its medicinal properties. In dried ginger, shogaols are also abundant and contribute to the flavor profile and medicinal properties of the root. Gingerols and shogaols have been shown to be anti, well, just about anything:
Probably most widely recognized for the first two, ginger has settled many-a-stomach over the years. In controlled studies, ginger has shown an ability to break up and expel intestinal gas, but scientists still aren’t exactly sure why. In any case, there's no need to wait until the rumblings hit to call on ginger: it is also used preventatively for seasickness and motion sickness.
Ginger is one of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet, only behind pomegranate and some berries. Thanks to its high level of antioxidants, ginger has also shown to help manage inflammation, ranging from sore muscles and menstrual cramps to headaches and osteoarthritis.
And when major health situations arise, ginger can still prove its worth: it is recommended for treating stomach ailments associated with pregnancy, chemotherapy, and after certain surgical procedures. There is also some evidence to suggest ginger can help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Getting Cooking with Ginger
The best way to reap the many health benefits of ginger is to use it in cooking. Popular in many cuisines around the world, ginger is one of those spices that *shows up.* It can be sweet, spicy, savory, warm and fresh--the possibilities are endless! Here are some recipes to get you started:
Insider tip: if a recipe calls for fresh ginger and you only have dried on hand, use 1/8 tsp of dried ginger for every tablespoon of fresh ginger.
Easy Ginger Tea
- 1-inch knob of ginger per serving (approx 1 tablespoon)
- 1 cup of filtered water per serving
- Optional add-ins: fresh mint, fresh turmeric, cinnamon, lemon or orange
Wash ginger well. There’s no need to peel!
Slice ginger into circles as thin as you can with a good knife.
Boil water, ginger slices, and any-add in (except for citrus, they go in at the end) for 5-10 minutes.
Strain and enjoy!
Easy Ginger Dressing and Marinade
- 2-inch knob of ginger, grated (approx 2 tablespoons)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsps coconut aminos (or low sodium soy sauce, or tamari)
- ½-1 tsp of dijon mustard
- ¼ c rice vinegar
- ½ c olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients into a glass jar and shake well.
Easy Ginger Smoothie
- 1 Tropical Zing Everipe Superfood Smoothie Kit
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 1 cup of ice
Blend all ingredients for 60 seconds and enjoy!