The Truth About Ginger Root
People have been using ginger root for thousands of years, not only in cooking but also as a tonic for treating a wide variety of health conditions. I think it’s interesting that despite its long starring role in kitchens and health treatments, its name is something of a misnomer. The truth is that ginger gets lumped into the category of a root, but it’s really a rhizome, which is a stem that grows underground, grows horizontally, produces roots, and is pretty much constantly confused with a root. Ginger adds flavor to recipes, though, and provides important health benefits, so really, who cares where it fits in?
Health Benefits of Ginger
First, ginger root, which can have white, red, or yellow flesh, is literally teeming with antioxidants. You know that old saying about an apple a day keeping the doctor away? Well, go ahead and substitute ginger root in that sentence. With so much in the way of antioxidants to offer, who knows what other diseases ginger may actually help keep away.
Besides antioxidants, ginger also offers anti-inflammatory effects. Some studies show that it can help relieve inflammation-related pain caused by injuries and chronic conditions. If your knee is swollen and painful, for example, ginger root may just help.
Of course, many of you probably know ginger root best not just for its use in cooking but also for taming stomach problems like gas, nausea, and vomiting. Ginger root may help soothe morning sickness and relieve digestive discomfort after surgery, during pregnancy, and as a result of chemotherapy.
Ever notice how consuming ginger can make you feel, well, warmer? I find that ginger helps keep me warm on a cold winter day and even promotes a good sweat to help with detoxification when I’m stuck in bed with a nasty virus.
Cooking With Ginger Root
Aromatic and with a bit of a spicy kick, ginger is a frequent ingredient in pumpkin pie, Asian dishes, and a host of produce-based recipes. If you’re looking for a new way to try it, go ahead and whip up a batch of these Feijoa and Ginger Muffins. I promise, you won’t be sorry. Or treat yourself to this delicious Orange Ginger Marmalade Sauce. You’re welcome, in advance.
Here are some other good ideas for adding ginger to your diet:
- Add it to your lemonade or tea.
- Mince it for adding to rice or veggies.
- Add it, with some orange juice, to perk up sweet potatoes.
A Few Words to the Wise
Stay away from Chinese ginger. It’s just not as nutritious as any of the others from around the world. At Nino’s, we want you to have nothing but the very best, so we rarely carry it. Try and consume more Hawaiian, Guatemalan or Honduran ginger. We exclusively carry these roots here at Nino’s (for $2.99 per lb.). Due to the volcanic soil in Hawaii, Hawaiian ginger root is extremely fresh and packed with nutrients. However, because of the recent rainy season in Hawaii, the soil was very soft, and we are only carrying Honduran right now. Never fear, though, the Honduran is still a great choice, and we will have the Hawaiian on hand soon.
Drop by Nino’s to get your hands on the fresh ginger you need for your health and all of your favorite recipes.