Cooking is such a joy for me. I always enjoy trying out a new recipe or adding new ingredients to an old recipe. I take any opportunity possible to jump into the kitchen because of my immense love for good food. Since I started working from home, I have taken advantage of getting better at cooking and experimenting with more ingredients. If you are exploring your newly found love for cooking, I have reviewed some basic ingredients to get you started. Let’s start with ginger!
Ginger is one of the most common herbs all over the world. Ginger is a flowering plant whose roots or rhizome is used as a spice. It’s also among the healthiest herbs you will ever come across. It can be consumed in different forms such as fresh, powdered, dried, or oil or juice. I cannot even explain the magic it does to dishes such as soups and curries. Ginger is packed with benefits for your body and brain. Take a look at some health benefits and disadvantages of ginger.
BENEFITS OF GINGER
Ginger has a lot of medicinal properties, including improving digestion. If you experience flatulence and bloating, ginger is the answer. The herb has a long history in traditional medicine with digestion. Ginger can also be used as an appetizer or aperitif to stimulate the digestive system for an influx of food.
Reduces Muscle Pain
Ginger has been proven to reduce muscle pain, especially exercise-induced muscle pain. It’s also known to boost bone health, which helps in relieving arthritis pain. Ginger contains potent anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in relieving pain and improving movement.
Ginger is highly effective in treating nausea. It was traditionally used in treating seasickness, which is why it is effectively used to relieve nausea and vomiting. Ginger is very effective when it comes to relieving morning sickness.
Improves Cognitive Function
Ginger reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, therefore, preventing early onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Ginger Significantly Reduces Menstrual Pain
Menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea is a term used to refer to the pain felt by women during the menstrual cycle. Ginger was traditionally used to successfully reduce menstrual pain. Ginger works best for menstrual pain when used at the beginning of the menstrual period.
Boost Heart Health
Ginger has been proven to significantly reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. It also reduces the risk of blood clots, which protects against strokes and heart attacks. Ginger is also known to regulate hypertension hence keeping your heart healthy.
Treating Chronic Indigestion
Chronic indigestion is often characterized by recurring pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. It can be a very sharp pain, which is definitely uncomfortable. A delay in emptying the stomach can cause the condition. Ginger helps speed up emptying of the stomach hence preventing chronic indigestion. It is beneficial for people with indigestion and stomach related issues.
Increases Sexual Drive
Ginger was traditionally used to arouse desire and even enhance sexual activity. It has even been mentioned as an aphrodisiac, meaning that its unique scent helps drive sexual connection ad increase fertility. Ginger also helps in increasing blood circulation.
Ginger has very potent anti-inflammatory properties. Asthma is caused by allergic inflammation in the airway, which is caused by th2 dominance. Ginger contains a component known as zerumbone, which surprises the cause of the inflammation.
Boosts Dental Health
Ginger inhibits bacterial and fungal infections that may affect your teeth and gums. The gingerol in ginger kills pathogens in the mouth that can cause periodontitis, tooth decay, and other dental health issues.
Helps In Weight Loss
You may know ginger for weight loss as ginger has been advocated for weight loss. Studies have shown that ginger aids in weight loss by increasing metabolism. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which increases endurance during exercise by reducing muscle aches. The more you work out, the sooner you can get in shape. Ginger also helps in managing obesity thanks to these properties.
SIDE EFFECTS OF GINGER
Ginger has a load of benefits for the body, but if taken in the wrong doses, it can have side effects. Too much of everything is poison, even ginger! Here are some common disadvantages of excessive intake of ginger.
Ginger is meant to reduce inflammation, but if taken in excess, it can cause mild heartburn. It can also cause stomach upsets and excessive belching.
Can Cause Diarrhea
Gingerols in ginger speed up the digestion of food in the digestive tract. If taken in excess, the speed will be heightened, therefore causing diarrhea.
Unsafe During Pregnancy
Ginger, in a controlled amount, helps in preventing nausea and morning sickness in pregnant women. However, when taken in excess, it can cause a miscarriage. It’s always recommended you consult with your doctor before taking ginger powder or supplements when pregnant.
May Lower Blood Sugar Too Much
Ginger is an effective anti-diabetic treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes. However, the herb has its dark sides. When taken without a proper balance, ginger may cause hypoglycemia.
KINDS OF GINGER
Ginger is native to China but has over the years spread across the globe. There are many types or variations of ginger apart from the common ginger. They all have excellent culinary benefits. Some variations can even be used for ornamental purposes.
Common Ginger – this is the famous herb we all think of when ginger is mentioned. It’s also called true ginger.
Baby Ginger – this is alas called pink ginger or young ginger, among other names. Its commonly used in baking though it can be used in everything else.
Beehive Ginger – as the name suggests, this ginger comes in a con shaped like a beehive. It’s native to Thailand.
Dancing Ladies Ginger – this variation is for decoration purposes. It’s a flower with purple bracts and tiny yellow flowers growing from them.
Torch Ginger – this variation has flowers in white, red, or pink. The flowers are very wide with long leaves. The flowers and flower buds are used for Malaysian dishes.
Bitter Ginger – this ginger variation is known as shampoo ginger. It’s not actually used in shampoos but flavoring and appetizers as its bitter than the common ginger.
Myoga Ginger – these shoots and flowers of this variation are used in garnishing as they are very tasty and flavorful.