Superfood for you: Ginger

Ginger, MindBodyGreen, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, cancer, natural health, prevention
Photo Cred MindBodyGreen

Ginger is one of my three favorite natural anti-inflammatories. (The others being garlic and the lesser known turmeric.) It is one of my staples, always in my fridge. Not only does this root add a yummy zing to my favorite green juice and culinary Asian adventures in the kitchen, it is also a must-have in my natural health toolbox, as well.

Most of you Roses probably know that ginger alleviates a lot of tummy troubles, like motion sickness, pregnancy-related nausea and chemo-induced nausea, but did you know the power of this root goes beyond aiding digestive distress?

Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which have been shown in numerous studies to alleviate pain often caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, as well as improve mobility levels (read more here). This root has been shown to be more effective against staph infections than antibiotics, and ginger also reduces chronic systemic inflammation, which has been studied and found to be an underlying cause of many serious diseases, including cancer.

Looking to be even more impressed, read through the below info graphic from fitlife.tv, do a little internet search for “health benefits of ginger” or check out this article by Heidi Stevenson who compiles a slew of scientific information into a digestible format.

Ginger-Benefits-Large

Ginger is potent, even in small doses, so even a gentle increase in your consumption will yield benefits. Not sure how to get more ginger in your life?

A Few Easy Ideas:
– For nausea: Make ginger tea made by steeping one or two 1/2-inch slices (one 1/2-inch slice equals 2/3 of an ounce) of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water
– For joint pain: Add as little as 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger grated into water or mixed into salad dressing. Here’s my mother’s lovely recipe for “Gla’s Spa Water,” a refreshing, nutritious take on traditional H2O that is quite soothing and delightful no matter what ails you!
– For overall wellbeing: Get creative! Add ginger to your morning smoothie, your green juice, your salad dressing or experiment with entrees and side dishes that include ginger as an ingredient. A little goes a long way with this powerful little guy, so even if you ease your way into a ginger-filled diet, you’ll still reap the benefits.

Gla's Spa Water
Gla’s Spa Water & Ginger, Carrot and Beet Juice Mmmmm!

AS ALWAYS: With any powerful herb or spice, there is the potential for food allergies and/or drug interaction, so be sure to check with your doctor if you are on any prescription medications to avoid the risk of drug interaction, particularly if those prescriptions are to treat diabetes or blood-pressure.

In the Kitchen: Broccoli & Slaw Salad with Tahini Dressing

Serves 2-4 (depending on if a side item or main dish)

Ingredients:
For the Dressing:
2 tbl Tahini
1/4 c lemon juice
1 tbl water
Optional: 1/2 tbl nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper to taste

For the Salad:
One bag of broccoli slaw (can be found in the produce aisle at the grocery store)
One bag of broccoli florets or one large head of broccoli
Cooking spray or other oil of your choice (olive, coconut, sunflower, etc)
1/2 yellow or white onion
1-2 cloves of garlic
1-2 sprigs of rosemary
1 tsp of fennel seeds
1/8 c. cranberries, raisins or other dried fruits
Optional: walnuts, pine nuts, toasted pumpkin seeds

To Do:
Mix up the dressing by whisking the ingredients together or whipping them together with a fork. Put aside.

Sauté the slaw using oil or cooking spray with the onion, garlic, rosemary and fennel. You want the onions to slightly carmelize, and the colors of the slaw to stay vibrant, but be a wee bit softened to make the digestion easier on your digestive “tubes.”

While keeping your eye on the slaw, pop the broccoli florets in the microwave to blanche. I use a veggie steamer and usually cook them for about 2 minutes. You want the broccoli to maintain its green color and crunch, but be cooked just enough to be easy to digest.
*Helpful hint: if you break off a piece of the floret, it should give you a little bit of resistance. Too much resistance, it’s overcooked; too little, it’s too raw.

Once the veggies are cooked, place into a big bowl and toss with the dressing and the cranberries or other dried fruits. For you nut-friendly folks, feel free to toss in some walnuts or pine nuts for some extra yum! Vegans & Vegetarians, mix some nutritional yeast in to the the dressing to give it a little nuttier or cheesier flavor or throw on some tempeh crumbles for a fun twist! Mmmm!

Superfood of the Week: Turmeric

This week’s superfood post is brought to you by Turmeric, a powerful little spice!

turmeric, ground turmeric, superfood, natural anti-inflammatory
photo cred: herbalismroots.com

With its origins in South & Southeast Asia, Turmeric is ubiquitous in Indian cuisine and revered for its extensive healing properties, particularly in Integrative Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine. You could say that Turmeric is a Four Star General in the fight for good health.

Among its many medicinal properties, this little wonder has been proven to:
Detoxify the liver
– Balance cholesterol levels
– Fight allergies
– Stimulate digestion
– Boost immunity
– Enhance the complexion
– Fight inflammation
– Regulate and purify the male & female reproductive systems
– Reduce fevers, diarrhea, urinary disorders, insanity, poisoning, cough, and lactation problems

And PS., if you haven’t heard, research has shown that the common origin of age-related diseases, such as Chronic Heart disease, Cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even Cancer is… Chronic low-level systemic inflammation. (In other words, your body gets out of whack due to dietary, lifestyle or environmental factors, prompting an all-out inflammatory response instead of just in a localized spot, like if you had a cut or a sprained ankle.) Turmeric, among other foods, helps reduce the systemic inflammation and promote healing and overall balance in the body! A spice may help prevent cancer? Yup.

It’s no wonder this spice is considered a magical superfood with its many health-promoting properties! And, if you can believe it, it’s easy to find in your local grocery store and can be easily incorporated into many family-favorite meals, like chili, chicken soup, pasta salad, rice dishes and more. Stay tuned for more superfoods and easy recipes to incorporate this powerhouse!

Happy Healing!