Ginger is a rhizome. It is an underground stem that generally grows horizontal and perpendicular to gravity. It is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet earth.
Ginger is a tropical flowering plant that originally grew in Southeast Asia but is now widely available all over the world.
It is classified as a member of the Zingiberaceae family, making it a close relative of turmeric.
The scientific name for ginger is Zingiber officinale, and it is thought to come from the Sanskrit name for the spice (singabera).
As a rhizome, it usually runs under the soil, sprouting roots and shooting up new vertical stems as it journeys and is packed full with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for the body and the brain.
Also as a root vegetable, it is a useful spice, used in the kitchen for different dishes, ranging from sauces to stews, pepper soups or vegetable dishes.
It also makes a very good marinade for spicing chicken, beef and other meats.
This flowering plant that originated from China is also a good curative condiment, it is very good for asthmatic patients and can be used as a relief for cough, and catarrh. Ancient writings from Rome, Greece, China, and Arab countries all describe ginger’s uses as a medicine.
It also helps in preventing nausea and is even ideal for morning sickness. For instance, reports say it has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy, and there is some evidence that it may be as effective as prescription medication
Ginger can be peeled, grated or diced as the case may be. It can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice, and is sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics.
It is a very common ingredient in recipes and can also be diffused in the water when dried and ground into powder.
According to scientific research, it is important to note and understand the following:
- Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and is closely related to turmeric, cardamon, and galangal.
- Ginger is often called ginger root, or simply ginger.
- Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/alternative medicine.
- It can be used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few.
- Ginger’s unique fragrance and its flavour come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol.
- Gingerol is said to be the main bioactive compound in ginger, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and effects.
- Ginger is equally effective against exercise-induced muscle pain.
- It is effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain
- This spice has powerful anti-diabetic properties.
Ginger and its nutritional Facts
There are lots of different vitamins and minerals in ginger. Reports say one tablespoon of fresh ginger has the following:
- 4.8 calories
- 1.07 grams (g) of carbohydrate
- .12 g of dietary fiber
- .11 g of protein
- .05 g fat
- .1 g of sugar
Minerals in fresh ginger:
- Vitamin B3 and B6
- Vitamin C
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate guidelines notes that ginger is considered safe and nutritious when eaten as part of a healthy diet. (2) Concentrated supplements deliver the root’s chemical compounds in higher doses and run the risk of causing possible side effects, like heartburn, gas, or diarrhea.