Gingerbread men (and their houses) are one of the most beloved traditions of the winter holidays. But, there’s more to this sweet and spicy food than just chewy cookies. Used in traditional Ayurvedic practices, ginger is a superfood staple. This oddly shaped root comes in many varieties, including tea, powder, capsules, oil, pickled and candied. Adding ginger to your culinary regime will not only enhance the flavor; it provides many positive health benefits.
Here are 5 reasons to add ginger to your diet all year round:
1. It calms your stomach.
Suffering from nausea is debilitating. Luckily, ginger’s superpowers can sooth symptoms when you are motion-sensitive riding in cars or a plane. Moms-to-be, when nothing is sounding edible and morning sickness takes over, this is the perfect natural remedy to add to your preggy journey. Concoct your fizzy drink with sparkling water, grated fresh ginger and a touch of sweeter like agave or honey.
2. It reduces inflammation and is a natural pain reliever.
Being sore is one of the best feelings after a tough workout. Your achy body is a result of your hard work, after all. But, how sore do you want to be? A reminder that we went beast mode can last for days. Ginger can tame some of the muscle swellings that is associated with the pain we get from putting stress on joints and ligaments. Evidence also suggests that ginger can soothe patients with osteoarthritis and even pain associated with PMS cramps.
3. It soothes a sore throat.
I have been challenged for years with a sore throat. I talk non-stop teaching fitness and it plays havoc with my daily life. Ginger to the rescue! The heat in the spice coats without burning, so it’s safe and gentle. I grate fresh ginger into warm water with lemon. Combined with honey (also know for it’s antibacterial traits) this creates a nurturing cup of love.
4. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
Ginger helps battle your LDL’s, a.k.a the bad fats that can cause heart disease. This spicy ‘lil root also contributes to healthy blood flow by improving circulation which then aids in protecting your heart. There are ongoing research and studies about ginger, but evidence thus far shows it can rise to the occasion.
5. It’s a powerful antioxidant.
So many mystical powers in this funky yellow plant. Some of those include fighting diseases like Altheszheimers, Diabetes, and bacterial infections. Some of the protective ingredients that are found in this root have also been linked to preventing some cancers due to its therapeutic antioxidant properties. Cooking with ginger is sure to boost your bodies immune system.
For a recipe to liven up your holiday morning, try whipping up some Gingerbread Pancakes. Happy Holidays!
Gingerbread Pancake Recipe
In a large hot pan spray the coconut oil or a tsp or ghee/butter, coat pan. After adding pancake mix to the pan, wait till you see the first bubbles (that’s the fun part 2-3 minutes), then you know you’re on your way to a perfectly browned cake, then flip.