Is Ginger the magic ingredient we should all be having more of in our juices, smoothies and meals?
Ginger tastes incredible and has the ability to make a boring meal a real taste sensation. But what is it really and why should we all be adding this strange looking root to our meals and of course our juices?
What is Ginger?
Ginger is the root of the ginger plant and has a very firm, fibrous texture. Different varieties can be red, yellow or white in colour with a tough brown outer skin. Ginger is part of the same plant family as Turmeric, Cardamom and Galangal, all pungent spices that you can put through your juicer or add to delicious healthy meals.
Traditional found in southern China and then the Caribbean islands, ginger is now produced for the world in India.
Ginger is extremely popular in cooking globally and has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It is recently however that studies have shown just how incredible ginger can be at preventing and treating many of the modern illnesses that we face in our western society.
Health Benefits of adding ginger to your juices and smoothies.
Ginger has now been shown to posses an abundance of health promoting detox properties.
Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous detoxifying, therapeutic properties, including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.
Incredibly, studies have shown that ginger can be more effective than over-the-counter medicine at preventing motion and travel sickness!! Ginger root appears to reduce the symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweating. Ginger has also been used to treat the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy including hyperemesis gravidarum , the most severe form of sickness related to pregnancy.
Potent Anti Inflammatory Properties.
For anyone suffering with illnesses related to inflammatory conditions, ginger is a must to juice with.
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly.
Gingerols inhibit the formation of inflammatory cytokines; chemical messengers of the immune system.
In two clinical studies involving patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn't, physicians found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort consuming ginger experienced relief of pain and/or swelling.
Protection from Cancer.
Gingerols, the main active components in ginger and the ones responsible for its distinctive flavor, may also inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells. Ginger extract has also been shown to induce cell death in ovarian cancer cells.
Hold on theres more!!!
Immune Boosting benefits.
If the incredible taste and the potent health benefits up to this point have still not pursuaded you to add ginger to you juicing recipes and healthy detoxifying regime (lets face it, if this is you then you are extemely difficult to persuade!!) then maybe the fact that regularly juicing and consuming ginger has been proven to boost the immune system to fight off the common cold and flu keeping you well in those cold winter months.
Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections
How to use
Ginger is so concentrated with active substances, you don't have to use very much to receive its beneficial effects. Adding around 1/2 to 1 inch piece of ginger into a warm tea or of course into your delicious juice or smoothie can be more than enough to help ease many ailments (of course if you can handle the flavour of ginger, adding more is certainly safe and highly effective)
Fresh ginger can be found in most supermarkets and can be stored unpeeled for around 3 weeks in the fridge.
Ginger really is a fantastic addition to your juices and smoothies for its detoxifying, soothing and health promoting benefits. (as a side note, spices have also been shown to increase metabolism helping with weight loss. It just gets better and better!!)
For ideas on how to add ginger to your juices using your JR Ultra juicer and blender, browse the recipe pages of the site.
Also please follow these links to our favourite juice recipes with ginger included.
Let us know your thoughts about ginger and how you use them in your juicing and healthy eating regime.