The Harvest Kitchen

Health Benefits of Ginger

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There are numerous Health Benefits of Ginger!  Fresh ginger root is rich with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial in the treatment of certain ailments and diseases.  It’s great to have on hand to make a ginger tea for cold and flu season.

A white strainer filled with fresh ginger root for ginger tea for cold

Besides all the incredible health benefits of ginger, it’s fragrant and spicy and adds a tremendous pop of exotic flavor and warmth to any dish that it’s added to.

A white strainer filled with fresh ginger.

What Is Ginger?

Ginger is among the healthiest spices there is.  It comes from the root of the Zingiber officinale plant.  Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered or as a juice.  

Ginger Benefits

Chronic inflammation is a leading culprit that lies behind a number of diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.  Ginger contains powerful properties, calledgingerols, shoals, gingerdiones, which are rich with antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that may help to ward off these diseases.  Ginger is also rich with phytochemicals that help aid digestion and settling upset stomachs.  These digestive properties help to stimulate the body’s natural cleansing and detoxifying process by eliminating waste and toxins.  These properties may also thin blood, improve blood circulation and prevent blood from clotting.

  • Treats nausea: Ginger for nausea is highly effective.  Ginger may also help with nausea associated with sea sickness and nausea that sometimes occurs after surgery as well as pregnancy-related nausea (morning sickness). (1) (2) (3) (4)
  • Soothes indigestion:  Consuming ginger may help speed up the emptying of stomach contents which helps to alieve indegestion and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach.  (5)(6)
  • Fight infections:  Powerful gingerol found in ginger can help lower the risk of infections, and help inhibit the growth of bacteria. Ginger may also help ward off respiratory infections. (7) (8)(9)
  • Brain Health:  Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress can speed up the aging process.  The antioxidants found in ginger can prevent inflammatory responses that may occur in the brain.  These same powerful compounds may also enhance brain function and improve memory. (10) (11) (12) (13)(14)
  • May lower cholesterol:  Elevated levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) is liked with an increased risk of heart disease.  Regular consumption of ginger (fresh or powdered) may help reduce LDL levels. (15)(16)
  • Pain management: Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of the joints in the body which causes joint pain and stiffness.  Consuming ginger may help relieve and/or lesson pain associated with osteoarthritis. (17)
  • Antiviral.  Fresh ginger has proven to have antiviral activity against certain human respiratory viruses. Ginger tea for cold is a good drink  to sip on during cold and flu season to help you ward off some respiratory viruses. (18)

What Is Gingerol?

Gingerol (6-Gingerol) is the key compound found in ginger that is rich with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. (19)

How Do You Peel Ginger?

Use a vegetable peeler or the back of a spoon to easily peel ginger root. If using the back of a spoon to peel ginger, hold the root in one hand and the round of a metal spoon in the other.  Then just scrape the edge of the spoon along the root to peel off the skin.  

How Do You Freeze Ginger?

The best way to freeze fresh ginger is to peel it and finely grate it, then measure out teaspoon portions of it to put on a cookie sheet (lined with either  Silpat or wax paper).  Then place cookie sheet in the freezer for 1 hour then transfer frozen rounds of ginger into a plastic freezer bag.  It should last up to 6 months in the freezer.  I also like to make Ginger Ice cubes.  They’re a convenient way to add ginger to hot water for tea, soups, stews and smoothies.

How Do You Store Fresh Ginger?

The best way to store fresh ginger root is to place whole pieces of ginger root in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.  Large pieces of ginger root can last up to 8 weeks stored in the refrigerator this way.  

How Do You Use Fresh Ginger Root?

These are some of my favorite ways to incorporate ginger into my diet.  

  • Lemon ginger:  Pair lemon and ginger together for tea, wellness shots, honey lemon ginger slices to make lemon and ginger water, and to make a powerful immune-boosting tonics like this Lemon Ginger Morning Detox Drink (which is a really great way to start your day!!)
  • Ginger juice: Toss in a knob of ginger when juicing your favorite fruits and vegetables – like this Beet Ginger Detox Juice
  • Ginger Paste: Add ginger paste to smoothies, wellness shots and soups.
  • Ginger smoothie: Add grated ginger or these convenient Ginger Ice Cubes to your morning smoothies.
  • Add to soups: Toss in minced or grated ginger to soups – like this Coconut Curry Soup with Chickpeas, Carrot Ginger Soup, and Immune Boosting Chicken Soup.
  • Toss it into salad dressings: Adding ginger to salad dressings adds a delicious warmth – like the dressing for this Crunchy Detox Salad
  • Add to dessert recipes:  You can also add ginger to some of your favorite recipes (like cobblers, crisps, etc) and these Lemon Ginger Popsicles – which are delicious, refreshing, hydrating, immune-boosting and really great to have on hand when you’re feeling under the weather.  They will help to soothe a sore throat, loosen congestion and settle an upset tummy).

A white tea cup filled with ginger tea for cold and lemon slices.

Ginger Tea for Cold

This is a favorite recipe that I like to make when I feel a cold coming on.  

  • Fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • Water
  • Serve with honey and fresh lemon 

How Do You Make Ginger Tea With Fresh Ginger?

  1. Peel and slice ginger
  2. Pour water in saucepan and bring to a boil
  3. Add ginger to pot and reduce heat to simmer
  4. Strain tea and discard ginger pieces
  5. Stir in a teaspoon of honey and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the tea

A white colander filled with fresh root for tea

Fresh Ginger Recipes

Click here for even more ginger root recipes that you’ll want to incorporate into your daily wellness plan.

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