When it comes to popular super foods, we prefer to do our investigating before we immediately hop on trend. Ginger, and one of its most popular elements, turmeric, might just be the hidden gem of super foods.
Here’s what you need to know:
Ginger, the root of the Zingiber officinale plant, has been used as an herbal remedy for years. The main bioactive compound in ginger, gingerol, offers several health benefits, while also adding flavor to foods, without the unnecessary sodium levels that we are constantly avoiding. You’re probably most familiar with ginger in the sliced form, garnishing your favorite sushi roll, but did you know that it could also be added to fresh juices and smoothies, stir-fry dishes, salad dressings and even water for added nutrients?
Ginger provides many curatives and health advantages! It aids in digestive issues by relieving gastrointestinal displeasure and nausea and reduces pain and inflammation that can lead to osteoarthritis. In addition, some studies show that ginger can offer relief from extreme menstrual pain. Sign us up!
Here are a few of our favorite recipes that call for ginger:
Turmeric, like we touched on before, is also found in the ginger family and has similar amazing benefits! Turmeric is one of the base spices found in curry and mustard. Curcumin, a vibrant yellow chemical that is produced by certain plants, is the main polyphenol found in turmeric and is mostly what scientists and dieticians have studied thus far. Adding turmeric to certain dishes can help with the absorption of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A that contributes to the orange color of fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene, due to its antioxidant tendencies, helps to neutralize free radicals that can be harmful to the body’s cells and may lead to the development of heart disease and specific cancers. Opt for adding turmeric to dishes that call for carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, or any fruit or vegetable with an orange coloring. In doing so, your body will soak up the indulgent benefits of both the turmeric and vitamin A, while tasting delicious in the process!
Turmeric aids in the regulation of inflammation, oxidation, digestion, cell signaling, blood sugar levels, blood fat levels and brain levels of the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA. In addition, it contributes to killing germs as a natural antiseptic and antibacterial. Curcumin lowers levels of two enzymes that cause inflammation inhibits platelets from clustering together to form blood clots.
Some studies say, that traditional medicinal uses claim turmeric contributes to the treatment of liver disease, skin blemishes, gastrointestinal imbalances, sprained and inflamed muscles and joints, as well as general wound healing.
Surprisingly, large amounts of turmeric/curcumin are not needed to support these health benefits. One study found that it is safe to supplement turmeric and when consumed in the dried, powdered root form, 1 to 3 grams per day will suffice. When ingested in the standardized powder form (curcumin), 400 to 600 milligrams, three times per day will provide adequate amounts for optimal benefits. Turmeric can be purchased in supplemental form (capsules and powder) or ground into a spice for cooking, as well as in certain tea blends. Add turmeric to egg scrambles, roasted vegetables, soups, smoothies and juices, or tea.
Here are a few of our favorite recipes that call for turmeric: