by SUSAN BOYOUNG BAILEY SCHABACKER
Ginger is not simply a spice – it’s a beauty booster, too. It packs a powerful punch in the flavor department and is frequently found in Asian cuisine and baking and brims with potent nutrient content.
Originating from Southeast Asia, ginger belongs to a family of aromatic flowering perennials. Traditional and also trending, ginger has earned a popular presence in the spice spotlight and is valued for its versatility in cooking and baking, as well as bountiful benefits for health and beauty.
Especially during the winter months, it’s ginger to the rescue when you first feel your throat getting scratchy or your sinuses getting stuffy. Feel superhuman with a superfood with bioactive compounds and nutrients that boost the immune system, ward off colds and flu, aid digestion, and alleviate nausea and much more. Amp up free-radical-fighting antioxidants with daily ginger which contains trace minerals often missing in our daily diets. Known to reduce oxidative stress, ginger is touted for its anti-inflammatory action that can aid in the prevention of illnesses and diseases. Built to battle fungal infections, viruses and illnesses, ginger can fight symptoms of nausea from flu, pregnancy-related morning sickness and travel sickness.
Ginger and Weight Loss
Move over green tea, and share the weight loss spotlight. Ginger’s impact on weight loss has been verified in both human and animal research studies. Ginger burns calories and reduces inflammation to help shed pounds. Ginger is known to decrease appetite. Hunger is decreased when grated or powdered ginger is mixed in hot water and the metabolic process of thermogenesis produces heat and burns calories in the process. Of course, ginger tea can’t do the job all by itself, and you’ll still need to be active and follow a healthy diet in your weight loss journey.
You can drink ginger tea throughout the day to boost metabolism, burn more energy and help with weight loss. The recipe for ginger tea is simple. Use either fresh ginger or powdered ginger. Just add approximately one inch of fresh ginger or add one tablespoon of ground ginger to four cups of water and boil for five minutes, or so. Strain when cool, and enjoy. If making a pot of ginger tea sounds like overkill, simply grate a bit of fresh ginger root and drop it into your regular cup of tea for added kick.
Sipping on ginger tea throughout the day will leave you feeling fuller and will stave off hunger. If the flavor is too strong, try adding lemon, mint, agave or honey. Also, because ginger is a diuretic, be sure to drink extra water throughout the day, as well.
As a nutritious, delicious addition, try adding a bit of grated fresh ginger root to soups, salads, salad dressings, sauces and marinades. Ginger is delicious diced, minced, powdered, dehydrated, pickled and candied. Extremely versatile, you can add ginger as an ideal complement in teas, kombucha, ginger beer, lemonade and smoothies.
Ginger and Beauty
Not just rejuvenating and revitalizing to your health and senses, ginger is also a beauty booster from head to feet. Ginger stimulates the scalp and hair follicles to encourage healthy hair growth. Ginger’s antiseptic properties help alleviate dandruff and a dry, flaky scalp, and its vitamins, minerals and fatty acids strengthen your strands.
Improve skin tone and elasticity of skin, fade scars, combat cellulite and restore a youthful glow with ginger’s antioxidant-ample, anti-aging benefits with the following face and body scrub.
Ginger-Citrus Scrub for Face & Body
Heat 1 cup coconut oil in a saucepan on low heat. Add ¼ cup chopped fresh ginger root and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or so. Add 3 cups raw sugar and 1 cup kosher salt. Add 10-12 drops of orange essential oil. Store in a glass mason jar and keep fresh in the refrigerator. Coffee grounds can be added for variety.
Recipe adapted from coffeewithus3.com/ginger-citrus-scrub.