Yes, Ginger is Paleo!
Vegetable and Spice in One
Ginger is the fleshy stem of a tropical plant that belongs to the rhizome family. Ginger root is the edible portion of the ginger plant. This is what technically makes it a vegetable but most often it is used as a spice and as herbal medicine.
The flesh of ginger is usually color in yellow but may depend on the variety. It could sometimes be red or white. Ginger is covered by either thick or thin brownish skin.
Ginger originated from Asia, in China to be precise. It has a concentrated, strong, sweet and spicy flavor. Its taste is so versatile that it can be used in any type of dishes particularly in Asian cuisine.
Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is one of the healthiest spices around. It may not have the same remarkable nutritional value as what other vegetables offer, but surely it comes with prevailing benefits when incorporated into ones diet.
Some of the most prominent nutrients found in ginger are vitamins A, B and C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc. It has bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for the body and brain. It is totally caffeine-free and is hydrating which makes it good for tea.
Ginger has a long history of use as herbal or alternative medicine. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger that is responsible for its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
As a medicinal plant, ginger has proven to be effective in relieving motion sickness, nausea, dizziness and even loss of appetite. For people who experience loss of appetite, ginger can be a solution. It helps balance the levels of stomach acid and digestive enzymes that regulate hunger signals and digestion.
Ginger can also be used as a topical treatment to relieve burns. It can also help fight the flu and common cold.
Muscle Pain and Arthritis
Another significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of gingerol is that it fights chronic muscle and joint pains. It aids in faster recovery from arthritis. It is also entirely natural and a great substitute to oral medication or pain killers.
Cancer and Inflammation
Ginger contains antioxidants which can fight oxidative stress and inflammation that can cause chronic disease such as cancer. Ginger extract has been studied as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer.
The anti-cancer properties of ginger came from 6-gingerol which is the similar compound that gives ginger its medicinal benefits.
Alleviates Digestive Problems
Dyspepsia or chronic indigestion is one of the most common digestive problems experienced by many. It is the sudden recurrent pain the in upper stomach caused by delayed emptying of the stomach. Ginger is said to have the characteristic of speeding up emptying of stomach to avoid indigestion. It also helps improve gut health
Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
Some research has shown that ginger can help lower blood sugar levels by regulating enough amount of blood sugar in the blood. This in the long run can prevent insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes.
Ginger or ginger extract can help lower LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides. We all know that high cholesterol can result to certain heart diseases.
The antioxidants in ginger help preserve brain cells and slow aging process. Some studies have shown regular consumption of ginger tea can help in fighting oxidative stress in the brain which over time can lead to age-related cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or Parkinson’s. Ginger thus can enhance brain function.
Other Uses of Ginger
Apart from its medicinal purpose, ginger root can be incorporated into any dishes. Ginger can also be pickled, grated as sprinkles for desserts, and juiced. It can also be made into candies, syrup and teas. Because ginger has a cooling effect, ginger tea is good for hot weather. Candied ginger could be added to your Paleo meal plan as your own sweet treat!
All you ever wanted to know about Ginger and Paleo
Paleo Porn. Is Ginger Paleo?
The Paleo Mama. The Many Benefits of Ginger
LaterLife. Why Ginger Is Good For You
The Ultimate Paleo Guide. What Are The Benefits of Ginger Tea
The World’s Healthiest Foods. Ginger
Authority Nutrition. 11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger (No. 5 is Insane)
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photo credit: Asian Beef Skewers