Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Super Spice of the Week: Ginger

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Boiled, pickeled, or dried, the health benefits of ginger root are vast.Ginger has been used since ancient times as a healing medicine in Asian, Arabic, and Indian cultures. Ginger has a spicy and slightly sweet taste with a strong, pungent aroma. Ginger is rich in volatile oils, essential fatty acids, beta-carotene, and amino acids. It is also very easy to incorporate this powerful plant into your diet!
Here are some health benefits of ginger:
  • Ginger contains phenols such as gingerols and shogaols that can be used to treat nausea, motion and morning sickness, and also aids in digestion
  • Ginger can also help to reduce inflammation by stimulating blood circulation
  • It can also be used as a remedy to treat common colds or sore throats
  • Ginger slows production of triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) in the liver
Ginger can be consumed raw, boiled in water to make tea, or used as a spice in dishes. Ginger can also be found in capsule form and pickled. When buying fresh ginger, make sure to pick out pieces that are smooth and do not contain wrinkles. Now your question is probably “How do I use this?” Ginger is most beneficial when it’s grated or sliced. Here are some ways to include ginger in your everyday life. Ginger’s very strong, so be aware that a little goes a long way!
  • Boil dried ginger roots to make tea
  • Add grated ginger to crock pot stews, chicken broth, or stir fries
  • Use ginger in your salad dressings
  • Add slivers of fresh ginger to meats and vegetables
  • Use in fruit smoothies and when baking
  • Eat dried ginger
  • Eat the ginger that comes alongside your sushi
Try this easy recipe for Ginger Broccoli
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic
• 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
• 1 pound broccoli crowns, trimmed and chopped (about 6 cups)
• 3 tablespoons water
• 1 tablespoon fish sauce
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds to a minute.
3. Add broccoli and cook, stirring, until broccoli is bright green, 2 minutes.
4. Drizzle water and fish sauce over broccoli, reduce heat to medium.
5. Cover and cook until the broccoli is just tender, about 3 minutes.
6. Stir in vinegar before serving.
Recipe courtesy of eatingwell.com.

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Tags: Nutrition , Recipes , Superfood of the Week

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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