Ginger provides a variety of vitamins and minerals:
In 100 grams (g) of fresh ginger root, there are:
· 79 calories
· 17.86 g of carbohydrate
· 3.6 g of dietary fiber
· 3.57 g of protein
· 0 g of sugar
· 14 mg of sodium
· 1.15 g of iron
· 7.7 mg of vitamin C
· 33 mg of potassium
Other nutrients found in ginger are:
· vitamin B6
Fresh or dried ginger can be used to flavor foods and drinks without adding unnecessary salt or sugar. Since it is often consumed in such small amounts, ginger does not add significant quantities of calories, carbohydrate, protein, or fiber.
Ginger tea with lemon and honey can be a soothing cold remedy.
Other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds found in ginger that that are beneficial to health include gingerols, beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin and salicylate.
Ginger pairs well with many different types of seafood, oranges, melon, pork, chicken, pumpkin, rhubarb, and apples, to name a few. When buying fresh ginger, look for a root with smooth, taut skin, with no wrinkles, and a spicy aroma.
Store fresh ginger in a tightly wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator or freezer, and peel and grate it before use. Add it to any suitable dish for extra flavor.
If fresh ginger is not available, you can use dried.
In most recipes, one-eighth of a teaspoon of ground ginger can be substituted for one tablespoon of fresh grated ginger. Ground ginger can be found in the herbs and spices section of most grocery stores.
Recipe tips for ginger
Here are some tasty ways to use ginger:
· Add fresh ginger to a smoothie or juice
· Add fresh or dried ginger to a stir-fry or homemade salad dressing
· Make ginger tea by steep peeled fresh ginger in boiling water
· Use fresh or dried ginger to spice up any fish recipe
These tasty ginger recipes have been developed by a registered dietitian:
· Spicy cinnamon ginger roasted carrots
· Maple gingerbread cookies
· Winter vegetable soup
· Cilantro-lime tuna burgers
· Slow cooker Thai coconut curry
· Cure-all juice
The United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consider ginger to be a food additive that is "generally recognized as safe."
Natural ginger will cause little or no known side effects for most people. In some, however, a high intake may worsen symptoms of acid reflux, irritate the mouth, and cause diarrhea. Taking ginger as capsules may help reduce the risk of heartburn.
The effectiveness and side effects from ginger supplements will vary by brand and formulation, but people are advised not to take more than 4 grams of dried ginger a day, or 1 grams during pregnancy, including food intake sources. Scientists urge caution when using supplements, because these are not standardized.
Anyone who is pregnant, or who has gallstones, diabetes, or a blood clotting disorder should discuss first with their doctor whether to increase their intake of ginger. Ginger supplements should not be used with aspirin or other blood-thinning medications.
Scientists note that many of the compounds in ginger have not been fully investigated, and not all of the claims for ginger have been supported by research. However, many of those that have been studied appear to show promise for medicinal purposes.
It is better to seek dietary sources of nutrients rather than supplements, and to consume them as part of an overall diet, rather than focusing on one item.