If you eat sushi, you’ve probably had some yellow/pink pickled ginger slices to freshen your breath in between bits of nigiri and a rainbow roll. Or you may have had some ginger in your Thai stir fry; or (jingle bells) in your gingerbread man cookies. Or in some hot tea. Yes, ginger is versatile.
Ginger is a vegetable root that originated in China. It has been in use for several thousand years not just as a food but for medicinal purposes as well. In the states, ginger used to be available only as a ground up powder, relegated to the back of the spice rack. Nowadays, fresh ginger root is available in most supermarket produce departments.
What you need to know:
Ginger boasts several antioxidants including gingerol and zingerone. Early studies have shown these antioxidants can fight cancer and heart disease. Another study found that gingerol was an effective blood thinner, promoting good circulation and lower blood pressure. Ginger has antimicrobial effects on wounds and sores. It is also thought to fight inflammation and cleanse the colon. Ginger tea is considered a soothing remedy for coughs and colds.
What to do at the supermarket:
Choose fresh firm ginger root. At home, it may be stored in the fridge for several weeks or in the freezer even longer. To use, peel the skin with a sharp knife and then either mince or grate into stews, stir fries, shakes, and even salad dressing! Or buy as a powdered spice (much more potent).