Superfoods have generated a billion dollar industry — avocados, blueberries and kale top most lists — but some hidden gems in the fruit and vegetable category truly pack a punch. Though you may not guess this by its knobbly, gnarly appearance, ginger is a top-notch superfood. If you’re interested in exploring the health benefits of ginger, read this helpful guide to its history and uses.
Ginger’s Rich History
Though ginger is growing more and more popular, it’s not a mere modern fad — it has been in use since before recorded history. The ancient Chinese and Indian people consumed ginger as a flavoring ingredient and a treatment for many different ailments. The spice was one of several that Europeans vied for, motivating several countries to seek a new route to India that circumvented the Venetian-controlled spice trade. Ginger then, in no small part, led to the discovery of the New World.
For thousands of years, people ate or drank ginger products to remedy all kinds of health problems. Though medical studies are not crystal-clear on its exact impact, many cultures value ginger’s ability to:
Relieve muscle pain.
Settle nausea or an upset stomach.
Limit cancer risk.
Ease menstrual pain.
Help with motion sickness.
And enhance cognitive function.
What the Studies Say
Though many people affirm ginger’s benefits, it’s important to determine whether science also considers ginger a superfood. One of the most positive findings is that ginger has a high amount of antioxidants, topped only by the pomegranate and some types of berries. Antioxidants fight against toxins called free radicals that damage the body’s cells and can contribute to cancer. Though studies conflict on whether it consistently helps or not, many also consume ginger to limit inflammation and joint pain. The hero behind both benefits seems to be gingerol, a ketone that increases antioxidants and has several possible means of stopping swelling. There is also no shortage of ginger research to come, some of which could prove other ancient applications right or point to new uses.
How to Include Ginger in Your Diet
If you want to know how exactly you can add ginger to your diet after exploring its health benefits, here are some suggestions.
Thinly slice a 1-inch piece of ginger, boil the slices in one cup of water, simmer however long you like, and pour to enjoy a pure-ginger drink.
Ginger with Sushi
Add ginger to your home-cooked sushi dinner. It’s great for cleansing your palate, too!
Add Ginger to Coffee or a Smoothie
Why not combine this antioxidant-full vegetable with berries or coffee, two similar free-radical-fighting ingredients?
Try Windmill Ginger Brew
Each bottle of our Windmill Ginger Brew contains a healthy dose of pure ginger root — one-quarter pound to be exact — and doesn’t complicate things with a laundry list of other ingredients.
Make a Ginger Brew Cocktail/Mocktail
And though you’ll love all our ginger brew flavors by themselves, there are also tons of cocktail or mocktail recipes that include ginger brew to experiment with.