I know I have been behind in my post about herbs and spices. I sometimes get excited about other posts and forget that I was going to be posting about functional herbs and spices. I chose ginger as the pick of the week for many reasons. Ginger is not only good in stir-frys and can help pack a punch to a smoothie in the morning (or afternoon depending on your preference). Ginger also has been used for its many medicinal properties as well.
Ginger has been thought to help alleviate symptoms of sea sickness and hyperemesis during pregnancy. I can attest to ginger and pregnancy, my second son brought about waves of constant nausea and although I was hospitalized twice ginger tea and elixirs did help to prevent me from going into the hospital more often. A double blind trial showed that ginger brought about a significant reduction in nausea in 19 out of 27 women in early pregnancy, and a review of six double blind trials with a total of 675 participants published in April 2005 in the journal of Obstetrics and gynecology showed ginger is effective in relieving the symptoms of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Ginger beneficial properties do not stop there. It is now creeping into the anti-inflammatory world. Several studies in 2001 and 2013 showed that ginger can reduce pain related to osteoarthritis as well as muscle soreness in athletes. This spicy root is also touted to have anti-cancer effects as well as work on the release insulin in people with diabetes. Although not a lot of research has been done in these areas.
Is all ginger created equal? Do you need a certain amount daily? I looked into these very questions and found that for anti-inflammatory properties 200mg daily can do the trick. These can be found in capsules at your local health food or drug store. Seeping some ginger in hot water can calm the stomach and of course there are always added benefits when added to smoothies, sprinkle 1 tsp. Caution should be taken if you are also on blood thinners such as Coumadin or Warfarin as it may enhance its effect.
Pineapple Spinach Smoothie with Flax Seeds
½ Cup Pineapple
½ Cup Spinach
1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
¼ Cup Plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 Cup water
In a blender, Bullet, or Ninja place all ingredients and blend till smooth.
Nutrition facts: 143kcal, 3.3g fiber
Borrelli F, Capasso R, Aviello G, Pittler MH, Izzo AA. Effectiveness and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Apr;105(4):849-56. 2005. PMID:15802416.