I’ve written about an anti inflammatory diet before. Check out the basics, guidelines, and recipes here. Plus I had a number of radio shows about a anti inflammatory diet – from Baker Dan to Dr. Black to my own personal suggestions. Feel free to listen to those shows here.
But one food stands out, for me, above the rest when it comes to a anti inflammatory diet – ginger. Ginger contains special phytonutrients called gingerols which are very helpful in an anti inflammatory diet. Ginger also soothes the stomach and can relieve nausea. Ginger was my “go-to” food of choice during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Health Benefits of Ginger
It not only soothes the stomach but it relaxes the intestinal tract so there is less gastrointestinal distress and less gas.
Many research studies have shown that people with arthritis experience less pain and increased mobility when they add ginger to their diet. The World’s Healthiest Foods notes “. . . physicians found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling after eating ginger.”
Of course, as a whole food ginger is a natural source of magnesium, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, and copper.
Ginger can be a bit “hot” in taste for many people but I think adds a great zest to many foods. Ginger goes in everything from my morning Teeccino to smoothies to curries to desserts. Yes, I’m a ginger lover. But, because of this “heat” people have been adding a sweetener to it for decades (maybe more) and creating ginger beer – a fizzy, slightly fermented, sweet beverage based in ginger. There’s no alcohol in ginger beer unless you add it yourself or let it really ferment for a long time so it’s a great drink for the whole family . . . a special treat in the summer at our house.
- ¼ pound fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp. water or more
- 1 quart boiling water
- ½ cup raw honey
- 8-10 whole cloves
- 1-2 large cinnamon sticks
- ½ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
- Grated zest of ½ lemon or lime
- Peel ginger and cut into small pieces.
- Place ginger and 2 Tbsp. water into food processor and puree. Add more water if needed.
- Place pureed ginger into a large bowl and add remaining ingredients.
- Loosely cover with a paper towel and store in a warm area for about 4 hours.
- Skim off any foam as it accumulates on the surface.
- Stir in 1 quart cold water. Taste for sweetness / add more honey or citrus as needed.
- Strain liquid through cheesecloth.
- Cover and store in refrigerator until chilled.
- Serve immediately or allow to ferment for 2-3 days to create a nice fizz.