Look at the importance of ginger root in every Asian country from its supreme role in their daily cuisine to its revered status in their traditional medicine, including both China’s and India’s herbal healing systems. Let’s understand why you too should include ginger in something you eat or drink daily.
In fact, I believe the best way to start your day is with a brimming cup of a spicy tea full of ginger. Here’s why: when we wake up, our organs need a nudge to kick into gear for the day. They also need a stimulus to clear out the toxins that have accumulated while we’re sleeping in order to activate our elimination to sweep our bodies clean.
Most people rely on caffeine to provide their morning stimulation by kicking their adrenal glands into producing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Get enough rest though and your adrenal glands can do their job just fine without whipping them with caffeine. It’s your other organs like your intestines, liver, kidneys, gall bladder, and your metabolism that benefit from stimulating spices like ginger.
Not so long ago, when I was growing up, the only time Americans used ginger was at Christmas in their gingerbread cookies. Now fresh ginger is available in every grocery store and a zillion recipes rely on its pungent flavor. Let’s look at 7 ways you can easily include ginger in your daily regime and get all of ginger’s wonderful health benefits.
#1: Drink a spicy tea with ginger first thing after awakening to jumpstart your body’s elimination
I really have to say, though you may not want to hear it, a spicy ginger tea beats a cup of coffee hands down for the healthiest way to get your body ready for the day.
During your deep sleep cycles, your organs have been busy repairing and rebuilding damaged tissues while also detoxing from the previous day’s toxin accumulation. The #1 thing your body needs first thing in the morning is a stimulating cleanse that will speed elimination and jumpstart your organs of digestion. That job is done best by pungent spices and foremost among them is ginger.
I start my day with a caffeine free chai tea like Teeccino’s Dandelion Red Chai, Organic India’s Tulsi Red Chai or Yogi Tea’s Chai Rooibos. Ok, I confess. I designed all three of these teas so I favor my own chais! The potent spices warm up the body and provide diverse antioxidants from polyphenols plus anti-inflammatory compounds that protect your health as you move through your day.
Ginger, like cayenne, has been shown to increase thermogenesis, which is your body’s process of heat production. You’ll actually feel warmer after eating ginger which is the result of this effect. It also increases your caloric burn-rate which is a great benefit from a ginger smoothie.
Since ginger also has been shown to reduce the appetite and increase satiety, you’ll find that adding ginger to your smoothie helps to keep you full longer while it revs up your metabolism. Let’s not forget that ginger will also add delicious flavor to cover up some of those less flavorful ingredients in your smoothie!
#3: Drink ginger tea after lunch to stimulate your digestion and avoid an afternoon slump
Many people experience an afternoon slump after lunch. The body would love to take a nap at this time to digest our midday meal, but most of us are unable to take the time to do so.
Ginger has been shown to speed the emptying of the stomach which helps you feel less full and lethargic. It’s known to be a carminative, which means it helps prevent flatulence and reduce bloating by relaxing the intestines to release gas. A freshly brewed cup of ginger or chai tea will refresh and stimulate your senses so you can enjoy a productive afternoon.
#4 Add ginger to a bowl of hot soup for a spicy hit to fortify your body against catching whatever cold or flu is going around
I discovered that when I feel like I could be coming down with something, that scratchy throat or oppressive sensation in the chest can be quickly alleviated if I treat myself to a hot ginger soup from a Thai or Indian restaurant. The spicier the better!
It turns out that spices act against bacteria to protect our health. They are anti-microbial and between their detoxing effect and their ability to fight bacterial infections, ginger and its fellow spices can help your immune system fight off invading pathogens. Ginger is also anti-fungal so it can protect the microbiome in both your digestive system and your mouth from candida and other fungi that cause health problems.
#5 Drink a fresh juice made with extra ginger after yoga or an exercise workout to help reduce inflammation in your joints
Enhance your green drink with extra fresh ginger root juice while helping your joints recover from the stress you just put them through in your yoga class or gym. Ginger’s polyphenols, gingerol and its metabolites, shogaol, paradol and zingerone, suppress the body’s production of various pro-inflammatory instigators like cytokines, proteins and enzymes.
#6 No time to eat or drink? Take ginger capsules to ameliorate a number of health conditions
It is quite effective and at the same time easy to take ginger in capsules. After all, you might not be in the mood for a gingery flavor at every meal or snack. Many women find ginger capsules make for easier menstruation cycles. Others use ginger capsules to ameliorate nausea. Studies suggest that ginger can be effective in promoting good cardiovascular health, balanced blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Ginger is even being studied for is its potential to slow the aging of the brain!
#7 End your day with hot ginger tea to speed digestion and protect your body during sleep
All the good health benefits of ginger make for a great way to end your day and begin your sleep cycle. Its antioxidants will be put to good use fighting off the day’s free radicals while its anti-inflammatory action will help restore flexible joints. Your digestion will be efficient and smooth while any menacing bacteria is fought off.
My recommendation: A cup of Teeccino Dandelion Red Chai will satisfy you instead of a dessert especially if you heat some milk and give it a little froth before pouring it into your cup. Sip its spicy goodness and relax. You’ve earned it!