The Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is a widely used spice in Eastern and Western cuisines. Its versatility allows it to be used in many recipes, such as fish, meat, vegetables, and desserts.
What is Ginger?
Ginger is the rhizome of Zingiber officinale, a plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family.
We consume ginger either directly in its natural form or in the form of spice to add to our favorite dishes. Ginger contains gingerol, which gives it its typical pungent flavor. Its concentration of compounds depends on the country of origin, storage, and the form – either fresh or dried. Cooking ginger turns gingerol into zingerone, a molecule with a less intense flavor and a tendency to be sweet. Dehydrating the root turns gingerol into a compound with a more pungent flavor.
False Myths About Ginger
Despite popular beliefs, drinking water, lemon, and ginger does not burn fat. No scientific studies support this claim. Also, ginger’s alleged aphrodisiac properties are a myth with no scientific evidence.
The Benefits of Ginger
Ginger has many beneficial properties supported by scientific evidence. It helps intestinal motility, aiding digestion, eliminating gas, and limiting abdominal pain. It is an excellent ally for those suffering from reflux and has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antipyretic, and analgesic properties.
The most common use of ginger is probably to alleviate nausea and vomiting, making it an excellent ally in the early months of pregnancy. However, consult a doctor regarding the method of administration, amount, and duration of consumption.
The antioxidant properties of ginger are due to gingerol, which helps fight free radicals and seems involved in anti-cancer actions. It is also rich in B vitamins, vitamins C and E, potassium, copper, iron, calcium, and phosphorus, which are helpful for the proper functioning of our metabolism, heart, red blood cell production, and maintaining healthy bones.
How to Use Ginger in Cooking?
Ginger is a highly versatile food that can give an extra boost to the simplest recipes. For example, you can use ginger as:
- An excellent flavor enhancer for soups, vegetable purees, and velvety soups.
- A base for marinating fish and shellfish, perhaps in combination with sesame.
- An ingredient in many desserts, such as cookies or spiced bread typical of northern European countries.
- An ingredient in the preparation of drinks or herbal teas, perhaps by adding a piece of root to boiling water or by grating dried root into water.
Rice with Shrimp and Ginger Recipe
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 10 oz basmati rice
- 14 oz shrimp
- 7 oz pineapple
- 2 tablespoons EVO oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- Cook the rice in salted water and drain.
- Clean the shrimp from the carapace and add them to a pan with oil, thinly sliced ginger, and crushed garlic cloves. Saute for a few minutes.
- Remove the shrimp, discard the garlic, and add the diced pineapple in the same pan, saute it for a few minutes.
- Combine the various components of the dish: rice, shrimp, pineapple, and seasoning.
- You can reheat it in the pan to eat it warm or consume it cold, making it an excellent idea for an out-of-town trip or lunch at the office.