Ginger has become very popular in recent years, thanks to its many beneficial properties. Let’s see what they are and learn to use it in the kitchen.
Ginger is a herbaceous plant, highly appreciated both for its numerous beneficial properties and for its excellent, slightly spicy flavor. The part that is used in the kitchen is the rhizome, or the stem, which is often mistaken for a tuber. Obviously, as with all natural products, there is no shortage of contraindications . Let’s take a closer look at its pros and cons and how to use it in the kitchen.
Ginger: nutritional properties, benefits and contraindications
Ginger is rich in proteins , carbohydrates, water, amino acids, mineral salts (manganese, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron) and vitamins (groups B and E).
The nutritional values per 100 g of fresh ginger are as follows:
• Calories: 80 kcal
Protein: 1.82 g
• Carbohydrates: 17.77 g
• Sugars: 1.7 g
• Fat: 0.75 g
• Cholesterol: 0 mg
• Dietary fiber: 2 g
• Sodium: 13 mg
Ginger: the benefits
The high content of vitamins and minerals make this plant an excellent supplement to prevent seasonal ailments , but also a valid natural remedy for coughs , colds and flu.
It is also a digestive : it helps to reduce stomach bloating, nausea and dizziness and to fight constipation. In ancient oriental medicine it is used to treat osteoarthritis, flu and heart disease. It also has natural antibiotic and antibacterial properties .
Finally, it counteracts halitosis, has antioxidant and anticancer properties , especially as regards colon and ovarian cancer.
Contraindications of ginger
Unfortunately, ginger has not only benefits, but also contraindications. First of all it stimulates the production of bile, consequently it is not suitable for those who suffer from gallstones or have problems with the gallbladder.
Having diuretic and laxative properties, it is not recommended for those with irritable bowel , because it could cause swelling and diarrhea. Even those suffering from gastritis should limit their consumption, because it could cause ulcers.
It should be avoided during pregnancy , during breastfeeding and in conjunction with the intake of certain drugs, in particular oral anticoagulants, anti-inflammatories and platelet aggregation inhibitors.
How to use ginger: recipes and ideas in the kitchen
Let’s now see how to use ginger in the kitchen . A very simple way is to prepare a detox water , infusing some peeled pieces in cold water, along with a few slices of cucumber and lemon. You will get a thirst-quenching and purifying drink.
Alternatively, you can prepare hot ginger infusions , excellent for colds and fever. The basic recipe is simply to infuse a piece of ginger in boiling water for five minutes. If you want, you can also add a cinnamon stick and a few slices of lemon to the infusion. Sweeten the infusions with honey and consume them before they cool down.
Powdered ginger can also be used for many recipes and to flavor savory or sweet dishes, such as the classic Christmas cookies . The recipe for the latter is very simple: add 300 g of flour, 120 g of sugar and two tablespoons of ginger in a bowl. Then add 150 grams of butter and an egg. Knead the dough well, let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes and then roll it out to make the biscuits with molds. Finally, bake them in the oven at 180 ° C for 20 minutes .
Perhaps everyone knows this but ginger is not only used in the kitchen: ginger essential oil is excellent (also) for massages .