Ginger works in every form: the medicinal root helps you lose weight, strengthens the immune system, stimulates digestion, relieves nausea and is the best home remedy for nasty colds. Here you can find out everything about the healthy effects and preparation of ginger – plus delicious recipes.
Scratchy throat? Ginger. You want to heat up your metabolism? Ginger. The whistle in the food is missing? Ginger!
As a tea, as refreshing water, in food, even as a ginger pesto, the great tuber unfolds its effect.
Ginger is a healing wonder drug.
The secret: Gingerols and the essential oils they contain.
Why is ginger so healthy?
- Promotes well-being: the essential oils in ginger – including citral – help against nausea. The tuber is therefore used as a prophylaxis against nausea and vomiting, and is also popular against motion sickness. Ginger is also used to treat nausea after surgery.
- Really heats it up: Gingerols, especially the shagoal, promote the metabolism by increasing the secretion of saliva and gastric juice.
- Protects against infections: Thanks to its antioxidant effect, ginger is also said to strengthen the immune system, i.e. prevent colds and flu infections, but also help with coughs and sore throats .
- Provides vital substances: Ginger provides plenty of vitamins and minerals. A lot of vitamin C , magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus are in this root, which gives every meal an exotic touch.
- Keeps you supple: Traditionally, ginger is also used to treat rheumatic and muscular complaints.
- Uncovers the pathways: In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger has been used to treat high blood pressure for thousands of years. It is said to have a blood-thinning effect and also widens the blood vessels.
Ginger is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.
Is ginger good for losing weight?
Because ginger, like chili, really heats up the body, it is considered a calorie killer. Because ginger has a positive effect on digestion: it stimulates the flow of saliva and gastric juices, thus accelerating the digestive processes.
A 2019 literature review concluded that ginger supplementation significantly reduced body weight, the waist-hip ratio, and the hip ratio in people with overweight or obesity (Trusted Source).
A 2016 study of 80 women with obesity found that ginger could also help reduce body mass index (BMI) and blood insulin levels. High blood insulin levels are associated with obesity.
Study participants received relatively high daily doses — 2 grams — of ginger powder for 12 weeks (Trusted Source, Trusted Source).
In other words: fat burning is boosted properly and that helps immensely with weight loss. It is best to drink a glass of freshly brewed ginger tea made from freshly grated ginger root in the morning after getting up. Definitely wakes you up better than coffee!
Ginger: nutritional values, calories and ingredients
Ginger was named Medicinal Plant of the Year in 2018. The reason for this is the bioactive substances it contains: the oleoresin, a viscous balm consisting of essential oils and hot substances called gingerols and shoagols, is medically effective.
Due to its many active ingredients, the tuber is used as a remedy – similar to turmeric , also a great superfood .
Menopausal women should try whether ginger tea or dishes with ginger promote hot flashes and then avoid the hot spice.
Ginger contains the pungent substances gingerol and shogaol. Gingerol is similar in composition to acetylsalicylic acid, which is used in painkillers.
That is why ginger is also considered a natural aspirin: it has an anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and expectorant effect.
As a tea, it helps with digestive problems such as cramps and gas .
According to studies, ginger wraps are also good for muscle tension and lumbago thanks to their warming effect.
The table shows the calories and the most important nutrients and components of ginger:
|nutrients and ingredients||per 100 grams (average; raw)|
|Vitamin C||5 mg|
Ginger for a cold
It is the essential oils in the ginger root that make the spice the go-to remedy for colds . With ginger tea you fight off every cold! Ginger is also cheap and lasts for several weeks after purchase.
It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, according to research. For instance, it may help reduce oxidative stress, which is the result of having an excess amount of free radicals in the body (Trusted Source, Trusted Source).
Fact: Essential oils make up up to 3 percent of the ginger root.
But beware: no effect without side effects! If you already have a fever, it is better to drink pure water, because the pungent substances in ginger activate the heat receptors in the body and cause the fever to rise even further.
Stars like model Gigi Hadid currently swear by a ginger shot as a booster for the immune system: the mix consists of ginger, lemon, honey, some cayenne pepper and optionally a dash of oregano oil.
Ginger also appears to be highly effective against nausea (Trusted Source).
It may help relieve nausea and vomiting for people undergoing certain types of surgery. Ginger may also help chemotherapy-related nausea, but larger human studies are needed (Trusted Source, Trusted Source, Trusted Source).
ginger in pregnancy
Ginger is often used for nausea. During pregnancy, however, the spice should only be used very sparingly because of its side effects.
Some gynecologists advise against excessive consumption of ginger. Due to the promotion of blood circulation through the sheep substances, ginger could have a labor inducing effect. However, one cup of ginger tea a week is not harmful. It is advisable to have a conversation with the doctor.
Other side effects of ginger
With all these positive effects of ginger, we are of course happy to use it. But be careful: We shouldn’t eat too much of the miracle tuber.
Because if you fall too much on the healing root, you can get gastrointestinal problems.
Since ginger acts as a natural blood thinner, it should only be consumed in moderation before surgery or during periods.
Ginger: preparation, storage and cooking tips
Ginger roots are available in every supermarket and at the greengrocer around the corner. You can recognize fresh goods by their firm, smooth skin.
Ginger is also available as or , also as capsules and in .
The tuber is the rootstock of a plant grown in many tropical and subtropical countries. We mainly get ginger from China, Thailand, Nigeria and Brazil.
Store ginger properly
Unpeeled and wrapped in paper towels, ginger will keep in the fridge for two to three weeks. Sliced ginger should dry before it goes into the fridge – but that can be done relatively quickly.
Ginger can be frozen grated or chopped and has a long shelf life, but loses its effect slightly and tastes less intense.
During storage, however, it loses its essential oils and thus its taste. On the other hand, the longer it is stored, the sharper it becomes.
Preparation: Peel the ginger properly
Before ginger can be processed, it should be peeled. The best way to do this is with a simple trick – you can find out exactly how this works in the video.
Cooking with ginger
Traditionally used in fiery curries, marinades and hearty stews in India, Sri Lanka and other Asian countries, ginger gives dishes a typically savory, pungent flavor. When cooking, you can peel ginger, chop it finely and sauté it with the onions and garlic before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Soup, stew or curry always taste a bit bland? Then you can simply fold in grated ginger afterwards, simmer for about 10 minutes – et voilà, your new favorite dish is ready.
In Germany, ginger is also popular as a spicy counterpart to sweet biscuits and cakes.
The coarser the fibers of the tuber, the sharper it is. Ginger gives a fine flavor if it is added to the dish right at the beginning of the cooking time, at the end of the cooking time it develops its aroma more strongly.
Tip when cooking with ginger: Always prepare directly when cooking, do not chop up a few hours in advance.
Attention: Do not overdose ginger, otherwise it will quickly become too spicy and can over-irritate the mucous membranes.