Top Health Benefits of Ginger

The health benefits of ginger are plentiful and it is often classed as a wonder spice with both medicinal and culinary upsides. Over forty-four hundred years ago, according to “Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Herbs”, Greek bakers made gingerbread from ginger that was imported from the Orient. In the sixteenth century the Spanish were cultivating it. From Jamaica conquistadors brought it to the New World. In 1884 Great Britain was importing well over 5 million pounds of ginger root. The origin of ginger is uncertain. It is believed to be native to southern China and India. It was then introduced into southern Florida. It grows well in fertile, well-drained and moist soil that can be partially shaded.

The Diverse Nutrition and Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger contains bisabolene, borneal, borneol, camphene, choline, cineole, citral, ginerol, inositol, volatile oils, PABA, phellandrene, acrid resin, sequiterpene, many B vitamins, zingerone, and zingiberene. It has been used throughout history to treat colitis, diverticulosis, nausea, gas and indigestion, paralysis of the tongue, morning sickness, vomiting, hot flashes and menstrual cramps. It is said to cleanse the colon and stimulate circulation. It has also been used to treat colds and sore throat.

Although ginger can be very spicy to the tongue it purportedly is good for indigestion. It is a safe and effective herb. There has been some research to suggest that it is very effective against motion sickness as well. Ginger helps to promote circulation and is a very mild stimulant. Ginger tea is said to be very effective in preventing colds. It can also be used in the spring to make an excellent spring tonic to wake up the body after a long cold winter and many claim it is able to cleanse the blood – or at the very least give an invigorating jump start.

Growing Ginger

Ginger is grown throughout much of the tropics commercially and in other regions it can be grown in a container or container gardening. To grow your own, give your purchased rhizome plenty of warmth, humidity and moisture after planting. You can move it outdoors in warmer months in a somewhat shady area. About 12 months after planting, you can remove it from the pot. Remove the fibrous roots. Cut off as much as you can use. Save a small amount to replant again in a new pot. You can buy ginger commercially fresh, dried ground or in dry pieces. Fresh ginger needs to be wrapped tightly and stored in the refrigerator. It can last for several months when stored this way.

Ginger Ale Recipe

Who hasn’t enjoyed a tall frosty glass of ginger ale? Ginger ale was considered the most popular soft drink in the U.S. in early years between 1860 and the 1930’s. There are several different types of recipes around for how to make your own home made ginger ale or ginger beer. A simple home recipe for ginger ale is to take some fresh ginger and crush the root. Place one cup of the root into a gallon or so of water and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and let it steep about 15 minutes. This will release the powerful flavor and health properties of the ginger. You then strain it. You may add honey or the sweetener of your choice to this tea. Then just add your desired amount to some carbonated water.

Ginger ale commonly contains ginger, sugar, and carbonated water. Ginger beer has a stronger flavor of ginger, and is less carbonated and much less sweet. For those trying to cut back on their alcohol consumption ginger ale can be used as a nonalcoholic substitute in punches and for champagne at various events and occasions. These beverages can resemble champagne and other flavored alcohols in appearance. Ginger ale has been given to many to calm an upset stomach. This is due to the presence of ginger + carbonated water having a calming effect on the stomach.

Other Culinary Uses for Ginger

Ginger is a super sugar substitute that will provide a great taste with almost no calories added. You can use it in making gingerbreads, spice cookies and cakes. It enhances many meat dishes such as chicken and beef and for making sauces and marinades. A little ground ginger added to mayonnaise makes a great topping for a pear salad. A chef suggestion is to put 1 slice of peeled fresh ginger into a marinade you make for each pound of meat or poultry. If you like fried chicken and livers, you can make seasoned flour shaking some ground ginger into the flour mix to toss the meat in before frying. Ginger root can be used fresh or dried in recipes from North Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Japan, China and East India. In Chinese cooking, you usually will find that first you brown a piece of fresh ginger root. Then you add your stir-fry vegetables to this.

To make ginger tea, use a pinch to a tablespoon of ginger powder per cup of boiling water. You can also grate or slice the fresh root and then simmer it in water until you have what is yellowish water. You can also add other useful herbs to the steeping water such as peppermint, a little clove powder or a few bruised cloves. Let it steep and strain and drink throughout the day to promote good health. If you prefer a stronger tea, increase the amount of ginger rather than letting it steep for a long period of time.

Ginger baths can be another great health benefit besides just consumption of the herb. Ginger baths can help ease pain and increase circulation. Just drop a few grated gingers into your bath and soak. You can also soak cloths in ginger tea and apply these directly to the painful area on the body.

Allergies

While speaking of the benefits of ginger, there are those who may be allergic to ginger. Severe allergic reactions to ginger might include a rash, hives, difficulty in breathing, and various forms of dermatitis. If this is the case, stop taking ginger immediately and seek some medical attention. Few side effects have been associated with ginger taken at low dosages. In conclusion, there seem to be many benefits to adding ginger to your diet. The health benefits of ginger are exceptional and it has the ability to add great flavor to the diet.

Summary

A fiery spice, the health benefits of ginger stretch from increasing circulation to helping with indigestion as well as being an ingredient in many dishes from around the world and is easy to incorporate into many simple and quick dishes as part of your daily diet.

Top Health Benefits of Walnuts

Walnuts trace their origins in many places, though it is common knowledge that the earliest were Persian where the health benefits of walnuts were thought to be well known. Walnuts are believed to have been cultivated as far back as 7000 B.C. in the humid regions surrounding the Caspian Sea. Today, California walnuts are some of the highest quality nuts around; in fact, almost 90 percent of the United States’ walnut production grows right in California. Currently, the U.S. ranks as second-highest walnut producer in the world, only to China.

Walnut Types: Take Your Pick
You have probably encountered at least one of three types of walnuts: the English walnut, the black walnut, and the white walnut, or the butternut. These white walnuts are more difficult to find in traditional grocery stores, but feature a sweet taste and oily texture. The English, or Persian, walnut is the most common to find in marketplaces and bears the traditional shell that can be broken with a nutcracker. Black walnuts are native to America, grown specifically in the southern U.S., and possess a rich, smoky flavor.

If you are interested in the health benefits of walnuts and how you can introduce them into your diet, you might have noticed that some recipes call for either black or English walnuts while your cupboard only has one or the other. Not to worry; structurally, both walnuts are quite similar. Recipes that call for black walnuts usually do so to take advantage of their smoky, wine flavor. However, if you merely want to add some crunch to your salad or a baking recipe, you can use either walnut without fear of disaster.

Health Benefits of Walnuts
Some people hold the notion that all nuts are the same. This is especially untrue for walnuts; these unique nuts are made up of mostly polyunsaturated fatty acids-both omega-3 and omega-6-while nearly every other nut is composed predominantly of monounsaturated fats. Moreover, walnuts are the only nut with a significant quantity of ALA, a seed oil that must be acquired through diet. Raw walnuts also have a remarkably high level of antioxidants.

Aside from being a tasty treat, walnuts are notoriously beneficial to your heart and circulatory system. Walnuts assist in lowering cholesterol, which improves blood quality, and they help decrease the risks of excessive clotting and inflammation in blood vessels. As a reliable source of omega-3, walnuts repeatedly assist in the improvement of many cardiovascular functions, even countering high blood pressure.

Studies suggest that raw walnuts can increase fat oxidation and reduce carbohydrate oxidation, leading to a healthier use of body fat in adults. In 2006, a report published by ScienceDaily stated that eating a handful of raw walnuts with meals high in saturated fat appeared to limit short-term damage to the arteries. Of course, eating walnuts will not absolve all health risks that come with eating unhealthy food, but they are a worthy addition to any diet.

Walnuts Join Pursuit Of The Cancer Cure
Along with their cardiovascular benefits, walnuts are now receiving attention from researchers with respect to their role in reducing the risks of prostate and breast cancer. In 2009, the American Association for Cancer Research was presented with a U.S. study that demonstrated decreased tumor sizes in mice that consumed the human equivalent of two ounces of walnuts per day. Although the study was conducted on mice, the walnut’s ability to reduce endothelin levels and decrease the inflammation of blood vessels will surely prove beneficial to cancer patients whose endothelin levels are higher than normal.

Selecting And Storing Your Walnuts
Picking walnuts is a fairly straightforward process. For whole walnuts, choose walnuts that feel heavier for their size, ensure that the shell is intact, without any piercing or cracks, and discard any that appear stained, as this can be a sign of molding nutmeat. Shelled walnuts are often ready to buy in packs or containers. With these, simply have a look over how fresh the walnuts appear. Steer clear of shriveled or rubbery walnuts and, if you can, take a quick sniff just to make sure your walnuts have not spoiled before you have bought them.

They are perishable but, if stored properly, the health benefits of walnuts and their nutrients will keep as long as six months to a year. The best way to maintain your walnuts’ flavor is to keep them cold. If you plan on using your walnuts within a month, you can store them in the refrigerator. For longer storage, the freezer is your best option. Walnuts are capable of absorbing flavors from other foods; so make sure to store them in airtight containers away from foods that have strong odors.

As a tip for your health and your taste buds, save chopping or shelling your walnuts until you would like to use them. Not only do they lose flavor, but the polyunsaturated fats found in walnuts oxidize quickly when exposed to heat or air. Keep your walnuts healthy and fresh from the minute you buy them by storing them properly.

Enjoying Walnuts Is a Piece Of Cake
There are more than a handful of walnut-praising recipes available, but often the easiest way to include this healthy nut into your food routine is just to throw it over your favorite dish! English walnuts and maple syrup make a delectable a topping drizzled over yoghurts. Try your favorite vegetables sauted with some chopped black walnuts for a tasty new experience. Walnuts also make a delightful addition to any traditional stuffing recipe. Here are a few helpful measures for estimating walnut weights in recipes.

A single walnut half = Two grams
One ounce of walnuts = 14 halves
One cup of walnuts, chopped or pieced = 120 grams
One cup of shelled walnuts = 100 grams, or 50 halves

Treat yourself to a banana-nut muffin for breakfast, or get creative by incorporating ground walnuts into a variety of sauces at dinnertime. Parsely-walnut sauce, walnut-lemon vinaigrette, and cranberry-walnut marmalade are just a few fantastic starts for your walnut-infused diet.

Walnut Allergies
If you suffer from tree nut allergies, it is likely to be healthier for you to stay away from walnuts. Despite their health benefits, allergic reactions to proteins found in walnuts and other tree nuts can include hives, rashes, itching, swelling, breathing difficulties, severe drops in blood pressure, as well as other life-threatening symptoms. If you are concerned about whether you are allergic to tree nuts, consult a doctor before adding walnuts to your diet.

Summary
They are called the heart healthy nut and are packed full of anti-oxidants and nutrients but the health benefits of walnuts are complementary to their delicious taste whether you prefer them in cakes, brownies or topping salads.