Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Fact: Thanks to all the garbage we eat, our bodies are in a chronic state of inflammation. Ideally, your body wants to have a neutral pH, which would be around 7. However, our bodies are already slightly acidic due to the pollution in the air and all the other chemicals we come in contact with (#gross.) Being acidic in pH causes stress on our bodies which leads to inflammation. That's why an anti-inflammatory diet is so necessary. If you've been around here for a hot minute, you already know I'm slightly obsessed with the anti-inflammatory diet, so I will do my best not to give you every boring detail that's stored in my brain.
Today we're gonna talk about one of the best anti-inflammatory foods God put on this earth: GINGER.
I'd never eaten ginger in my life until 3 years ago. In one of my nutrition classes, we discussed the miraculous effects it can have on the body. Our 60 year old professor had been eating it daily in multiple forms and he was in PRISTINE health. Like legit awesome. He was juicing it, putting it in his coffee, sprinkling it on his meals, and even nibbling on the actual root!
Let's take a look at some of the benefits of ginger:
1. Settles stomach discomfort
2. Prevents and gets rid of migraines
3. Reduces joint pain and arthritis
4. Kills cancer cells
5. Treats multiple cardiovascular conditions
6. Reduces risk of colds
7. Lowers blood sugar and increases insulin release
8. Aids in digestive issues
9. Treats asthma
10. Slows down DNA damage
I mean...what?! Talk about a miracle worker! And what's even cooler is that you can consume ginger in a HUGE variety of ways. So there's really no excuse to not have your daily dose. The easiest form has got to be supplements. It's a concentrated powder in a capsule, so no matter where you are or what you’re doing, it's a convenient option. My personal favorite is buying fresh ginger root, cutting off an inch or two, and tossing it in my NutriBullet for my green smoothies. The powdered spice form is great for adding to your morning coffee, tea, or any other dishes to spice it up. And you can also juice it as well!
For the little ones who start to show signs of a cold (or the nearly always fatal man-cold), here is a great remedy: Mix 4tsp of ginger juice, powder, or root + 4tsp honey + lemon juice + warm water.
Not only is it warm and soothing, but the anti-inflammatory effects will knock out the free radicals running wild in your body causing the decrease in your immune system. I love this so much that it's a normal beverage in my day simply because it's delicious but also SUPER preventative.
Now let’s say you know you’re going out for beer and pizza tonight (not that you should, but hey, I’m realistic.) I would load up on ginger ALL day to prep your bod. I’m not saying this is the answer to allowing you to eat junk e'rday. Because it’s not. But any little bit helps. So I would take 1-2 grams worth of ginger in supplements, have my honey/lemon/ginger tea, and would put a big scoop of the powder in my green smoothie as well. This will help lessen the blow on your body and tissues from all of that dough and barley.
Inflammatory food literally damages your tissues and DNA, folks. It's no joke. Look at the state of our society’s health and tell me you don’t notice something wrong. It's our food! So we have to do our part to reverse the damage that's been done and prevent further damage in the future. Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease are. not. normal. And they're all direct effects of chronic inflammation. (*Steps off soapbox*)
Just a fair warning with ginger--it's definitely an acquired taste. It has a spicy, tingly, burn to it when you put enough in there. Sooooo just be ready for that. I would start small, like ½ TBS in your smoothie, but gradually increase it each time. Anywhere from 2-6 grams a day would be the goal.
Don't be like me and go a little ginger-crazy.
I had Brian (my boyfriend/now husband) on a health kick with me. He was doing so well to the point where he was even asking for a green smoothie. Never thought I’d see the day. So one morning, I was in a rush so I just threw 2 smoothies together. Tossed in some spinach, kale, carrots, beets, coconut milk, mango, and GINGER. I didn’t have fresh ginger on hand so I decided to just sprinkle some in from my spice cabinet. Slight problem: I forgot I took the little top off that has the holes to prevent the whole bottle from dumping out. Can you guess it already? Half the bottle was now in my smoothie cup. I didn't really think anything about it because my rule is "more is always better" when it comes to ginger. Not so much with Brian.
About 10 minutes later I get a phone call from a pretty panicked guy:
Brian: Babe, did you put something different in this smoothie today?! Me: Uh, no, it’s the same one I always make for you. Brian: Well my throat is literally on fire. I mean, I don’t know what throat cancer feels like, but I’m guessing this is it! Me: Ooooooh my bad, I got a little carried away with the ginger powder this morning by accident. Are you still going to drink it? Because it’s really good for you and I know you’re going to have pizza at lunch. Brian: Yeah, of course babe, but we’re gonna need to rename this thing. I’m thinking "The Ginger Stole My Soul." Me: The literal embodiment of this emoji 😬😬
To this day we refer to that smoothie recipe by name. But on the bright side, we built up his ginger tolerance!
If you're interested in incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet or want to learn more about creating a healthier lifestyle, give me a call to make an appointment with us (623) 551-6677. My passion is nutrition and turning our comfort foods into healthy nutritious options, so we'll find what works best for you!