Detoxify and energize with this slimming spice.
It seems that so many folks testify to being all around happier during the summer months. I must say, it makes sense. There’s a sense of healing that seems to come from blue skies and golden sun—enjoyed safely, of course. Plus, there are numerous events with loved ones and increased opportunities to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.
Along these lines of health and healing, I have a spice that pairs perfectly with this summertime mentality. It’s a good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and vitamin A. More than 5,000 years ago, people in ancient China and India actually regarded it as a “universal medicine.” Today, it can be found in more than half of traditional herbal remedies. Throughout its long history, it has been used for at least 40 conditions, as diverse as diarrhea, dizziness, menstrual cramps, and mumps.
So, what is this mystery spice?
Highly concentrated with active substances, including powerful antioxidants called “gingerols,” ginger boasts a number of Fat-Flushing benefits. It revs circulation and promotes healthy sweating, encouraging detoxification of the body. Ginger supports liver function, clears up clogged arteries, and lowers serum cholesterol levels by nearly 30 percent. It contains compounds that resemble our digestive enzymes, assisting us to digest protein-rich meals more easily. And according to an Australian study published in the Journal of Obesity, ginger raises body temperature and assists the body to burn 20 percent more calories.
While hardly glamorous looking, with its knobby, gnarled appearance, ginger is surprisingly versatile and delicious. The underground ginger stem, or rhizome, is a clump of flattish hand-like shapes ranging in color from pale greenish yellow to ivory. The aroma is pungent, and the flavor is peppery and slightly sweet.
Ginger is generally available in two forms, either young or mature. Most supermarkets carry mature ginger, which has a tough skin that must be peeled. Young ginger, usually found only in Asian markets, does not require peeling. When you’re perusing through the produce, look for firm, plump “fingers” of fresh ginger, with clean, smooth skin. The smaller fingers tend to have the strongest flavor. Whenever possible, choose fresh ginger over dried, because fresh ginger tastes better and provides higher levels of gingerol.
Storage wise, fresh ginger can last up to three weeks in the refrigerator, so long as it’s unpeeled. Storing the dried variety in the fridge can extend its shelf life to at least one year. When ginger is fresh, the flesh is pale yellow and very juicy. As it ages, it dries out and becomes fibrous, so avoid ginger that has become discolored, wrinkled, or moldy. Also note that the new little sprouts that appear on the sides of a gingerroot offer a delicate flavor, so don’t be afraid to use them!
Mix It into the Menu
I adore ginger in stir-fries, and it also pairs deliciously with sesame oil for your salad dressings and Fat Flush-friendly coleslaw. You’ll also love it sprinkled on apples, in a spiced-up cran-water, and as the finishing touch on Fat Flush sweet potatoes. Try it in the next side dish you prepare for a potluck and you will impress every guest in attendance! Do note that ginger is a blood thinner, so if you’re a taking prescription blood thinner, you’ll have to opt out.
For healthy dishes that will be hits with even your pickiest summertime guests, pick up your copy of The NEW Fat Flush Cookbook. Packed with over 200 recipes and snacks, you’ll spice up your summer while enjoying wholesome variety.