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Why Ginger is Essential in Chinese Diet

Updated on September 18, 2012
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GingerBroccoli, Garlic and GingerShrimp, Garlic and Ginger
Ginger | Source
Broccoli, Garlic and Ginger
Broccoli, Garlic and Ginger | Source
Shrimp, Garlic and Ginger
Shrimp, Garlic and Ginger | Source

Ginger In Food

Ginger has long been used as medicine to prevent colds and other sickness such as migraine. It is also one of the most essential and powerful ingredient in Chinese cuisines. Although ginger is not the main ingredient in most of the food, it is the ingredient we use in almost every dish we make, especially with vegetables and fish. In other words, we eat ginger almost everyday. Please don't get me wrong, I don't mean that we chomp down a large chunk of ginger. We only use a few slices of ginger to cook along with each dish. I don't like the strong taste of plain ginger, but I love the taste of ginger with brown sugar or salt. I remember when I was a kid, my mom used to give me few slices of salty ginger to chew on once in a while, except fall when the weather tends to be dry in China. Ginger also came to my rescue when I had morning sickness during my three pregnancies. It is very common for Chinese to use ginger as medicine as well as cooking spice

Benefits of Eating Ginger:

Here are the positive effects ginger has:

  • With its detoxification property, ginger can protect the digestive tract.
  • Ginger essential oil can enhance intestinal motility, which helps digestion and increases appetite
  • Ginger can boost blood circulation and improve the function of the stomach
  • Ginger can help to prevent kidney damage.
  • Ginger is also used to treat gallstones, kidney stones.
  • Ginger can provide relief of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. It is also a motion sickness remedy.
  • Ginger can improve immune system and prevent the common cold.
  • Ginger can provide migraine relief
  • Ginger can reduce the odor of certain food, such as fish, and enhance the flavor of food.
  • Ginger belongs to the "hot" food category, it can help reduce the coldness of certain "cold" food, such as water spinach or Ong Choy.

Nutrition Value of Ginger

According to USDA, 100g of Ginger contains:

Calories: 80

Fat: .75 g

Fibers: 2 g

Sugar: 1.7g

Protein: 1.82 g

Calcium: 16 mg

Iron: 0.6 mg

Potassium: 415 mg

Cholesterol: 0

Ginger | Source
Ginger | Source

How to Eat Ginger in Mornings

Some Chinese like to chew a few slices of ginger in the morning to boost their immune systems and to treat gallstones and kidney stones. Here is how you do it:

  1. Cut 3 slices of ginger as thin as you can.
  2. Put 3 slices of thin ginger in boiling water for few seconds, remove them out of the water right away.
  3. Let the ginger cool down a little bit, then put 1 slice of ginger in your mouth and chew slowly just like chewing gum, swallow the juice, let the ginger sit in your mouth and keep chewing for 5 - 10 minutes, then you can swallow the ginger or spit it out. Do the same with the other 2 slices of ginger.
  4. Repeat the same procedure every day.
  5. If the taste of ginger is too strong, you can add some brown sugar to it.

Ginger and Brown Sugar Drink for Common Cold

Ginger and brown sugar drink is a great home remedy for common cold. It is easy and simple to make. You will need 30g brown sugar, 15g ginger, and 3 cup of water. First boil the water in a pot, then put in brown sugar and ginger, cook for 15 minutes. Drink twice a day - morning and afternoon.

How to Use Ginger for Headache

Cut a slice of ginger - about 1/8" thick. Heat it up on a skillet or microwave. Use a thin cloth to wrap it up and put it on your forehead where you feel the headache.

About Eating Ginger

The best time to eat ginger is early in the morning and avoid eating ginger before bed at night. Never consume too much ginger at one time or it will over-stimulate your central nervous system and cause ginger intoxication. You should stop eating ginger if you experience a rash, heartburn, bloating or any signs of allergic reactions.


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    • profile image

      dreadski 2 years ago

      Thank you for this. I love ginger and eat/drink a lot when i get a cold etc. Can you tell us why its not a good idea to eat ginger before bed or late at night?

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      Thank you Nettlemere for reading and commenting. By chewing slices of ginger can actually help reduce the size of gallstones in some patients.

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      CCahill, is .75/100g of Ginger is fat, not 75/100g. Maybe I should put a zero in front of .75 in order to avoid the confusion. :)

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      dinkan53, you're absolutely right about people who have bleeding disorders should consult their doctors first before using ginger.

      poojasd7, thank you for reading and commenting.

      emilybee, you're very welcome.

      tillsontitan, thank you for the vote up!

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      I'm surprisingly quite tempted to try that chewing slices of ginger thing. I've never brought ginger root before but will look out for it on my next shopping trip. Interesting hub. (Pinned)

    • CCahill profile image

      CCahill 5 years ago from England

      That's interesting, My sister has migraine trouble and she finds that drinking Ginger beer @Carbonated Ginger flavoured Pop@ relieves the migraine a little but she always attributed this to the 'Fizzyness' of the drink but your article suggest it might actually be the ginger, that is if there is any actually ginger in the drink or just flavoring.

      So 75/100g of Ginger is fat? :o

      i always thought it would be sugar or carbs

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      I found this very interesting. Of course we eat ginger in many recipes and appreciate the flavor it gives them but I never knew about all the other uses. As with any herb or spice I knew there had to be a medicinal use but never knew what it was.

      I found how to eat ginger in the morning the most interesting part. Thank you for sharing this information!

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      My mom used to make delicious ginger chicken but besides that I haven't had it in a while, and didn't know about all the great benefits. I'm going to try some of them especially the remedy for headaches. Thanks so much for sharing this info.

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 5 years ago from India

      very informative. thanks for sharing

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 5 years ago from India

      Traditional Chineese medicine uses ginger for various purposes. Thanks for explaining us how to eat ginger in the morning. People having gallstones, heart problems, diabetics, those with bleeding disorders should talk to their doctor before taking ginger regularly. Rated your hub up and useful.