Why Ginger is Essential in Chinese Diet
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.
Or eat a ginger candy:
Nutrition Value of Ginger
According to USDA, 100g of Ginger contains:
Fat: .75 g
Fibers: 2 g
Protein: 1.82 g
Calcium: 16 mg
Iron: 0.6 mg
Potassium: 415 mg
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:
- Cut 3 slices of ginger as thin as you can.
- Put 3 slices of thin ginger in boiling water for few seconds, remove them out of the water right away.
- 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.
- Repeat the same procedure every day.
- 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.