Ginger Nutritional Value and Benefits of Ginger

Learn of the properties of root ginger, nutritional information, ginger nutritional value and the benefits of ginger and ginger juice. Ginger is a herb plant which originated in China and some time later it spread to India, Southeast Asia, West Africa and then to the Caribbean.

ginger nutritional value

Root ginger is the tuber which is the edible rhizome or root part of the plant Zingiber officinale, from the Zingiberaceae family. Interestingly , turmeric and cardamom are other members of this plant family.

The plant itself, usually grows no more than a metre in height.  It bears yellow flowers and the edible part – the rhizome, resembles knotty, almost finger like extensions which grow down into the ground.

Fresh, younger ginger rhizomes are fleshy and juicy with a fairly mild taste.  However the more mature of ginger roots are almost dry and very fibrous and stringy.  It is this stronger, spicier root that will be used in Indian recipes for flavour as a spice.  It is regularly used in Japanese and Chinese cooking and is used to flavour many South Asian dishes also.

Ginger has a spicy yet aromatic taste and smell.  The strong taste is due to the fact that it contains a mixture of phenolic compounds and essential yet volatile oils, such as shogaols and gingerols.  In studies, ginger oils have been observed to prevent skin cancer in mice, and it has also been observed to kill a percentage of ovarian cancer cells.

It can act as a good preservative in foods.  A dried version is available, but is used more as a flavouring in recipes for cakes, biscuits, ginger beer and ginger ale.

It is widely used as a spice in foods and because of its medicinal qualities, has been used in medication too.

It is really flavoursome when added to freshly juiced fruits and vegetables and adds a real ‘kick’ or ‘bite’ to the flavor.

Fresh ginger is regularly used as a marinade as it is known to break down high protein foods such as meat, and it help to reduce the effects from the uric acid in these foods, on the body.

Ginger has various names in different parts of the world, ie. in Burma, it is known as gyin, in Bangladesh, it is known as Aadha, in Nepal – Aduwa, in Somaliland it is called Sinjibil, and it is known as zanjabil in Arabic.

In some parts of the Middle East, the powder is often used as a spice for coffee and in Egypt is it actually served in coffee shops.

In Corfu, Greece, they make a type of ginger beer with it – which is a traditional drink called tsitsibira.

Ginger is a popular spice in the Caribbean, used in both food and drink recipes.  In Jamaica, ginger tea is made from the fresh version of ginger, and ginger beer is made fresh in Jamaicans homes, although the carbonated version is available commercially.

Ginger is traditionally used in Western cuisine, and is mainly added to sweet foods such as gingerbread, biscuits, and even ginger ale.  It can also be added to hot tea and coffee.  There is a ginger flavoured wine available in the UK and is traditionally sold in a green coloured glass bottle, and is called green ginger wine.

In Japan, ginger is sometimes grated and used raw on noodles or tofu, but is also made into sweet candy.

In Vietnam, the fresh leaves are sometimes chopped finely and added to cooking for a more subtle flavour.

Ginger Benefits

For hundreds of years, ginger has been used medicinally and many deem the ginger nutritional value to be wholly associated with medicine.

Ginger has frequently being used to treat colic and dyspepsia.  And was regularly used to disguise the unpleasant taste of many medicines.

It is also now used in many herbal remedies for cleansing the colon, stomach cramps, to help stimulate the circulation, many bowel disorders, muscular aches, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, helps to reduce allergies and because it has anti-microbiotic properties, it can be used to help heal wounds and sores.

In the Western Indies, ginger is often used to treat unrinary tract infections.  In Nigeria, it is used to treat malaria and yellow fever.

It has cholesterol lowering and blood thinning properties – making it useful of heart disease sufferers.

It has been associated with alleviating arthritic pain, although results have proved inconsistent to date.

In some developing countries, ginger compounds such as zingerone, have been found to be effective and are very much in use to combat E.coli induced diarrhea, primarily in children.

Ginger has been observed and proved to be effective in treating nausea – the types of nausea caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy, and seasickness.  It is entirely safe to be taken throughout pregnancy.

Strangely enough, it helps to stimulate the secretion of saliva from the salivary glands, due to the fact that it has sialagogue action.  It is because of this that it is commonly used as an effective aid to digestion.  By increasing the amount of saliva production, ginger can help to relieve indigestion, stomach cramps and diarrhea.

Because ginger helps to stimulate saliva and thus bile also, it is often referred to patients with a history of gall stones.

Ginger Nutritional Value

For detailed nutritional value information, please see table above.

The ginger herb has many health promoting properties and disease prevention properties.

Ginger root is low in calories and is cholesterol free.  It is a very good source of essential vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), B5 (pantothenic acid).

It is also a good source of minerals, such as potassium, copper, magnesium and manganese.  Potassium helps to control blood pressure and the heart rate.

Ginger is known to contain all of the following:

ginger nutritional value

  • Calcium
  • Carbohydrate
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin C, E and B6

It has many qualities, and above all, the ginger nutritional value is highly relevant to our health.

Add ginger to many recipes, including lots of your favourite healthy juicing recipes for amazing health benefits.

07. August 2010 by Sue
Categories: Health Benefits, Nutrition | Comments Off on Ginger Nutritional Value and Benefits of Ginger