As a rhizome or surface root, ginger offers us a wealth of nutritional benefits. Ginger is spicy and pungent, and good for all seasons and body types. While ginger is grown in warmer climates, its properties make it very useful to warm the body each winter.
Soil Microbes Matter
Farmers have discovered that ginger grows significantly better in soil with a very high microbial content. The microbes help the ginger root uptake more essential nutrients to support its growth and nutrient profile. (1)
In fact, in the very hot and dry 2012 growing season, farmers found that ginger grown in soil with a very high microbial content fared better in an atypical extremely dry, hot summer than the ginger in less microbial-rich soils. (1)
In the very wet and especially rainy 2013 growing season, farmers reported that the ginger grown in microbial-rich soil was more resistant to pathogenic bacteria compared to ginger grown in the same wet soil with fewer microbes. (1)
Once again we are reminded that it is the abundance of soil microbes that support the plants health, immunity and resistance to extreme environmental stress. Many researchers suggest that it is our lack of microbial diversity that weakens immunity and predisposes us to avoidable sicknesses. Diversity matters, they say! Understanding the role microbes play in the foods we eat may surprise us as we investigate the botanical microbial intelligence of many seasonal foods.
Perhaps gingers most famous claim to fame is related to its ability to enhance digestive strength, increase gastric emptying speed and resolve bouts of occasional heartburn. (4) It has been shown to reduce gas and bloating while increasing the strength of the digestive process. (3)
Ginger is also used to support healthy joint function by means of boosting the body’s natural inflammation pathways and by blocking the 5-Lox (5-lipoxygenase) degenerative enzyme. (2) Ginger is a natural antioxidant that that is only out-performed by certain berries and pomegranate. (3)
In fact, the antioxidant protective benefits of ginger were so powerful that it protected mice against lethal dosages of radiation. (5)
For more information regarding the benefits of ginger, read my article called “Ginger Magic.”
My Two Favorite Ginger Recipes for Digestion
- Ginger Pizzas – slice some ginger root into dime size slices. Spread them out on a plate and sprinkle them with salt and fresh lemon juice. Chew on one or two before meals to boost digestive strength. Store in the fridge until meal time.
- Ginger & Honey Paste – Squeeze some ginger in a garlic press and save the juice. Mix equal parts of the ginger juice with raw honey and add a pinch of salt. Take 1 tbsp before meals to fire up your digestive furnace (increase stomach acid production). Store in the fridge until meal time.