Tangy and aromatic, ginger is a mixture of several hundred substances, including phenol compounds such as gingerols – potent anti-inflammatory compounds shown in clinical studies to help relieve the pain of arthritis and muscle discomfort. Shogaol and zingiberene, also present in ginger, have antioxidant capabilities that may help prevent heart disease and cancer. Ginger is also reputed to help reduce nausea, motion sickness and morning sickness.
Fresh ginger contains more gingerol and protease, also an anti-inflammatory. Look for ginger that is plump, firm and clean. Keep ginger in an open container in the cupboard, the same as fresh onions or garlic. Unpeeled ginger can be refrigerated for up to three weeks – up to six months in the freezer.
Adding ginger at the start of the cooking process will lend a subtler flavour to the meal. Putting it in near the end delivers a more pungent taste. Grating ginger will release more of the active ingredients than slicing or chopping.
You could try… using ginger for relief from nausea. Steep one or two 1cm slices of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water.