Sunday, February 21, 2016


By Dominick H.

Superfood Sunday is a weekly series where project: CLEAN FOOD features the absolute best foods to nourish – and naturally heal – your body.  To help you start each week right, we reveal the one must-have food to add to your diet. Enjoy, and share your inspiration with us by tagging #projectCLEANFOOD on Instagram.

The mighty ginger root has been in usage for thousands of years. Originally cultivated in Southeast Asia, it found early prominence in India and China. Eventually, it found its way around the world with the help of early controllers of the spice trade. Ginger gained popularity not only because it was appetizing in many dishes, but also because of its powerful healing effects. Many people of the Caribbean found usage in this same way. And that's probably why my Grandmother and my Mother (from Jamaica) would give it to me as a young boy to help soothe my upset stomach, or if I was struggling with a cold or flu. When I was in India some years ago, I noticed many people chewing on it after a meal. I later found out that if chewed (and not swallowed), it can provide the body with the necessary vitamins and minerals that are essential for good digestion and ridding the body of toxins. And If you've ever had sushi, you've probably seen that thinly sliced pinkish thing in the mix. That's also ginger. Many times we eat it with our sushi to help with digestion, or simply to enhance taste. And of course we can't forget about our sweets and desserts that are infused with Ginger: namely cookies, cakes, breads, ice creams, candies, and many others.

Ginger is known to have small balanced doses of vitamins including calcium, manganese, copper, B6 and potassium. It is known by its strong, spicy taste and aromatic essence. Ginger root is good for healing many digestive issues such as constipation, colon cancer, intestinal worms, upset stomach, and many others. Because of ginger's spicy nature, it has the ability to induce heat in the body. And when the body becomes a little hot and begins to sweat, it begins the process of purification. So naturally, ginger has the power to rid the body of cold and sinus issues when taken as a tea. In a 2015 study by the Journal of Ethnic Foods, it was found that regular use of Ginger in the diet can help in treating Type 2 Diabetes: and when combined with a healthy clean lifestyle, Diabetes becomes very manageable. It's truly an amazing superfood.

And with that, here is one simple way to use ginger:

As a Tea

Bring about 2-3 cups of water to a boil in a pot then turn off the fire. Cut the ginger root into about 1/2 inch to 1 inch chunks (about 4-5 chunks): and peel the brown skin off. Steep the ginger into the hot water. Cover the pot with foil, then put a cover over the foil (covering the pot).

Let it sit for about 15 min. During this preparation process, it is extracting out all the potency from the root itself and infusing it into hot water. Then re-heat the pot with the ginger contents in it until it comes to a slight boil, then turn off the fire. As you pour and serve, use a strainer to help strain out the ginger bits. Try not to put any additives in it: no sugars or syrups of the sort. When we are using the tea for healing purposes, there is no need to add anything to it that does not come from the root naturally. If the taste is much too strong for you, a little raw honey should be fine.  You can also add a little slice of orange or a slice of lemon for a little zest. 

Ginger supplemenets, powders or any other form of processed ginger (including pre-packaged tea bags) can never replace the power of the fresh Ginger root itself. But we understand that if fresh ginger is not available at your local grocer or nearby market, take it in the healthiest and most suitable form. 

So whether you decide to make a tea, use it as a spice to flavor your meals or simply give it a friendly chew, Ginger will provide your body with all that it needs to remain in a balanced state.
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