Posted in: Good Nutrition, Weight Management, Women's Health

What are the health benefits of ginger and garlic?

Most people are already taking ginger and garlic for various health reasons. Garlic and ginger are not only delicious but also have numerous health benefits. They add great flavour to dishes and are known for their antimicrobial properties, which can help boost the immune system and improve digestion.

Ginger:

  • Helps with nausea and digestion.
  • Reduces muscle pain and soreness.
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Blood sugar levels (diabetes) management.
  • Helps with osteoarthritis symptoms.

Garlic:

  • Has antimicrobial properties.
  • Help lower cholesterol levels, of course with other measures in place
  • Contains antioxidants that may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Boosts immune function.
  • Incorporating ginger and garlic into your diet can be a tasty way to promote overall health.

How to use ginger to enjoy it’s benefits;

  • Fresh ginger: Add grated or sliced ginger to hot water for ginger tea. You can also use it in stir-fries, soups, and curries for a flavorful kick.
  • Ginger powder: Sprinkle ginger powder onto smoothies, oatmeal, or yoghurt. It can also be used in baking for a spicy twist in cookies, cakes, and bread.
  • Ginger supplements: If you prefer, you can take ginger supplements in the form of capsules or tablets, but it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
  • Ginger candy or crystallized ginger: These can be enjoyed as a sweet treat and also help with nausea and digestion.

Experiment with different ways of incorporating ginger into your diet to find what works best for you and your taste preferences.

How to use garlic to enjoy its benefits

You can enjoy the benefits of garlic by incorporating it into your cooking in various ways:

  • Raw garlic: Crush or mince garlic cloves and add them to dressings, dips, or sauces for a potent flavour boost.
  • Cooked garlic: Sauté minced garlic in olive oil as a base for pasta sauces, stir-fries, or roasted vegetables.
  • Roasted garlic: Wrap whole garlic bulbs in foil and roast them until soft. Squeeze out the roasted cloves and spread them on bread or mix them into mashed potatoes.
  • Garlic supplements: If you’re not a fan of the taste or smell of garlic, you can take garlic supplements in the form of capsules or tablets, but it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Adding garlic to your meals not only enhances the flavour but also provides numerous health benefits.

Ginger and sore throat

Ginger can be soothing for a sore throat due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Here are some ways to use ginger for a sore throat:

  • Ginger tea: Steep fresh ginger slices in hot water for a few minutes, then strain and drink the ginger tea. You can add honey and lemon for added soothing effects.
  • Ginger and honey paste: Mix grated ginger with honey to form a paste. Consume a teaspoon of this mixture several times a day to help alleviate sore throat symptoms.
  • Ginger gargle: Make a ginger gargle by mixing grated ginger with warm water and a pinch of salt. Gargle with this mixture several times a day to reduce throat inflammation and discomfort.
  • Ginger lozenges: You can find ginger lozenges or candies at health food stores, which can provide relief for a sore throat while also offering the benefits of ginger.


Remember to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest when you have a sore throat, and if symptoms persist or worsen, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional.

Garlic and weight loss

Garlic may indirectly support weight loss due to several reasons:

  • Appetite suppression: Some studies suggest that garlic may help reduce appetite, which could lead to lower calorie intake and potentially aid in weight loss.
  • Metabolism boost: Garlic contains compounds that may help boost metabolism, leading to increased calorie burning.
  • Blood sugar regulation: Garlic may help regulate blood sugar levels, which can contribute to better insulin sensitivity and reduced fat storage.
  • Gut health: Garlic has prebiotic properties, meaning it feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut. A healthy gut microbiome is associated with better weight management.

Incorporating garlic into your diet as part of a balanced, calorie-controlled eating plan, along with regular exercise, can potentially support your weight loss goals. However, garlic alone is not a magic solution for weight loss, and it’s essential to focus on overall lifestyle habits for sustainable results.

Recipe with garlic

Here’s a simple recipe featuring garlic: Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

Ingredients:

8 ounces of pasta (linguine or spaghetti works well)
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves of garlic, minced4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving


Instructions:

1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
2. Drain and set aside, reserving some pasta water.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
4. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
5. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn pink and opaque. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if using.
6. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and let it melt.
7. Return the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat in the garlic butter sauce. If the pasta seems too dry, add a splash of reserved pasta water.
8. Add the cooked shrimp back to the skillet and toss everything together until heated through.
9. Serve the garlic butter shrimp pasta hot, garnished with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
This dish is quick to make and packed with flavour thanks to the garlic-infused butter sauce. Enjoy!

Recipe with ginger

Here’s a delicious recipe featuring ginger: Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
1 carrot, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked rice, for serving
Sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish (optional)
For the sauce:

1/4 cup chicken broth or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
a tablespoon of honey or brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil


Instructions:

1. In a bowl, combine the sliced chicken with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Let it marinate for 15-20 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce: chicken broth or water, soy sauce, honey or brown sugar, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
4. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the minced garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant.
5. Add the sliced bell pepper, onion, broccoli florets, and carrot to the skillet. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
6. Return the cooked chicken to the skillet. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables, and toss everything together until well-coated. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the ginger chicken stir-fried with hot cooked rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions if desired.
This flavorful ginger chicken stir-fry is perfect for a quick and healthy dinner. Enjoy!


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