Eating Green

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Ginger packs a zesty, spicy punch to many foods in addition to its use as an anti-inflammatory and for gastrointestinal relief. Historically, it has been used to treat nausea and was likely brought aboard ships to treat seasickness.

But perhaps more impressive is recent research to support its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is frequently used to treat inflammation reactions associated with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. It serves as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable free radicals that travel through the body damaging cells.

More recently, athletes have used ginger to decrease muscle soreness and joint pain associated with exercise. The anti-inflammatory properties combat the damage athletes do to their bodies during strenuous exercise.

Ginger is also attractive for its price tag. I frequently spend just $2 on the root and still find that half of what I bought goes bad before I can use it. Its strong, spicy flavor means you don’t need to incorporate much into your cooking.

It can be steeped in hot water for tea or added to stir-fry. Finely chopped, ginger can marinate with soy sauce, olive oil and garlic for a salad dressing or put into fruit smoothies to cut the sweetness with some zing.