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"Healthy Cooking With Ginger"

While ginger is often used in traditional means of medicine, the herb is also known to deliver a satisfying spice and ingredient in cooking. When purchasing young ginger at the local grocery store, you will encounter a fragrant, fleshy, juicy, pungent ingredient that supplies a mild taste packed with spice. Mature ginger possesses a great deal of fiber and is dry, which creates a spicier taste than younger samples. Today, an increasing amount of cooks are using ginger to enhance the nutritional value of their dishes.

Ginger possesses more than 12 different kinds of antioxidants, which aid in boosting the immune system and uplifting the overall level of health for an individual. The herb also provides the body with an array of essential oils, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin C, folic acid, manganese, panthotenic acid, as well as a little bit of vitamin B3. With all of these components, ginger presents a wide-range of benefits depending on the way you cook with the herb. Below are some of the techniques on how to get the most out of such a powerful ingredient:

1) Reduce the Risk of Arteriosclerosis: When adding ginger to most of your cooking or adding a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice to beverages, you may take advantage of the anticoagulant properties associated with the herb. Ginger is known to assist blood platelets in becoming less "sticky," which also reduces the risk of blood clots.

2) Get In the Mood: Ginger becomes a natural aphrodisiac when combining ginger juice, hot water, and honey to make a hot ginger tea that works best after a light meal.

3) Fight Colds: When you cut up a small piece of ginger and boil it with a small cup of pure drinking water and green tea leaves, you will create a concoction that works wonders at the first signs of a cold.

4) Digestive Concerns: Mixing one teaspoon of fresh ginger juice with one teaspoon each of fresh lime juice and mint juice to a glass of water helps combat heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion.

5) Energy Boost: Slices of ginger (disks) boiled in water creates a remedy to beat fatigue when mixed with cinnamon bark. All ingredients should be brought to a boil and then covered for ½ hour until the beverage turns golden in color. This energy boost is also known to ease the symptoms of muscle pain and soreness.

6) Menstruation Woes: To relieve cramps and painful menstruation, pound a piece of fresh ginger and boil it in a cup of water with a little honey added for taste.

Ginger Cooking Tips

When cooking with ginger, you should use a teaspoon to scrape off the skin protecting the outside of the herb. As you add ginger to your recipes, keep in mind that timing is everything. Ginger added to the beginning of cooking produces a milder taste, as waiting closer to the end of a recipe creates a much more pungent flavor. To reap the nutritional and health benefits of ginger, you can add a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice to other vegetable and fruit juices or blend with pineapples, carrots, and apple juices to make delicious smoothies.