Nutrition Solutions / Lisa Corrado
Published 10:08 am, Sunday, April 13, 2014
Ginger and turmeric are not only delicious, they're caped crusaders disguised as spices. Studies have shown that both are incredibly effective at reducing inflammation. Sometimes they even beat anti-inflammatory drugs. Chronic inflammation can lead to a whole host of diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Reducing this inflammation helps reduce our risk.
Getting to know them
You may have seen sliced pickled ginger in a Japanese restaurant. Did you ever think about cooking with it yourself? Ginger is widely available in the produce sections of most supermarkets. The brown-skinned knob that you buy is called a "hand." While you can also buy powdered ginger, fresh ginger is higher in the compounds that make it such a superhero food.
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. You'll commonly find it in curry powder (which is a blend of spices). Before you dismiss turmeric because you don't like curry, give it a chance on its own. It's milder and does not have a hot, spicy taste. Curcumin is the substance that gives turmeric its deep-yellow color and anti-inflammatory properties.
And that's what I love about both ginger and turmeric: They are incredible inflammation fighters. It's not their only trick, but it's my favorite one.
It's also great news for people suffering from inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have shown that both ginger and turmeric reduce the joint swelling and stiffness associated with RA.
Check out the different ways to eat more ginger and turmeric below. To get the most benefit, we need to have them daily.
Easy ways to eat more spicy superheroes
All you have to do to eat more of these powerhouses is grate some fresh ginger or sprinkle powdered turmeric into whatever you're eating. Here are some specific ideas:
Grate some ginger into your favorite soup.
Add grated fresh ginger to your favorite stir-fry.
Mix grated fresh ginger into mashed sweet potatoes.
Drop a slice of fresh ginger into your next cup of hot tea.
If you like curry, eat it. Enjoy curry dishes at your favorite Indian restaurant.
Stir turmeric powder into cooked rice. Grated ginger is also nice in cooked rice.
Sprinkle turmeric powder on top of hard-boiled eggs or into scrambled eggs.
Add a dash to your morning smoothie. This small amount won't affect the taste.