Health benefits of ginger

Today after class at our CrossFit box, two of our athletes were chatting about how they really enjoy ginger. They're both pharmacists, and one of them actually worked on a project showcasing ginger as an alternative medicine form. I thought it was a perfect ingredient to highlight in this week's recipe, and to showcase the health benefits of ginger.

Ginger's health benefits include:

  • Improved digestion
  • Decreased nausea (which is why ginger candies on car rides can help with motion sickness)
  • Relief of the common cold
  • Reduced inflammation

Pretty fantastic list there, especially if you're an athlete and looking for ways to reduce soreness after a workout, or simply looking for decreased inflammation in general, which is something we could all benefit from.

You can use ginger in many ways in the kitchen. One of the most common ways is in fresh pressed juice, and as an addition to smoothies. It adds a great freshness to anything it touches. In my opinion, however, ginger is most deliciously used in stir fry. Typically found in Thai cooking, it is easy to replicate that "I can't quite name it" takeout flavor at home by simply adding some ginger. Check out the recipe below for some inspiration, and skip that take out this Friday night!

How to get the health benefits of ginger in a delicious meal:

This recipe is for a healthy, fast, Thai stir fry. You can mix up the vegetables from time to time, but follow the sauce recipe to really get all of that delicious and healthy benefits of the ginger.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Chicken Breast, diced
  • 2 cups Sugar Snap Peas
  • 1 medium Onion, sliced
  • 1 cup Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 T Fish Sauce (or worchestershire sauce)
  • 1/4 C Soy Sauce
  • 3 T Ginger, finely grated
  • The juice of 1 lime and 1 orange
  • Red Chili Flake (optional) to taste
  • 1/4 T Cayenne Pepper (optional - very hot)
  • Coconut or Avocado Oil

Steps:

  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, toss in the chicken, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. When the chicken is just cooked through, remove from the heat to a separate dish.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, add the fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, spices (if using) and the citrus juice to a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. In the same skillet, add the vegetables, and cook until they are just getting slightly soft around the edges, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken back into the skillet, and then pour the sauce over. Allow the sauce to caramelize to the food, and then immediately serve!

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