Ginger Root #bebetter52

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IMG_2077Ginger Root #bebetter52

Ginger is one of the oldest traditional and aromatic treatments in the world. It is often referred to as ginger root, although it is not actually a root. The edible part you find in grocery stores is actually the stem. In the Western diet, ginger is typically used in sugary items, such as ginger cookies and ginger ale. In Asian cultures, by contrast, it is chopped fresh into dishes or brewed in teas.

Ginger has many health benefits. Along with anti-inflammatory properties, it helps with digestion, joint health, gas relief, fights cancer and other illnesses, and detoxifies our bodies and the air.

This week’s Be Better challenge is to incorporate fresh, organic ginger into your diet by either grating it into a dish, adding it to a fresh juice, or steeping it to make tea. Why organic? Ginger is a stem and, if not organic, will have pesticide residue on it that has been absorbed and cannot be washed off.

Ginger is an amazing herb to incorporate even when you’re healthy, but try using it especially if you have one of the following symptoms, and see how incredible it is:

  1. Feeling gassy or bloated? Brew fresh ginger tea to relieve gas symptoms.
  2. Not hungry, even though you should be? Use ginger before eating to stimulate digestion and increase appetite.
  3. Fighting the flu? Use ginger to help your body fight off flu symptoms. While your white cells work on patching the cells and defending against the illness, ginger acts as a barrier to the high levels of prostaglandins that induce fever, headache, and cramps. Ginger also promotes sweating, which cleans out the pores and eliminates toxins. Research has also shown that sweat includes a germ-fighting compound, dermicidin. It has been positively connected to reduced bacterial and viral infections in a person who sweats regularly, since it creates a sheen on the skin, a protective layer of previously unknown proteins.
  4. Have menstrual cramps? Scientists believe that high levels of prostaglandins contribute to increased menstrual cramps. Ginger reduces the level of prostaglandins in the body, relieving the cramps.
  5. Nauseated? Studies show that ginger effectively relieves nausea due to pregnancy, chemotherapy and motion sickness. It is quickly absorbed and fast-acting, and a good alternative to medication without the side effects.
  6. Arthritis or joint pain? Ginger has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, which decreases pain.
  7. It’s also a natural aphrodisiac.

Ginger and Cancer

Exciting research on ginger shows that it can play a preventive role against cancer. Gingerols, the same compounds that give ginger its anti-inflammatory qualities, have also been shown to prevent carcinogenic activity in the colon that can lead to colorectal cancer. This is yet another way that ginger benefits the gastrointestinal system, making it a perfect addition to every meal. More recent studies have also connected gingerols to apoptosis – a physiological process eliminating DNA-damaged, superfluous, or unwanted cells -- in ovarian cancer, thereby reducing tumors and the growth of cancerous cells without harming the healthy cells around them.

How to use it:

Ginger is best used in its raw state or steeped in tea. Grate it into rice and chicken dishes raw or juice it and incorporate it into a healthy, fresh vegetable juice. You can also grate it and brew a fresh tea with lemon juice and honey to drink first thing in the morning and before meals to help with digestion.

  1. Spicy Fragrant Ginger Rice (Recipe from Food Matters Website)Cook basmati rice. When you take the lid off the pan, quickly stir in finely chopped garlic, ginger, green chilies and fresh cilantro leaves – the burst of flavor and fragrance will drive your senses crazy with desire!
  1. Ginger Tumeric Tea
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) organic nut or oat milk (if not homemade, choose one with as little preservatives as possible and without carrageen), or use raw organic milk.
  • 2 teaspoons ground organic turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated organic ginger
  • 1 teaspoon raw organic honey
  1. Add the almond milk to small saucepan and heat gently until it reaches room temperature.
  2. Add the turmeric and ginger to a mug.
  3. Pour a small amount of warm milk into the mug and stir to create a liquid paste, ensuring there are no lumps.
  4. Add the remaining milk and sweeten with honey.

3. Raw Ginger Slice Dessert (Click for Recipe)

Additional Reading on the benefits of Ginger:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/06/30/ginger-health-benefits.aspx

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/10-healing-benefits-of-ginger

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/ginger.html

Mindful Eating #bebetter52

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unnamed(2)Mindful Eating #bebetter52

 

In Jack Kornfield's noted work, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, he advises “As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise, you will miss most of your life.”

Our lives today are so busy and our to-do lists so long that everything we do becomes a product of multitasking. We scroll through emails as we run on the treadmill, we quickly apply makeup on our drive in to work, we scarf down lunch as we furiously work on assignments with approaching deadlines. No matter what it is that we are doing, we are always looking to save time – and understandably so!

For this week’s Be Better Challenge, we are asking you to slow down – specifically when it comes to mealtime – and eat mindfully. Step away from your desk, close the lid on your laptop, stop whatever it is that you are doing – and simply be present while you eat.

 

At breakfast / lunch / dinner / snack, check in with each facet of mindfulness:

  • Mind: Am I spaced out when I eat, or am I truly tasting each mouthful?
  • Body: How is my body feeling pre- and post-meal? Fatigued? Weak? Stomach growling? Full? Overstuffed?
  • Feeling: What feelings does the food that I am eating evoke? Comfort? Guilt? Contentment? Dissatisfaction? Remorse? Indifference?
  • Thoughts: What thoughts does this food provoke? Ideologies? Memories? Anxieties?

4 Tips to practice Mindful Eating

Don't multitask while eating- put all electronics aside while eating

Study your food- ask yourself how does it taste, where did it come from, be grateful for it

Portion control- focus on quality not quantity.

Slow Down- make eating meditative. Try eating with chopsticks, or chewing your food 15 per bite.

Additional tips on how to eat more mindfully can be found on Psych Central, Reader’s Digest and UC Berkeley’s website.

Being more aware of what we put into our mouths – not just this week, but every week – yields numerous benefits, including stress reduction, enhanced weight management, improved digestion, more enjoyable and satisfying meals, plus these perks discussed on Mercola.com and RebootwithJoe.com – all of which sound much better than looking down at your plate, meal after meal, and realizing that you finished it all without even tasting it!

 

Be Better by eating mindfully, and savoring each and every bite you take.