How Fresh Ginger Can Help You Enjoy the Winter Months
By Doris Dahdouh
I know this might sound crazy, but bear with me and I will explain.
You may be wondering, “how can ginger help me enjoy the winter months?”. I am fully aware that most people brace themselves and hibernate until the Springtime, due to the Winter months being cold and gloomy (well, in most places). The Winter months also tend to bring a lot of colds, viruses and sniffles. I don’t know about you, but being cold and having a cold are enough to make me miserable. I’m guessing you’d agree. That is why I try to avoid both all together… and here is where ginger comes in.
This unusual looking root sold in most grocery and health food stores can be found in the fresh produce aisle. Up until about six years ago, I was unaware of all of its amazing benefits.
In the fall of 2008, I started working as a social worker in a pre-K and kindergarten school. I was getting sick and often. One of the teachers noticed how frequently the sniffles visited me and she mentioned that fresh ginger tea would help me beat whatever was going on. I had no idea what ginger was at the time, but I followed her advice because I wanted to feel better. And that was when my love affair with ginger began.
I started using ginger for colds, especially sore throats and stomach aches. Pretty soon, I was fighting off sickness before it was able to take me down. And you can too!
Here are three simple ways to integrate ginger into your daily life.
First and foremost, decide on incorporating fresh ginger into your life and how you are going to use it. When you feel the sniffles or an upset stomach coming, it’s time.
- Make ginger tea with raw honey and fresh lemon. Traditional Medicials make great pre-packaged tea bags. Or simply add a few knuckles of fresh ginger to a pot of water until you reach desired taste.
- Add some ginger to your juicer with some fresh greens. My favorite way to juice ginger is with a handful of fresh greens (kale, spinach, and/or chard), a green apple, fresh lemon, garlic and turmeric.
- Add some cut up ginger to a big pot of fresh veggie soup. *Keep in mind that ginger has a bit of a kick to it, so the more you add the spicier your tea, juice, and/or soup will be.
Second, do not be intimidated by fresh ginger. Most people that have not used ginger are unsure of how to get a hold of it. Actually, it is quite simple. Go to your local health food or grocery store and head towards the fresh produce aisle. If you do not know what it looks like, ask for help (it’s a funny looking, tan/yellowish corkscrew-like root). Once you have found the ginger, snap a piece off to check if it is still fresh. Fresh ginger has a beautiful vibrant yellow color and a strong aroma. If the piece you picked out has both, start filling a bag.
*Note: If you are new to ginger, start off with a small portion and work your way up (about a 1 inch knob or knuckle). This makes it a little less intimidating.
Third, use that ginger! Now that you know how to use it, where to get it and how to pick it out, you have no excuses. Do not be discouraged if you do not fall in love with it immediately. Ginger has an acquired taste for many, so start with small pieces in your tea, juice and soups. It will be worth your while because you will be fighting off colds before they start, getting rid of them sooner if they do show up and soothing your tummy aches and any digestive discomfort faster.
With ginger in your corner, the Winter months will no longer be a time of struggling with colds and viruses. The season that you once dreaded will now be an opportunity to try new things and enjoy what you already love. And it will all be thanks to that funny looking, health promoting, immune boosting, ginger!
Doris Dahdouh has a Master’s Degree in social work and has helped counsel children and help families since 2001. In 2012, she became very ill due to a hormonal imbalance and autoimmune disorder. Doris was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) many years ago and was treated with mainstream medicine which did not help her. She hit rock bottom before finding refuge in holistic living, by juicing, going gluten free and eating clean, organic, whole foods. Over the past couple of years, Doris has educated herself on a healthy lifestyle by reading information by Dr. Joel Furhman, Drew Canole, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Josh Axe, Vani Hari (a.k.a. Food Babe) and more.
Doris is enrolled to become a certified health coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is very excited to help others achieve their best by combining her psychoanalytic skills and what she hopes to learn in the health coaching certification program. With a heart for others, she is eager to continue assisting as many people as possible towards optimal health.
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