Ginger is a spice that does not just add flavor but also has high nutritional value. Largely believed to be a root, ginger is actually a rhizome (a stem growing underground but with roots and shoots from its nodes). Ginger can be consumed fresh or even dried and pulverized to a fine powder. This super spice contains gingerols – compounds with highly potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Fresh ginger has a sweeter and more pungent flavor – a flavor profile that is more complex than ground ginger. Ground ginger too has health benefits and contains more shogaol, a spicy and piquant compound. Both fresh ginger and dry ginger can be consumed, although ground ginger has a more stable and longer shelf life, and can withstand high heat better. Powdered ginger lends warm and spicy notes to food – both savory and sweet. Fresh ginger can also be added to food – ginger tea is a favorite with many people.
Depending on preference and taste, dried or fresh ginger can be added to whatever one is consuming. It is always better to start with smaller quantities – a one-eighth teaspoon of ground ginger or a tablespoon of fresh ginger should work. Ideally, if one has health concerns and or taking medication, it is recommended to check with one’s physician before making any additions to the diet, irrespective of the health benefits of an ingredient. Ginger and its supplements can interfere with liver functioning and can lead to heartburn, diarrhea, and bowel irritability if taken in large doses. Those suffering from gallbladder stones, ulcers, inflammation of the bowels, bleeding disorder, and other such conditions, should definitely consult their doctor prior to consuming ginger in any form. The same holds true for those who are allergic to ginger, cardamom, and other herbs and spices that belong to the same family.
Real Benefits from Ginger
While there are several arguments for the benefits of dry ginger versus fresh ginger, the fact is that both have real health benefits. Ginger ale alleviates the symptoms of an upset stomach, while a cup of ginger tea can treat motion sickness, colic, gas, nausea, diarrhea and more. Fresh ginger contains at least two grams of fiber per every 100grams. It also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamins B6 and C, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, and niacin.
Which is better – ginger powder vs fresh ginger?
When ground, the properties of ginger definitely undergo some changes, such as the reduction of gingerol and the increase of shogaols. However, you decide to add this spice to your diet, you will receive nutritional benefits. If possible, it would be best to use a combination of both fresh and dry ginger. Fresh ginger remains potent for a while outside of the refrigerator too. Ginger tea is very popular in India given that it is incredibly healthy and soothing especially in the cold months. Ginger is used across East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Asia as a medicine. Ground ginger finds takers since it is more convenient and stays fresh longer than fresh ginger. It is a great way to add extra nutrition to your food and diet, and even some sinful desserts!
The interesting fact about fresh and dry ginger is that they both affect the body in different ways. Fresh ginger lowers body temperature and thus helps to reduce fever, while dried ginger raises the temperature of the body. Eating crystallized ginger is a great way to feel warm on a chilly day. This form of ginger, when stored properly, can last up to two years!
However, you want to consume it, you should include ginger in your diet since it offers a plethora of health benefits in any form.
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