Saturday, October 23, 2010

Taken from Tips at RealAge.com

Get Natural Pain Relief with Ginger

What puts the zing in gingerbread, spices up pumpkin pie, settles your stomach, and eases your aches and pains? Not your mom alone. Add ginger.
More versatile than a Swiss Army Knife, ginger tastes great in everything from stir-fries and mulled cider to marinades and fruit salad. Its complex flavor profile (yeah, we've been watching the Food Network while pedaling our bikes!) hides a quartet of substances that battle pain much like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do (aspirin, ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs). The foursome: gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone. You don't have to remember these geeky names, but if you do they're fun to trot out at a party.
These compounds inhibit an enzyme that ratchets up pain and inflammation. Ginger even quiets nerve fibers that send pain signals. Ginger may lower your cancer risk, too.
How much does it take? Just 1 teaspoon of raw or cooked ginger a day can reduce postworkout muscle aches 25%.Taking two 30-milligram ginger extract capsules could reduce arthritis-related knee pain. Pretty neat tricks for an old-fashioned spice rack staple. If your dried ginger has been sitting on the shelf since last year's holiday baking blitz, you may be better off starting fresh. Really fresh: A knobby ginger root from the produce department will keep for a few weeks in the fridge or 6 months in your freezer. Peel . . . grate . . . ahhh . . .
Do you know what to do with that knobby root? Watch this.

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