Ginger to the Rescue!

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Got cold symptoms? Trying to keep the cold or flu at bay? Then consider adding in fresh ginger root to your daily routine, especially around the holidays, for a whole foods approach to cold and flu prevention.

by Selva Wohlgemuth

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Happy Belly Nutrition

Ginger root is a very safe and effective tool to use during the cold fall and winter months. Gingerols are the most studied active component of ginger root that are associated with both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial (both viral and bacterial) properties thereby reducing pain and soreness and while fighting off infections. This combination makes ginger root a prime tool come cold and flu season.

Not only can ginger help directly fight off bacterial and viral infections, but it can also help stimulate the immune system to better fight off current infections. This powerful combination allows for quicker symptom relief and recovery. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger root may help reduce discomfort including body aches and sore throats. Don’t be surprised if other areas of your body feel less pain too — think menstrual cramps, joint pain, and more.

Fresh ginger root provides more antioxidant activity than dried, but both can be used to help ward of cold symptoms. However, fresh ginger root is my preferred way to use this root — not only for the health benefits but also for the flavor. Fresh ginger root is spicier and more pungent than dried, and overall, more warming. When combined with raw, local honey you get added anti-microbial benefits as well as some sweetness.

Let me share with you two easy ways to add therapeutic doses of fresh ginger root to your daily cold prevention routine.