Ginger: The Wonder Root

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 11.27.04 PMWhen you hear ginger, what do you think? It being Christmas season and all, images of gingerbread men and gingerbread houses just might come to mind, but there’s a lot more to ginger than just being a yummy spice to add to your Christmas treats. The ginger root is truly a miracle root that deserves a lot more appreciation than it gets.

Ginger is a very powerful anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation in your body only leads to diseases, including cancer. By removing inflammation in your body, ginger prevents the growth and spread of cancer cells that would result in cancerous tumors, but that’s not all. Not only does ginger prevent cancer from forming, it has also been shown to induce apoptosis in cancer cells, which means it causes cancer cells to kill themselves. Can you get any better than that?! Ginger both fights cancer and prevents it! Wow, that alone makes me a HUGE fan of ginger. But wait…there’s more!

Ginger’s anti-inflammatory abilities also make it a powerful natural pain reliever for both chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, and occasional aches and pains, such as headaches and colds, while also boosting your immunity. Why would you take some synthetic pain reliever with nasty side effects when you could just get some freshly juiced ginger at the juice bar and not only feel better, but promote your health in many other ways as well? It seems like a pretty obvious choice to me.

Ginger is even good for your heart and circulation. Its anti-inflammatory components keep your arteries from swelling, resulting in clear blood flow. Ginger even has aspects that prevent platelets from building up in your arteries and stimulates the release of adrenaline, which not only strengthens your heart, but gives you energy. The amazing clean feeling energy ginger gives me is why I started taking ginger shots to begin with, before I knew about its multitude of other benefits. There’s no need for caffeine when you have a superfood like ginger to give you energy, and it’s an energy that doesn’t include a crash like caffeine does. You see why ginger has become my new best friend.

Now for ginger’s most famous claim to fame as a health food: ginger is the king of digestion. Ginger contains special enzymes that improve digestion by easing the entire process. By doing this, ginger also helps you to better absorb the nutrients of the foods you’re eating. With ginger, your digestive system can function like never before!

Ginger is so soothing to the digestive system, that it is also great for any type of nausea from motion sickness to morning sickness to nausea caused by chemotherapy treatments. Even better, only a small amount is needed to get rid of nausea symptoms. With ginger a little goes a long way, but in this case there is no such thing as too much of a good thing. The more the better, I say.

Ginger is packed with very powerful free radical scavenging antioxidants that do amazing things for you. They do everything from preventing the growth of cancer cells, as I mentioned before, to preventing and even cleaning up plagues that build up in the brain causing horrible brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

And finally, if I haven’t listed enough reasons why you should be running (not walking) to the juice bar for some freshly juiced ginger, here’s one more for you: ginger has been shown to be an effective treatment for asthma. Ginger includes compounds that can help soothe asthma symptoms. Is there anything this root can’t do?

The best part is, it’s so easy to include ginger in your diet. I find fresh ginger to be the most potent, so I like to include it in my juices at the juice bar, as well as indulge in a straight ginger shot when I really need some quick energy or am feeling some digestive distress, although just including it in your drink should also do the trick. I have noticed an increase lately in people asking for ginger shots, and I applaud you for that. Sure, straight ginger is not exactly pleasing to the palette, but I think that a minute of a strong taste in my mouth is definitely worth how it makes me feel and the benefits it gives me.

Like I said earlier though, you can also get ginger’s health benefits simply by adding it to your juice. I love the zip it gives any juice you add it to. I’m sure right now some of you are saying “but I don’t like ginger”. Well maybe you should just give it another chance. When I first started working at the juice bar I thought I also wasn’t a big fan of ginger, but the more I drank it, the more I liked the taste of it. I was also so impressed by how great it made me feel that I think I would’ve continued to drink it no matter how it tasted. Luckily though, the taste really grew on me, and I am now a huge ginger fan.

Ginger is even already included in some of our juice blends such as the Well Being , the Mood Lifter, and the Cold Buster. So come and take a spin in the wild world of ginger. I promise you won’t regret it!

What on Earth is Kombucha?

CumberlandTUJWhat is Kombucha? (you say it like kom-boo-cha) This is a question I have been getting a lot lately. To put it very simply, Kombucha tea is just tea (typically black or green), sugar, water, and a starter culture known as either a mushroom because of its mushroom-like shape, or as a SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, fermented together. Now I know all that doesn’t sound very appetizing, but don’t be scared off just yet. Kombucha has a multitude of health benefits and tastes yummy too! What more could you want? Unlike other fermented beverages, Kombucha has only trace amounts of alcohol (around 1%) and almost no sugar because the sugar is what the yeast feeds on during the fermentation process.

The list of health benefits from Kombucha seems limitless so I’ll just mention a few here for you. As with other fermented foods, Kombucha is a great source of probiotics. Probiotics do wonderful things for the digestive system, and as everyone should know, the health of your digestive system is key to your overall health, so any step you can take to improve its health, the better. Also, if your digestive system is functioning better, you have a better chance at losing excess weight as well.

Kombucha also helps to alkalize the body and balance your inner PH level. Most people’s bodies are far too acidic due to the high amount of acidic things we consume on a daily basis. It is literally a miracle and a testament to the power of the human body that drinking one soda alone (which is insanely acidic) doesn’t make you drop dead. You’ll understand this once you learn how important the PH level is in our bodies, which I’ll write about in a future post. In fact, many diseases can only take hold in an acidic environment, including cancer. Since Kombucha is alkalizing, it helps to bring your PH level down to a healthier, less acidic level.

Thanks to some of the great organic acids found in Kombucha, such as glucaric acid, Kombucha is a wonderful aid in the detoxification of our bodies. It helps the liver expel toxins that would otherwise continue to be cycled through your body multiple times before they would be secreted. Of course detoxifying the body also helps to prevent or reverse pretty much all illnesses, including cancer. Kombucha also contains high amounts of glucosamines which help your body maintain healthy joints.

Many people have reported going from barely being able to walk to walking for miles with no pain after consuming Kombucha for an extended period of time. You see glucosamines enhance the production of hyaluronic acid, which is an acid that helps to preserve cartilage in the body. Healthy cartilage equals healthy joints, but keep in mind that in order to receive such results you must make it a part of your daily regime for a decent amount of time. Don’t expect any overnight miracles now!

Of course one of my favorite reasons to drink Kombucha is the increased energy it gives me. This is mostly due to the B vitamins found in Kombucha, and although most of the sugar is consumed by the yeast during the fermentation process, what little remains is broken down to its most basic level, fructose. Since it is already broken down to its simplest form, your body can immediately use it for energy. This basic form of sugar found in Kombucha also helps to kick start your metabolism. If you’re really looking for an energy boost you should definitely try the local Kombucha we sell with added ginger. Those two together are a powerhouse of natural energy. When I drink one I feel like I’m wide awake, full of energy, and ready to face the world!

Kombucha is also a great replacement for soda for those of us (like me) who like carbonated beverages, and Kombucha is naturally carbonated at that! If you replace your soda intake with Kombucha not only will you drastically reduce your sugar intake, but you will also be doing something great for your health. Win-win right?

Well, I could go on and on all day talking about how wonderful Kombucha is, but haven’t I said enough already? There is no excuse to not drink Kombucha. If price is your excuse (because let’s face it, it’s not super cheap) then look into home brewing. It’s surprisingly simple and inexpensive to make yourself. It doesn’t even cost you a fraction as much as store bought does. So if you’re thinking of making Kombucha a part of your regular diet, then I’d recommend making your own, which you can learn to do with a simple internet search. Now I will leave you with a couple of final tips: don’t think something’s wrong with your Kombucha if you see “stuff” floating in it or resting on the bottom. Those are the natural healthy cultures that are supposed to be there and are chocked full of goodness. Finally, don’t shake Kombucha! It’s carbonated, remember? Instead just give it a nice and gentle rock back and forth, slowly. And now that you are well versed on Kombucha, go on, give it a try!