If you are looking for ways to add more brain-boosting foods to your diet, you may be wondering if you should try crystallized ginger.
Perhaps you have heard of crystallized ginger, but don’t know exactly what it is. Crystallized ginger is simply a fancy term for what is ginger candy.
What Exactly is Crystallized Ginger?
Crystallized ginger is basically candied ginger that you make by boiling ginger and cooking it with a lot of sugar. You can also use honey instead of granulated sugar. Crystallized ginger is a sweet treat that you can eat on its own, or mix with other baked goods, treats, and desserts.
It is very easy to make, and you can find many instructions and candy ginger recipes online.
If you have a sweet tooth, then eating candied ginger instead of other types of sweets and chocolates may provide a healthier way to get your sugar fix.
Ginger has many health benefits. One of the most well-known benefits of ginger is its ability to calm the stomach and sooth digestion.
How Ginger Benefits the Mind
Ginger has been shown to help boost a neurotransmitter named acetylcholine. Acetylcholine supports our brain in learning and remembering information.
Ginger root is a natural inflammatory that can help reduce free radical damage in the body as well as in the brain. This is due in part to the compound curcumin, found in ginger as well as turmeric, another great natural food that is related to ginger.
With its powerful ability to reduce free radicals and support neurotransmitters, ginger may even help fight Alzheimer’s disease.
The Problem with Eating Crystallized Ginger
Ginger is a great health food to add to your diet, and eating it in the form of candy is one way to easily obtain some of ginger’s many health benefits.
The main problem with eating crystallized ginger is the high sugar content. Of course, eating too much sugar has many health drawbacks, from adding unnecessary calories to your diet that can cause weight gain, to encouraging hyperactivity in children.
It doesn’t take much candied ginger to meet your daily recommend dosage of sugar. For women, this is a max of 6 teaspoons, and for men, a max of 9 teaspoons of sugar. All you need to eat is 50 grams of crystallized ginger to hit 9.5 grams of sugar, just a half a gram more than the daily maximum recommended for adult males.
So, while you can eat crystallized ginger and obtain some health benefits, the downside is the high sugar content. If you eat crystallized ginger, it is best to do so in moderation.
Other, Healthier Ways to Consume Ginger
Fortunately, ginger is not some awful tasting food that you need to mask with sugar in order to enjoy it. Here are some other ways to consume ginger without adding more sugar to your diet:
1. Use Ginger in Your Healthy Food Recipes
Ginger works very well as a spice and can add a lot of flavor to many of your recipes. It works great in stir fries as well as salad dressings. Ginger goes great in curries. It is best to use fresh ginger that you cut up yourself rather than powdered ginger to get the most health benefits.
2. Make Homemade Ginger Tea
While you can buy pre-made, pre-packaged ginger tea at the grocery store, the fresh stuff you can make yourself is a lot more delicious and healthier. Just get some fresh ginger root, cut off a little slice, and boil it in a pot on the stove for about 15 minutes or so. Voila! Fresh ginger tea.
3. Use High Quality Ginger Supplements
If you truly hate the taste of ginger, or want to try adding a lot of extra ginger to your diet, you can buy ginger supplements in the form of capsules and pills. Some of these ginger supplements also come combined with turmeric, to add even more anti-inflammatory power.
Crystallized Ginger: Use in Moderation
Since there are so many great ways to consume ginger without eating a lot of unnecessary sugar, you don’t really need crystallized ginger in your diet. While candied ginger is OK once in a while as a special treat, don’t make it your regular snack. It has too many calories and too much sugar. Instead, opt for ginger in your healthy recipes and enjoy some fresh ginger tea.