Every day, a cup of tea is not complete without the addition of ginger, also referred to as ‘adrak’ in India. It adds a delicate spiciness and a revitalizing fragrance. Apart from being a tea enhancer, ginger is utilized for its medicinal properties, providing relief for nausea, digestive problems, and common seasonal flu symptoms such as colds and coughs. However, the query arises – which type of ginger is preferable to use – dried or fresh? While both dried ginger and fresh ginger offer several health benefits, we sought guidance from an expert to ascertain the superior option.
Advantages of Dried Ginger
Dried ginger, known as “sonth”, is created by dehydrating fresh ginger root and then pulverizing it into a fine powder. This procedure involves eliminating most of the water content and concentrating the flavor and medicinal properties. Here are the benefits of dried ginger, as highlighted by Dr. Archana Batra, a nutritionist, physiotherapist, and certified diabetes educator.
- Enhances digestion: Dried ginger is celebrated for its capability to enhance digestion. It can alleviate indigestion, decrease flatulence, and relieve gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Anti-inflammatory attributes: It consists of compounds with anti-inflammatory characteristics, potentially aiding in managing inflammatory conditions and alleviating muscle and joint pain.
- Supports respiratory function: Dried ginger can assist in alleviating respiratory issues. It is frequently employed to relieve coughs, colds, and sore throats as well.
Advantages of Fresh Ginger?
Fresh ginger, in its raw and natural form, is widely cherished for its culinary and medicinal properties. It offers a zesty, pungent, and slightly sweet flavor. The benefits of fresh ginger encompass:
- Anti-nausea: Fresh ginger is renowned for its anti-nausea properties. It is regularly employed to alleviate motion sickness, morning sickness during pregnancy, and nausea induced by various conditions. Chewing on a small piece of fresh ginger or preparing ginger tea can be effective.
- Antioxidant content: It is rich in antioxidants, aiding in combating oxidative stress and potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
- Beneficial for digestion: Comparable to dried ginger, fresh ginger supports digestion by stimulating saliva and bile production, which aids in breaking down food and preventing gastrointestinal discomfort.
Which is the superior option: dried ginger or fresh ginger?
Contrary to the notion that fresh ginger is superior to dried ginger, the truth is the opposite. As per the National Library of Medicine, the drying process of fresh ginger enhances its antioxidant content by eliminating water. Nonetheless, this does not imply that fresh ginger lacks antioxidants entirely, but its antioxidant levels diminish when used in cooking.
Moreover, a study published in PubMed Central in 2013 researched the impact of fresh and dried ginger on a respiratory virus in human cells. The findings suggest that fresh ginger may aid in safeguarding the respiratory system, whereas dried ginger does not yield the same effect.
Additionally, Dr. Batra explains that in accordance with Ayurveda, dried ginger assists in balancing vata, while fresh ginger tends to elevate it, potentially causing gas, bloating, and digestive problems. Hence, for addressing seasonal flu, cold, cough, and respiratory issues, it is advisable to select dried ginger water or tea over fresh ginger water.
Dried ginger is a favorable choice, but it is important not to completely exclude fresh ginger from your diet, as it still provides valuable benefits. Embrace the advantages of both varieties!