What light brown food has a funny shape, pungent flavor, and helps maintain bone density? This spicy food shows up this time of year in holiday cookies and cakes, and it just so happens to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. (Hint: it’s not cinnamon.)
A delicious way to build your bones is with…
Ginger, the Root with a Punch
Gingerbread, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread houses…just the thought of ginger evokes images of the holidays. But ginger is used in a wide range of cuisines and dishes, from stir-fries to soups and much more. Ginger has known medicinal qualities, and is often used as an anti-nausea herb – you can get ginger tablets to prevent motion sickness, for instance – and it does work well for this purpose. Ginger also has anti-bacterial properties, and has been shown to be an effective treatment for ulcers1.
But when it comes to bone health, it is ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties that make it such a powerful ally in promoting bone density. Scientific studies have indicated that ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory:
“Ginger modulates biochemical pathways activated in chronic inflammation,” concludes one study2 published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
In other words, ginger helps halt the body processes that lead to inflammation. And this is important for bone health, because…
Inflammation Damages Your Bones
Chronic inflammation is bad for your bone health, which is why we’re looking at this anti-inflammatory spice more closely.
While acute inflammation has a role in bone healing, chronic inflammation is a different story. Chronic inflammation has been shown in studies3 to reduce bone density, and research has implicated inflammation in the development of osteoporosis.4
So how can you bring inflammation under control? Reach for this knobby root, which you may have overlooked many times in your grocery store’s produce department. You can also use dried ginger, found in your store’s spice aisle. Then use it to make this sweet holiday treat that’s both sugar-free and 100% alkalizing. The “secret” ingredient is…
Stevia: The Guilt-Free Sweetener
You’ll notice that the recipe below uses stevia. You’ll also notice that the recipe calls for a mere ¼ teaspoon. This is because stevia is much sweeter than sugar, so you only need a little.
Bone-Building Banana Ginger Pudding
2 large bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (you can adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (you can adjust to taste)
1/4 teaspoon stevia
1/4 cup almond milk or your favorite milk substitute
Top with chopped almonds
1. In a small pot, mix all ingredients except almond milk, stevia, and almonds. Heat at low temperature until hot.
2. Remove pot from heat. Add stevia to almond milk and combine it with the banana mixture.
3. Stir for a minute or two until the mixture takes on a pudding-like consistency.
4. Top with almonds and serve warm.
Give Your Bones a Gift
Alkalizing and anti-inflammatory, there’s no doubt that ginger is good for your bones. In fact, ginger is featured in a tasty stir-fry recipe in the Recipe Sampler, which is part of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. So give your bones a gift this season, and include ginger on your holiday table!
1 Khusthtar M., et al. “Positive Effect of Ginger oil on Aspirin and Pylorus Ligation-Induced Gastric Ulcer model in Rats.”Indian J. Pharm Sci. 2009 Sep;71(5):554-8. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20502577
2 Grzanna, R., et al. “Ginger – an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions.” Journal of Medicinal Food. 2005 Summer; 8(2): 125-32. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16117603 )
3 Paganelli, M., et al. “Inflammation is the main determinant of low bone density in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.” Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2007 April; 13(4): 416-23. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17206686
4 McLean, RR. “Proinflammatory cytokines and osteoporosis.” Current Osteoporosis Reports. 2009 Dec.; (7)4: 134-9. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19968917