Health

The Spice That Will Keep You Warm All Winter

And how to get more of it.

If you don’t already have some in your fridge, ginger is the aromatic spice you need to get your hands on if you struggle with winter chills. Not only does ginger help to warm you up from the inside out, it also has other health benefits that are particularly useful this time of year. Check them out below.

Fights colds and the flu.

A ginger-spiked drink can help shore up your immune defenses within three hours, report experts from the American Medical Association. Credit goes to potent antiviral compounds that double the production of the proteins lining the lungs, making breathing easier and helping to quickly eliminate viruses.

Nixes GI issues.

Compounds in ginger can help ease indigestion and prevent stomach upset. So say Taiwanese researchers, who found that ginger triggers muscle contractions to speed the passage of food through the GI tract, preventing post-meal bloat and nausea. The payoff: Study subjects who took ginger capsules digested their food 30% faster than those who were given a placebo, reducing the likelihood of stomach woes.

Eases aches and pains.

Enjoying just one teaspoon of ginger daily relieves chronic aches and stiffness in 63 percent of sufferers in just one week, according to research in the Journal of Arthritis. The reason: The gingerols suppress the production of enzymes responsible for pain-triggering inflammation.

So if you’re ready to start getting some more ginger into your daily routine, check out these three delicious recipes that will help get you there.

Green Tea Contentment

Ingredients

  • 2 green tea bags
  • 4 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

Instructions

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add tea bags and remaining ingredients; steep 5 min. Strain into mugs. Garnish as desired. Makes 2 servings.

Holiday-Spiced Apple Zinger

Ingredients

  • 2 apple cider tea bags
  • 4 slices fresh ginger
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 Tbs. honey

Instructions

In small pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add tea bags and next 3 ingredients; remove from heat. Steep 5 min. Strain into mugs. Stir in honey. Garnish as desired. Makes 2 servings.

Hibiscus-Honey Joy

Ingredients

  • 2 hibiscus tea bags
  • 4 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Instructions

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add tea bags and remaining ingredients. Remove from heat; steep 5 min. Strain into mugs; garnish as desired. Makes 2 servings.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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