Ginger is a hot trend right now in food flavors. While traditional in many Asian and Indian cuisine, ginger is creeping its way into more common foods.
The root or rhizome of ginger can be eaten fresh, powdered, dried, or in a liquid form. Since small amounts of ginger are used for flavoring, it provides little in the way of calories or nutrients. But, it does contain a long list of anti inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, such as gingerols, beta carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin, and salicylate, that help give ginger its’ reputation as a digestive aid, pain reducer, and inflammation fighting properties.
Ginger has a long history of use for calming nausea, curing motion sickness or loss of appetite. Pregnant women and those enduring cancer treatments have extolled the benefits of ginger in quelling nausea and vomiting. The phenolic compounds in ginger are known to relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate bile and saliva production, and suppress gastric contractions.
Inflammation markers in the colon were found to be reduced by taking capsules of ginger, which researchers in turn associate with reduced levels of colon cancer. Inflammation associated with osteoarthritis appears also to be improved with ginger supplementation.
For Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric patients, ginger can help brighten the flavors of proteins, vegetables, and fruits, which should be the foundation of their weight loss diet. Foods like salmon, chicken, pork, broccoli, apples, carrots, and pumpkin pair nicely with ginger. Protein based foods should be the first priority for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients, but the addition of ginger to chicken, pork, beef or seafood adds little in the way of calories. Ginger can also be made into a tea to sip in between meals that can help bariatric patients get their 64 ounces of fluid to prevent dehydration.
The above Food Highlight is offered by Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA, a bariatric surgeon specializing in laparoscopic and weight loss surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients come from all over South Florida including Boca Raton, Wellington, Coral Springs, Miami, Palm Beach, and Orlando. His bariatric surgery patients are often seeking information on foods that can be incorporated into their post surgical diets that are low in calories and help boost the nutritional quality of their post bariatric surgery diets.