Superfood Trio: Ginger, Turmeric, and Carrots
“Superfood” goes for every vegetable, fruit, spice or any food which has proven to possess capabilities which separate them from the other foods among their rank. Turmeric, ginger, and carrots are three superfoods which have far outdistanced from the other foods. In case the third one surprises you, we provide summation of all of their characteristics and the potential they offer.
They all share potent antioxidants which are able to fight many diseases, and those who consume them, especially together, have lowered risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and all other minor ailments such as inflammation and pain.
Turmeric and ginger are part of the same Zingiberacea botanical family. Besides being used in the kitchen, both of them have been used as potent remedies for various diseases, for millennia. When used together, such as in ginger-turmeric tea, these two foods are exceptionally powerful.
The benefits of every food, including these ones, can’t be obtained through drug or supplement made from them, but through the food themselves. Ginger and turmeric are surprisingly not expensive, even if they are organic. The combination of these 3 superfoods offers delicious taste, which is one more reason to combine them. But now, we’ll discuss more about the separate benefits of these three superfoods.
This food is a tropical and subtropical rhizome, so the spice is contained in the root, and not in the leaves (though they are also used in East Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine).
Turmeric is popular for its healing properties, but the curry and yellow hue produced from it, is what it gives Chinese and Indian dishes their unique piquancy. Its roots are used for the propagation process, since it doesn’t have seeds.
The main active ingredient of turmeric, responsible for its incredible medicinal properties is the compound curcumin, which has been proved to possess about 150 separate therapeutic benefits. Some of them are protecting the heart, improving the immune system, and moderating the influence of autoimmune diseases.
These are couple of more benefits from ingested turmeric:
- Alzheimer’s disease. According to researchers, turmeric is capable to reverse dementia and cognitive decline (1). One research was conducted on three patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and they received turmeric powder capsules for a period of 12 weeks. The patients showed significant improvement with reduced symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (2).
- Heart health. Curcumin supplements taken on a daily basis, are considered to improve the heart health in the same way as aerobic exercise, according to Japanese studies.
- Joint pain. This spice helps to relieve the arthritis caused stiffness.
- AIDS. According to many studies, turmeric has significant potential for people with AIDS, since it is antimicrobial and antioxidant. Moreover, researchers showed that turmeric can hinder enzymes and proteins which promote infections, decrease infected cells, heal skin wounds, and can stop multiplication of infected T-cells avoiding the side effects caused by the conventional medicine (3).
- Epilepsy. Researchers have also discovered that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has a neuroprotective effect on epilepsy and similar disorders.
However, when curcumin is ingested it isn’t quickly absorbed in the body, so its benefits come a bit later. But studies have shown that its absorption can be hastened when used in combination with a tsp of a fat like flaxseed or coconut oil, or a cup of tea.
Ginger originally comes from Asia, and Roman traders have later spread it to Europe as a flavor enhancer and medicine. It is the part of the underground stem, which is why it is called ginger root.
Ginger is one of the most used spices on a global level, as it is aromatic with a pleasantly stimulating essence. The tea made from a couple of thin ginger slivers provides incredible healing benefits. The powder form of ginger is added in many foods like cookies, soups, and stir fries.
Gingerol is the most important compound in ginger, which is also responsible for its fragrance. One article explains that many studies have suggested that ginger extract is more effective in the cancer treatment than chemo, and selectively destroys only the cancerous cells, not harming the healthy ones. Moreover, it can as well prevent the cancer development from precancerous cells.
These are couple of more benefits from ginger:
- Inflammation. Ingesting ginger, adding it as a spice on foods, and drinking ginger tea helps reduce the pain from more types of arthritis. There were several studies whose participants showed improved movement and agility, reduced muscle soreness and swelling, like knee pain, when they regularly consumed ginger.
- Nausea. Not only that ginger is known to help digestion and soothe colic, it is also known to help in releasing nausea in cases of motion sickness, morning sickness, seasickness, and even chemotherapy and patients after surgery. As George Mateljan Foundation explains, ginger is considered as an excellent intestinal spasmolytic (soothing and relaxing the intestinal tract), and carminative (promoting intestinal gas elimination). Moreover, one study proved that ginger is much more effective than Dramamine (4) .
- Diabetes. 41 participants in a study about the ginger effects on blood sugar levels, confirmed that just 2 grams of ground ginger reduced the fasting blood sugar by 12%.
- Memory. In a two month research, 60 healthy women at their middle ages received either placebo or ginger extract. Researchers noted that this plant extract improved the cognitive processing capabilities and attention of the participants with no side-effects.
Carrots are delicious crunchy snack and addition to many hearty dishes, but you should limit their consumption, as carrots contain a lot of sugar. Nevertheless, when they are consumed as part of a healthy diet, carrots offer numbers of health benefits. Our body doesn’t produce carrots’ most prominent nutrient, beta-carotene, which is another reason to include them in your diet.
As one article explains, this significant nutrient regulates the skin cell growth, maintains eye vision, as well as healthy respiratory tract, and helps control the protein production. Moreover, beta-carotene as well as all other carotenoids, provide antioxidant properties (5).
They contain beneficial vitamins like vitamin A, C, B6, and K, many minerals, and phytonutrients like anthocyanins and lutein which all together provide incredible health boosting effects. As researchers explain, the lifespan is extended with carotenoids consumption. These are some of the carrots’ health benefits:
Antioxidants. The George Mateljan Foundation explains that the antioxidants in carrots function together, supplying our body with incredible cardiovascular benefits which wouldn’t be provided if these antioxidants were separated and consumed individually (6).
Heart disease. Netherlands study which focused on the foods’ colors, and which lasted 10 years, proved that carrots are beneficial in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The analyzed food colors were purple/red, green, and yellow/orange. The yellow/orange one showed to possess most beneficial properties, including reduced risk of heart disease. Those who consumed more carrots showed 32% reduced risk of a heart disease.
Cancer. Falcarindiol, falcarinol and other phytonutrients in carrots were proved to prevent inflammation, most probably because they clump red blood cells to stop the risk of full-scale cancerous tumors development.
Vision. Carrots are said to keep the eye vision, as their beta-carotenes convert to the important vitamin A, so carrots consumption is especially recommended for those with vitamin A deficiency (8). Moreover, beta-carotenes are proved to protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.
Superfoods Are Cancer Killers
These 3 superfoods are said to be effective in the prevention and treatment of several cancer types, according to some studies.
Its medicinal attributes have been well known for thousands of years. Nevertheless, a great number of epidemiological, in vivo, and in vitro studies offer substantial proof that along with its active substances, ginger is effective against all sorts of human diseases, including various GI cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, and cholangiocarcinoma (9).
The active compound of turmeric has been proved to be effective chemopreventive compound, and current human trials use it to prevent cancer. The curcumin’s mechanism of action is multifunctional and complex. It has been proved to possess iron chelator properties (10).
Add couple of cups of carrots in a several tbsp. of water, and steam until they become tender-crisp. Then, add sea salt to taste, couple of tsp. of butter, ½ tsp of grated ginger, and ½ tsp of grated turmeric. You can serve whole or mash lightly.