Since ancient times, ginger has been commonly used all over the world as a cooking ingredient and spice.
In Singapore, ginger can be found in supermarkets and markets throughout the year and is used in a variety of dishes. “Ginger Chicken,” a dish combining grated ginger with steamed chicken is popular as one of Singapore’s signature dishes.
Originally cultivated in Asia beginning around 300 B.C., it is believed that ginger was transported to Japan from China sometime between the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Ginger thrives in warm, humid regions, and is currently widely cultivated throughout southeast Asia, Africa, and Central America in addition to Japan.
Recently, unique components of ginger have been found to have positive effects on weight loss and beauty, and foods containing ginger have gained popularity with women. In addition to dietary and cosmetic effects, ginger is known to have a medicinal effect including relief of pain and nausea. Especially in China, ginger is said to be a cure for all kinds of diseases and approximately 70 percent of Chinese medications contain ginger.
Unique components of ginger
- Raw ginger contains a large amount of gingerol. It is known for its strong antiseptic properties.
- Shogaol is produced when ginger is heated (from a dehydration reaction) and is a variation of a polyphenol known for its strong antioxidant effect. Aside from have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, it is also known to improve circulation in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Zingerone is a unique component of the pungency of ginger. Zingerone is formed when gingerol is broken down. It is known for its function of breaking down fat.
It is said that you can expect the following results from ginger’s special components:
1) Improved circulation
- Counteracts “chills” which cause a variety of illnesses and boosts the immune system.
(It is said that increasing body temperature by 1℃ will improve immunity by 30%)
- Improves energy and metabolism, and promotes perspiration.
2) Antiseptic effect
- Prevents the reproduction of viruses
(It is said that ginger is served with sushi and sashimi because it has this sterilizing effect.)
3) Improved Digestion/Analgesic Properties
- Strengthens the intestinal tract
- Relieves nausea, etc.
(It is known to have effect on morning sickness that occurs in early pregnancy or motion sickness)
- Relieves pain from menstrual cramps and arthritis
- Moderates coughs and phlegm
4) Beauty and Dietary Effect
- Prevents blemishes and wrinkles
- Reduces the absorption of carbohydrates and fats
- Promotes the breakdown and burning of fats
Ginger needs to be prepared in different ways in order to utilize the benefits of each component to its full effect. For example, for improved antibacterial effect, ginger should be raw but for improved diet or beauty effect, it should be heated. It is best to directly consume the properly prepared ginger for the desired effect.
The target daily consumption level for ginger is 10 grams. To improve the effect of the polyphenol shogaol, it is most effective to take small doses several times a day. One good method is ginger tea, which has recently become popular. It has been introduced on Japanese informational television shows and many of you have probably heard talk of celebrities that habitually drink ginger tea for dietary or health purposes.
Drinking warm ginger tea promotes perspiration and you can expect a positive effect on weight loss. Also, tea polyphenol is and antioxidant which prevents blemishes and wrinkles and can also be attributed to preventing cancer and lifestyle related diseases.
Ginger tea is simple to make. Simply add grated ginger to warm tea and you are finished (the amount of ginger you add is up to your personal tastes, but 20 grams of ginger per teapot is considered best). You can also use prepackaged grated ginger or dried ginger, but for the best results, we recommend the use of freshly grated raw ginger. If you want to add a little sweetness, you can try adding honey or brown sugar.
In Singapore, packages of ginger tea bags or instant mixes are sold at supermarkets or you can find stall owners selling the drink.
In order to promote your health and beauty, why not try introducing ginger into your daily life?
Persons with food allergies may have negative or dangerous reactions to this product. Before consumption, please be sure to carefully read the product label.
The “Samsui Ginger Chicken” from SOUP RESTAURANT.
SOUP RESTAURANT, a traditional Singaporean restaurant, is a chain with approximately 15 branches throughout the country. The “Samsui Ginger Chicken”—a dish of steamed chicken with ginger sauce that is eaten wrapped in lettuce—is one of the restaurants main menu items. It is a reproduction of the dish eaten by poor, female Chinese immigrant laborers (samsui) during the Chinese New Year. Children and adults alike love the perfect pairing of the ginger flavoring and the steamed chicken.