Like most Americans I’ve traditionally reached for a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Lately though, I’ve been replacing that with ginger tea.
If you google the health benefits of ginger you’re going to see a lot of claims – some of them certainly exaggerated. One that isn’t though is that it assists in regulating digestion.
My metabolism operates extremely slowly. Without getting too graphic, that means it takes me a long time to digest food. This long processing time is what makes me well equipped to survive in times of scarcity: because food moves slowly through my digestive system there is plenty of time for my system to seek out and absorb every possible calorie.
In contrast, someone with a poor or fast-functioning metabolism whose system moves food through quickly isn’t going to absorb all (or even most) of the calories they eat. There simply isn’t time to before the food gets dumped right out again. This is what causes the phenomenon of my average body weight husband who eats far more calories than I do.
Although my metabolism equips me well for survival in times of famine, it isn’t so useful a trait for someone already living in an obesogenic environment.
I’ve noticed that drinking ginger tea each morning helps to regulate and speed up the system. Also, since I eat an extremely high vegetable and fiber diet (and healthy foods are notoriously more difficult to digest) it prevents gas bubbles from forming. Also useful.
To the tea I add fresh lemon juice because lemon is packed with all sorts of useful vitamins. I don’t take a vitamin pill, but rather deliberately eat the vitamins and nutrients I need, and lemon is a part of that daily practice.
Lastly, I add a tablespoon of raw, locally sourced honey* to the mix. In theory, because you’re eating a little local pollen when you do this, it can help to immunize you against seasonal allergies. That seems like a reasonable theory to me, but even if it’s not true – the honey just helps the drink to taste good. Lemon and ginger are both assertive flavors that can use taming.
So, if you are interested, here’s how to make my morning beverage of choice:
Health Tonic Ginger Tea
Peel 1 large or 2 small chunks of raw ginger root, rinse and then slice them into small pieces.
Boil the ginger (at a low, rolling boil) for about twenty to thirty minutes in about 60 oz. of water. The finished tea will be a golden color and you should have roughly five servings. Store the extra in the fridge.
To a 12 oz. mug of hot tea, squeeze in half the juice of a fresh lemon and then stir in 1 tablespoon of raw, locally sourced honey*.
Note: Cinnamon has also been recommended to me as a tasty ginger tea additive, but I haven’t personally tried that yet.
*If you live in my area and happen to pass one of their honey-selling wagons, I recommend buying from these guys. Their product tastes awesome and they are super-nice!