A daily cup of tea is not complete without the addition of ginger, also called ‘adrak’ in India. It gives a subtle spice and an invigorating aroma. In addition to its role as a tea flavoring, ginger also has medicinal purposes, providing relief from nausea, digestive problems and common seasonal flu symptoms such as colds and coughs. But the question is which type of ginger is best to use: dried or fresh? Although both dry ginger and fresh ginger offer different health benefits, we sought the advice of an expert to find out which one is better.
What are the benefits of dry ginger
Dry ginger, also called ‘sonth’, is made by drying fresh ginger root and then grinding it into a fine powder. This process involves removing most of the water content and concentrating the flavor and medicinal properties. Here are the benefits of dry ginger, as stated by Dr. Archana Batra, a nutritionist, physiotherapist and certified diabetes educator.
- Improves digestion: Dry ginger is known for its ability to improve digestion. It can ease digestion, reduce flatulence and relieve gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: It contains compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties, which may help manage inflammatory conditions and relieve muscle and joint pain.
- Breathing support: Dry ginger can help relieve breathing problems. It is also commonly used to relieve coughs, colds and sore throats.
Also read:Ginger: 7 reasons why you should add this wonder ingredient to your diet
What are the benefits of fresh ginger?
Fresh ginger, in its raw and natural form, is widely appreciated for its culinary and medicinal properties. It offers a spicy, tart and slightly sweet taste. The benefits of fresh ginger include:
- Anti-nausea: Fresh ginger is known for its anti-nausea properties. It is commonly used to relieve motion sickness, morning sickness during pregnancy, and nausea caused by various conditions. Chewing a small piece of fresh ginger or making ginger tea can be effective.
- Antioxidant content: It is rich in antioxidants, helps fight oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Good for digestion: Like dry ginger, fresh ginger supports digestion by stimulating saliva and bile production, which helps break down food and prevent gastrointestinal upset.
- Remedy for cold: Fresh ginger is also commonly consumed as a remedy for colds and flu, as it can relieve symptoms and strengthen the immune system.
Which is best: dry ginger or fresh ginger?
Contrary to the belief that fresh ginger is better than dried ginger, the reality is the opposite. According to the National Library of Medicine, the drying process of fresh ginger increases antioxidant levels by removing water. However, this does not mean that fresh ginger is completely devoid of antioxidants, but that its antioxidant content decreases when used in cooking.
Additionally, a 2013 study published in PubMed Central studied the effects of fresh and dried ginger on a respiratory virus in human cells. The findings indicate that fresh ginger may help protect the respiratory tract, while dried ginger does not have the same effect.
Also read: Eating too much ginger? You may experience these 5 side effects
Select topics you are interested in and let us customize your feed.
Additionally, Dr. Batra explains that according to Ayurveda, dry ginger helps balance vata, while fresh ginger tends to increase it, potentially causing gas, bloating, and digestive issues. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for dry ginger water or tea instead of fresh ginger water to tackle seasonal flu, colds, coughs and respiratory problems.
Dry ginger is a beneficial choice, but it is important not to completely eliminate fresh ginger from your diet as it still provides valuable benefits. Embrace the benefits of both variants!