Ginger root, a key ingredient in many Asian dishes, can be prepared in many ways. Its strong and spicy flavor is enhanced via one method of preparing ginger -- to pickle it in a solution of vinegar and several other seasonings. Research does not entirely support the presumed benefits of eating pickled ginger but many herbalists believe that it does offer several health benefits.
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Source of Nutrients
Ginger, including pickled ginger, isn't usually consumed in large quantities making its nutritional value minimal. A 1 oz. serving of ginger root provides slightly less than 5 percent of the daily recommended value of potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin B6. Cooking or pickling ginger may reduce the nutrients.
Ginger, in many forms, is used to reduce digestive ailments like gas and nausea. Whether the ginger root is truly effective or not has yet to be proven, but many who have tried it have found it useful. The World's Healthiest Foods suggests that the root contains antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory compounds that improve gastrointestinal distress. Motion sickness and morning sickness in pregnancy may be reduced by consuming any form of ginger, including pickled ginger. The pungent odor and taste of the root make it difficult for some individuals to consume when experiencing nausea and vomiting.
Pickled ginger is served with Asian dishes, such as sushi, as a palate cleanser. The root is eaten in between pieces of the raw fish or similar cuisine to improve the culinary experience. A palate cleanser works by resetting the taste buds to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed or desensitized to the taste of the item. Eating several bites of the same food results in the taste becoming monotonous or less impressive. Eating pickled ginger in between bites or before switching to a different dish can prevent this from happening.
Other Health Benefits
Ginger is thought to lower cholesterol, reduce the production of cancer cells and reduce inflammation with ailments like arthritis. The research has yet to support these ideas according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Studies have shown the root to have no better impact than a placebo.