Ginger’s Antioxidant Properties
Many of you will, no doubt, have encountered the term “Superfood” in recent years. There seems to be at least one fruit, vegetable or drink derivative touted each year as the ideal source of vitamins and nutrients, a product that will cure this or prevent that. Well, I’m not going to make this claim about ginger but I will attempt to make the case for ginger’s antioxidant properties and qualities.
Let’s begin by establishing what an antioxidant is. An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules (source: Wikipedia). The oxidation process can produce free radicals which, in turn, can start a chain reaction which will cause damage to cells. Antioxidants prevent the chain reactions by removing these free radicals.
So what does this have to do with ginger? Well, all food stuffs have what is called an antioxidant value. This value determines the antioxidant capacity of different foods, vitamins, nutrients and supplements.The value for raw ginger root, in ORAC units (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), is 14,840 µmol TE/100g. The ORAC unit is expressed in micromoles of Trolox Equivalents per 100 grams of sample. The value for ground ginger is an impressive 28,811 µmol TE/100g. The antioxidant values range from cloves (314,446) and oregano (200,129) to raw tomatoes (367) and watermelon (142).
But what makes ginger far better than cloves and oregano is its shear versatility. Yes, you can add cloves and oregano to a number of dishes and products but can you add them to the wide range of dishes and products which ginger can be found in? I think that you will find that the answer is an emphatic no!