autumn gingered stew
Recently at the Functional Nutrition Alliance (FxNA) we’ve been welcoming a good number of clients with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) into our fold. The major types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis—both considered autoimmune conditions where the immune system attacks tissues and cells in the sensitive lining of the digestive system.
Autoimmune conditions are tricky to address and the nuances of tending to them are all too often overlooked, by patients and practitioners alike.
Yet at FxNA autoimmunity is one of our passions and our specialties.
Mostly because I too harbor an autoimmune imbalance. This has lead me down the path of extensive research (the book and the clinical sort) and you’ll see me writing and speaking about these chronic imbalances often.
While I’ve focused on the health benefits and inclusion of ginger on the FxNA pages before, first with this yummy Tahini Ginger Dressing and also the ever favorite DIY Chai, today I’d like to highlight the anti-inflammatory magic of ginger.
You see, ginger is one of our anti-inflammatory heroes—great for those of us with any inflammatory, autoimmune or chronic health conditions!
And prolonged inflammation and consequent tissue damage—whether it be to the digestive system as in IBD or other organ systems, like the nervous system in MS or the thyroid in Hashimoto’s—are signature characteristics of autoimmune conditions.
With autoimmunity quickly on the rise, I advocate incorporating our culinary anti-inflammatory medicinals, like ginger, wherever and whenever we can.
But it’s not just the immune system that can be helped by this hero. Try this weekend stew and be sure to read on to glean all of ginger’s goodness.
P.S. I could eat buckets of this stew and I love the other ginger recipes included above. Have a favorite recipes that features ginger? Share it with us on the FxNA Facebook page. I’m always looking for more ginger-inspired recipes ideas and welcome the conversation and inspiration.
gingery miso fish stew
In our house, we’re fans of soup any time of year. There’s been a nasty bug circulating around these parts of the Pacific Northwest—complete with aches, chills and sore throats. This light stew will do the trick to alleviate what ails you as the weather shifts, but ginger is particularly healing this time of year. Pungent flavors like ginger are great for digestion and soothe the fire, particularly the fires of inflammation. September is here and soup’s on!
- 1 Tbspn coconut oil
- 1 onion, sliced into half moons
- ½ tspn sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 large carrots, coarsely chopped
- 3 Tbspn minced ginger
- 8 cups filtered water or stock (vegetable or chicken)
- 3 cups zucchini, cut into matchsticks
- 4 cups loosely chopped spinach
- 1 ½ pounds fresh halibut, rock fish, or other white fish cut into 1-inch cubes
- Juice of 2 limes
- ½ cup coconut aminos
- 3 Tbspn chickpea miso
- 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
In a large pot, heat coconut oil on medium heat. Add onion and sea salt and sauté until completely soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, and ginger and sauté another few minutes until fragrant. Add water or stock and bring to a boil.
Simmer for 15 minutes and then add zucchini and spinach.Simmer for 5–7 minutes more.
Add fish and simmer another 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Add lime juice and coconut aminos.
In a small dish, place miso and add some of the warm stock from the soup, stirring until thinned. Add miso back to the soup, stir in cilantro, and serve warm.
recipe created by Andrea Livingston for the Functional Nutrition Alliance
Ginger has been considered a culinary medicinal for thousands of years and played an important role in traditional Chinese and Indian healing modalities. It’s been used cross-culturally to abate inflammation and pain, especially in the digestive tract.
Many of us are aware of the use of ginger for quelling nausea and a queasy stomach. In fact, clinical studies have shown it to be more effective than several over-the-counter anti-nausea medications.
While ginger is touted for its use in addressing several inflammatory conditions, from asthma to influenza to fibrocystic breasts, today my focus is on inflammation in the digestive system, which will affect every other system in the body. Digestive inflammation may appear in the form of gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn or reflux.
Ginger helps to fight this inflammation, cleanse the colon and reduce spasms and cramps. It assists in remedying sores and wounds, which can appear on the inner skin of your digestive tract, as well as your outer skin.
There have been several studies measuring the inflammatory markers of mice with IBD. One study showed the ginger lowered those inflammatory compounds up to 73%!
And for those with kidney stones or who take anticoagulants, please tread more lightly with the ginger, keeping it to your culinary purposes only.
Your comments and feedback are always welcome. Is there an ingredient you'd like to learn more about? Is there a nutrition class you always wish existed? Let me know!