Ginger — that funny-looking brown root you find near the potatoes in the produce section — not only has a distinctive flavor but a long history of medicinal uses going back thousands of years. This Asian root is pungent, sweet, spicy, and rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium.
Gingerol, the main compound in ginger, gives the root its spicy kick and has been studied for its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Keeping ginger around during chemotherapy can help reduce the severity of nausea especially the days following your infusions.
Besides the fresh root, ginger can be bought in dried, powdered, and extract form. When buying fresh ginger, choose roots with a lustrous beige skin. They should be firm and plump, with bulbous buds and no wrinkly patches.
If you use ginger a lot, buy a large piece; otherwise, buy small pieces about 3 to 4 inches long—you can break off what you need in the store. Ginger will keep in the fruit drawer of the fridge for 10 days to 2 weeks. Fresh ginger can also be stored in the freezer. It defrosts rather quickly and can be grated into dishes and sauces.
We love using ginger to give dishes a bright and zingy edge, like in our Gingery Carrot & Lentil Soup, an easy-to-prepare dish that combines red lentils, savory caramelized carrots, and thinly sliced gingerroot.
Or try our Fish En Papillote for a quick, nutritious meal of fish fillets, fresh veggies, and ginger baked in a parchment packet. For a supremely soothing way to consume ginger, try our Ginger Tea, a great option if your stomach is feeling upset or find yourself nauseous from chemotherapy.
Sidelining The Side Effects: Nausea
Our founder, Ann Ogden Gaffney, put together this list of her favorite foods she kept on standby to help her during treatment — although she does stress — eat or drink whatever makes you feel better!