We’re firm believers over here that, if you’re listening, these bodies of ours may actually communicate what they need. And because I’ve done the exact opposite for some time—ignoring all the signs that my body is totally fed up with me—she’s been a bit of a loud b*tch lately, pardon my French.
See, even though I’m a healthy eater, and I put really nice stuff on my skin, and I exercise regularly—and despite what I sometimes preach—my stress levels have probably been way off the charts for way too many years. I think about fifteen. (My stress is sneaky too because people who don’t know me well think that I’m totally chill, as I quietly churn. Sometimes I even trick myself!) But from aches and pains to hiding periods, my body isn’t really playing ball anymore.
Which is why not too long ago, when I came face to face with a mountain of fresh ginger at the small grocer on my corner, and almost involuntarily reached for one of the gnarled stubs—it gave me pause.
Sure, I knew ginger was healthy, and that ginger tea was good for digestion. But I was unprepared for the barrage of health benefits this strange and spicy root has to offer, some supported by science and others anecdotally.
Just a few that I came across: Ginger does contain powerful digestive enzymes; it also helps the body sweat and detoxify (I can attest!); it’s highly anti-inflammatory; it strengthens the immune system; it reduces nausea and is a common prescription for morning sickness; it’s been shown to help with arthritis; in a study done by Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center ginger powder caused cell death in ALL the ovarian cancer cells it was applied to; in another study it slowed growth of colorectal cancer cells; Chinese medicine uses it to assuage menstrual cramps; Ayurveda tells you to eat it fresh daily and also uses it as medicine; and word on some women’s sites is that it helps bring on hiding periods too. Wouldn’t you know. (I’ll have to report back on that one.)
Lately I’ve been grating some fresh ginger into hot water for tea, and adding it (also grated) into simple warm vegetable dishes with olive oil, lemon and fresh cilantro. It’s delicious, and it seems to help me digest the veggies better. Though that could be a placebo-power-of-suggestion thing too.
Has your body talked to you lately? What has it said? Do you eat ginger?
Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback on this earlier post about my digestion woes. I just wanted to share that since posting I’ve been experimenting with enzymes.
I don’t love the idea of having to take supplements in order to digest my food, but our bodies aren’t always perfect machines, are they?
Perhaps something got thrown out of wack a while ago (I used to be able to digest veggies with ease), or maybe my body just isn’t producing certain enzymes anymore—apparently this happens as we get older. Without the right enzymes, you’re not able to properly absorb nutrients either. Sad! Whatever the case, the pills seem to be working. I take a blended one at each meal, though I imagine it’s the cellulase (which helps with fiber) that is most important for me.
And so far, so good! I’ve been able to enjoy cauliflower, kale, and the other winter treats in my farm box, without the same problems. Here’s hoping that with time my own body will be able to produce the right enzymes for these foods. Until then, I’m sticking to the supplements. Do any of you take enzymes?
It just doesn’t seem right. Why would the food with the most nutrition, the one that makes us look our best, be so hard for some to eat?
A few weeks ago we talked about The China Study, a compelling book that sets about proving how animal protein may be linked to Western diseases. After reading it, I’m more inspired than ever to load up on greens. In fact, I’d be happy to subsist on a plant-based diet alone, as the author proposes, if only I could digest one.
But more often than not, eating veg for many means dealing with a distended belly, gas, and pain. A quick Google search shows this to be a common affliction—do any of you suffer from it?
According to Ayurveda, as someone who is Vata dominant (if you want to know your dosha, revisit this post), I am predisposed to tummy troubles. Many factors may be at play: Time of day seems to matter (afternoon snacking tends to wreak havoc), cold weather definitely aggravates it. But even warm, cooked, vegetables smothered in healthy oils (as Ayurveda recommends for Vatas) can cause problems for this girl.
If you are a fellow sufferer, what have you done to improve your condition? Do you take enzymes? Do you subscribe to the blood type theory? Do you avoid certain vegetables? Do you chew thirty times between bites? Let’s hear it.