Foods for Recovery: Ginger


I LOVE ginger – in face there’s several ginger recipes in the book because it is such a favourite of mine. Warming, spicy, comforting – but also a zingy addition to lots of savoury dishes, this versatile spice is actually packed with health benefits which makes it the perfect recovery food. I’ve listed a few of its many qualities below which are relevant to recovery – I’m sure they’ll surprise you!

  1. Anti-inflammatory – Handily-titled Gingerols, found in Ginger, help to reduce inflammation and therefore help with mobility and joint pain, especially in people with Osteoporosis. Brittle bones are a huge problem for anyone after an eating disorder, so calcium is often prescribed to help improve bone density and body function. With this in mind, not-so-obvious foods like Ginger may be able to really help the body to recover better.
  2. Digestive Health – Your digestive system takes a real hit going through an eating disorder – and after it has been gently eased back into ‘normal function’, residual problems can still be present which make can life pretty unpleasant and difficult. Aiding digestion is really important as it helps all your bodily functions, allowing the nutrients from the food you eat to be absorbed properly into your body. Additionally for those with anxiety and chronic IBS like me, any relief from the excruciating symptoms is much welcome. Ginger tea is said to help this and I can certainly vouch for the fact that it tastes lovely and the simple warming taste and feel of the tea does help to calm me a little. Ginger is said to ease the painful cramps and contractions caused by IBS, so it can also regulate and keep good bowel function in those who are recovering. In turn, it helps us to properly absorb the goodies from the food we eat and keeps toilet problems at bay (I’ll leave it at that!). Fresh Ginger tea (fresh Ginger brewed with hot water and Manuka honey) is said to be the best way to aid digestion using Ginger.
  3. Circulation – Many of us suffer with poor circulation even well into recovery (and after, as I’ve discovered – my circulation is irretrievably damaged). That’s why I’m passionate about recovery nutrition – if I had consumed some of these foods during recovery then perhaps I wouldn’t suffer now with the irreparable consequences of my eating disorder. On a positive note however, anyone with poor circulation can use Ginger to help improve blood flow!

Ginger Tea

You can buy Ginger tea bags at the supermarket – but here’s a simple recipe for Ginger Tea if you fancy making some for yourself and trying it at home.

  • Ginger Root
  • Manuka Honey
  • Boiling Water
  1. Peel the Ginger Root and then grate the ginger or slice and chop thinly.
  2. Add Ginger to a mug or cup and pour over the boiling water. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes maximum.
  3. Stir in the honey. You can add Cinnamon or Lemon for additional flavour if you like!

Ginger is in a wide range of delicious foods – especially Chinese and Thai food. I enjoy Ginger in cookies and cake – recipes for these can be found here in my book, Recipes for Recovery.

More Foods for Recovery here!



Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!