Jamaican and African Ginger Beverage

Ginger beer is a very popular beverage in Jamaica and Africa. This zingy drink is very refreshing and has many health benefits. This recipe is a non-alcoholic version.

INGREDIENTS
– Gingerroot, chopped — 3/4 to 1 pound
– Water — 2 quarts
– Sugar — 2/3 to 3/4 cup
– Lemons or limes, juice only — 2 to 3

METHOD
1. Place the chopped ginger, 3 cups of the water and 2/3 cup sugar in a blender and puree well. Let set for at least 30 minutes or overnight to extract all the flavor.
2. Strain the liquid through a fine-meshed sieve and pour into a pitcher. Add enough water to make 2 quarts and stir in the the lemon or lime juice and additional sugar to taste. Chill well before serving.

VARIATIONS
– ADD MORE OR LESS GINGER TO YOUR TASTE.
– FOR A BUBBLY BEVERAGE, PUREE THE GINGER WITH 2-3 CUPS OF REGULAR WATER, THEN USE CLUB SODA TO BRING THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF LIQUID UP TO 2 QUARTS.

GINGER HEALTH FACTS

– known to boost bone health and relieve joint pains.
– Has been used since ancient times to cure diarrhea.
– Helps facilitate the digestive process.
– Is a known aphrodisiac, and has been used for years in arousing desire and enhancing sexual activity.
– Helps reduce the levels of prostaglandins in the body, hence relieving cramps and fighting inflammation.
– Other health benefits of ginger currently under research are: reducing heart diseases, arthritis, migraine, depression, and curing stress-related anxiety disorders.

Note: Ginger may, at times, have side effects for those suffering from gallstones since the herb incites the release of bile from the gallbladder. Therefore, it is advised if such a condition is suspected to consult a doctor before consuming ginger.


Ouch! my knees..

The following information is intended as a resource and should not be used to self-diagnose or treat. 

” The front of my knee hurts when I jump.”At the base of the kneecap (patella) is a thick patellar tendon, connecting the patella to the tibia bone below. This tendon is part of the ‘extensor mechanism’ of the knee, and together with the quadriceps muscle and the quadriceps tendon, these structures allow your knee to straighten out, and provide strength for this motion.  Patellar tendonitis is the condition that arises when the tendon and the tissues that surround it, become inflamed and irritated. This is usually due to overuse, especially from jumping activities. This is the reason patellar tendonitis is often called “jumper’s knee.” Patellar tendonitis usually causes pain directly over the patellar tendon. A physician or clinician may be able to recreate your symptoms by placing pressure directly on the tendon. The tendon will often become visibly swollen as well.

Treatment: The most important first step in treatment is to avoid activities that aggravate the problem. With patellar tendonitis this typically includes stair climbing and jumping activities. Dancers may need to restrict their class and rehearsals to limit these activities until symptoms improve. During the acute injury stage ice and anti-inflammatory medications may be helpful for pain relief. Stretching of the quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles prior to activity is very important to relieve stress on the patella tendon. A consult with a physician or physical therapist can be very helpful to evaluate strength, flexibility, or technique deficits that may be contributory factors in patellar tendonitis.

Avoid Knee injury using proper landing techniques:Most sports involve some degree of jumping, and during landing, the athlete is at a high risk for injury – especially at the knee. During landing, high amounts of force are absorbed through the lower extremities, and incorrect performance can cause severe derangement, or disruption of the normal functioning of the ligament or cartilages, of the knee structure. According to research, 70% of all anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur when landing from a jump.

During the landing phase, forces of nearly five times your body weight may be experienced. A proper landing technique allows for the anterior thigh muscles (quadriceps) and the calf muscles (gastrocnemius) to cushion the body from shock.  Severe knee injury occurs when the body does not absorb theses forces.

Another risk factor for knee injury is asymmetrical muscular use between the right and left legs. An athlete that tends to land more on one leg will accept an increased load through that particular knee.

Landing technique is extremely important, as researchers have observed the height of the jump is less important than knee angle in predicting the magnitude of force through the lower extremity. Training should emphasize landing with the knees bent and aligned forward to allow the quadriceps and calf musculature to absorb the landing. Both legs should accept weight equally. A forefoot landing technique should be used versus a heel to toe landing.

– Keith Weinhold, PT / FAMC Sports Medicine Clinical Coordinator / famc.org
– Harkness Center for dance Injuries / Hospital for joint diseases / hjd.med.nyu.edu