Green Tea and Ginger: Is It Good for You?

There’s nothing better than wrapping your hands around a piping hot mug and breathing in the sweet and spicy aroma that is green tea with ginger. But some people drink it less to wake themselves up in the morning and more for its proposed medicinal qualities. 

Both green tea and ginger have been shown to have health benefits when ingested on their own. Throughout history, green tea has been thought to aid in digestion, regulate body temperature, and control bleeding. For centuries, ginger has been used to treat digestive problems, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and menstrual symptoms. Scientific studies support its ability to alleviate nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, surgery, cancer therapy, and motion sickness. Ginger is also proven to reduce inflammation and pain.

So it’s not surprising to think that ginger and green tea would have health benefits when consumed together. The question is whether the medicinal properties of green tea and ginger amplify or counteract each other.

Nutrition Information

Before we examine how green tea and ginger work in conjunction with one another, let’s take a look at their individual nutrition profiles. 

One cup of green tea made from a tea bag contains: 

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

Although at first sight, it appears that green tea has nothing in it, that’s not quite true. Green tea contains healthy polyphenols (plant-based antioxidants, which help reduce damage from unstable oxygen molecules in the body), as well as caffeine

Meanwhile, a quarter-teaspoon of ground ginger contains: 

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

Ginger also contains a moderate amount of iron

Potential Health Benefits of Green Tea and Ginger

Individually, both green tea and ginger offer some amazing health benefits. But do those benefits translate when you combine the two ingredients? Science says yes! Let’s take a look at just a few of the impressive health benefits of drinking green tea and ginger together:

Continued

Reduced Risk of Cancer

One study showed that drinking green tea and ginger could slow down the growth of cancerous cells in people with non-small cell lung cancers. Further research is needed to determine whether green tea and ginger would be effective against other types of cancers, but this initial study is promising. 

Keep in mind that green tea and ginger do not cure cancer. However, in this study green tea with ginger slowed the growth of cancerous cells, which may be effective in conjunction with other medical treatments. 

Weight Loss

Early studies also show that green tea and ginger may help with managing obesity. In a double-blind study, weight-loss capsules containing green tea, ginger, and capsaicin (the spicy component of chilli peppers) were significantly more effective in promoting weight loss than a placebo.

Although further research is needed to determine how much the capsaicin contributed to those results, the study suggests that the combination of green tea and ginger may help promote weight loss. 

Potential Risks of Green Tea and Ginger

There is little research to suggest that drinking green tea and ginger could be harmful. However, too much ginger can cause diarrhea, heartburn, and even an irregular heartbeat. While it would be pretty difficult to overdose on ginger by drinking ginger and green tea, it’s much easier to do by taking diet pills that tout their green tea and ginger content. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements and follow dosing instructions carefully. 

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 28, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism: "The Effect of Dietary Supplements Containing Green Tea, Capsaicin and Ginger Extracts on Weight Loss and Metabolic Profiles in Overweight Women: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.”

Anticancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry: “Growth inhibition of human non-small lung cancer cells h460 by green tea and ginger polyphenols.”

Chinese Medicine: “Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review.”

Nutrition Today: “Ginger An Overview of Health Benefits.”

Pharmacognosy Reviews: Green tea (Camellia Sinensis): “Chemistry, Traditional, Medicinal uses and its Pharmacological activities- a review.”

RxList: “Ginger.”

USDA FoodData Central: “GREEN TEA.”

USDA FoodData Central: “ORGANIC GROUND GINGER.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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