Ginger is much more than just a part of gingerbread. It’s also an important part of traditional Indian and Chinese cuisine and has spread throughout the world as a spice for sweet and savory foods. Many people add ginger to water and tea to add spice and nutrients to these drinks. Ginger water has also commonly been included in folk remedies for conditions like bloating and upset stomachs.
Ginger is technically an herb, though the root is the most commonly eaten part of the plant. The root can be ground into powder or sliced, and it can be used dry, pickled, or fresh. Regardless of how your ginger is prepared, ginger water can offer some useful health benefits.
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in ginger water offer significant health benefits. For example, ginger is full of choline, which is an important building block of neurotransmitters that help your brain and nerves fire. Your body needs choline to help support your metabolism, your mood, and your muscles function.
Other health benefits of ginger water include:
Ginger has been used as a remedy for nausea and indigestion for centuries, and recently scientific studies have shown this to be one folk remedy that actually works. A review of current research has shown that consuming between one and two grams of ginger can help reduce symptoms of nausea. While research is still being done on other types of stomach problems, ginger water is likely a safe and effective way to feel better after an upset stomach.
There are a number of causes of inflammation, including mild allergic reactions and serious exertion. Initial studies on ginger have shown that it may help reduce inflammation from both of these causes. One study has demonstrated that ginger extracts may help reduce allergy symptoms, though more studies need to be done to confirm these findings. Another small trial has suggested that consuming ginger could help reduce muscle pain after heavy exercise.
High levels of cholesterol are linked to an increased risk of health problems like heart disease and stroke, especially “bad” LDL cholesterol. Some studies suggest that adding ginger to your diet can help reduce not only LDL cholesterol but also total cholesterol and triglycerides. This could help you lower your risk of heart problems and other cholesterol-related health issues.
Ginger water is also rich in the mineral potassium. This mineral is important for your heart, muscles, bones, and metabolism, because it helps your cells handle salt. A lack of potassium is linked to heart problems and high blood pressure.
Ginger water is also an excellent source of:
Nutrients per Serving
A one-cup serving of ginger water contains:
- Calories: 6
- Protein: Less than 1 gram
- Fat: Less than 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 1 gram
- Fiber: Less than 1 gram
- Sugar: Less than 1 gram
Things to Watch Out For
Some people find that ginger can cause stomach aches, gas, and heartburn, especially in large quantities. Some physicians also recommend that people with gallstones should avoid ginger, but studies have not found that ginger causes any gallbladder problems.
How to Make Ginger Water
Ginger water is a simple drink to make; if you want, it can contain nothing but water and ginger root. Many recipes also include a sweetener like honey, and lemon or lime juice to help balance the flavor.
A basic ginger water recipe involves simply sprinkling ground ginger into water, or dropping a few slices of ginger root into your glass. However, these methods aren’t the most efficient way to get the ginger to release its natural compounds. Heating the ginger and water together helps the ginger steep, creating a more flavorful experience. Essentially, you can make ginger tea and then cool the mixture to produce ginger water.
To make a large batch of ginger tea at once, combine two tablespoons of ginger with four cups of water. If you’re using ginger root, slice it thin to increase the amount of surface area for the water to touch. Boil the ginger root and water for ten to twenty minutes. The longer you boil the ginger, the stronger the tea will be. Then add honey, lime, or lemon to taste, cool the tea, and you have made a simple and tasty ginger water.