(Natural News) Ginger is a spice that offers many health benefits and it can be used to enhance the flavor of various dishes. You can also use ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties to relieve minor complaints like nausea or period pain.
Do take note that you should drink plain ginger water to reap the benefits of this spice. If you add artificial sweeteners to the drink, you may experience negative side effects such as bloating or digestive problems.
5 Reasons to drink ginger water
Here are the five health benefits of drinking ginger water.
It can help balance blood sugar.
Data from a 2015 study published in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine revealed that consuming three grams of powdered ginger per day helped diabetic patients improve their glycemic indices compared to a placebo.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, try drinking ginger water if you want to improve your blood sugar levels.
It can relieve nausea.
Drinking ginger water can help ease combat both morning sickness and nausea caused by chemotherapy. Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health, explained that ginger can help speed up stomach emptying to allow things from the stomach to reach the small bowels more efficiently.
If you are pregnant and suffering from hyperemesis, try drinking ginger tea. The drink is generally safe, but consult a healthcare professional if you have any gastrointestinal disorders that need medical attention.
It can promote weight loss.
You can drink ginger water if you’re tired of drinking plain water. Ginger water or tea doesn’t directly affect your metabolism, but it can help promote weight loss if you drink it instead of sugary drinks that are linked to weight gain.
Ginger water contains almost zero calories and it can help you stay hydrated, and these two things are crucial if you want to lose weight.
It can relieve period pain.
Many home remedies claim to help relieve period pain, but ginger water is a natural cure backed by scientific data. According to a 2015 randomized clinical trial in the journal Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, ginger helped reduce menstrual cramp pain in volunteers.
Additional research also suggests that ginger is more effective at relieving pain compared to a placebo when it is taken during the first three or four days of your menstrual cycle. Dr. Ganjhu said that ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties may work similarly to a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Advil, minus the negative side effects.
It may reduce your risk of chronic disease.
Like beans, fruits, nuts, seeds, other vegetables, and whole grains, ginger is rich in phytonutrients. These antioxidant-like compounds can help address chronic inflammation, a physiological state where the body’s cells stay on high alert because of a lingering or past threat.
Inflammation isn’t always bad, but it can sometimes go awry or hyperactive. In time, chronic inflammation may result in health problems like arthritis and cancer.
The phytonutrients in ginger can help reduce the inflammatory response and protect your body’s cells from DNA damage. Additionally, gingerol and zingerone, the primary anti-inflammatory compounds of ginger, can help limit the “factors that initiate the whole inflammatory process in the first place.”(Related: The science behind the healing effects of ginger.)
If you don’t mind the unusual flavor of this spice, drink ginger water regularly to enjoy it’s many health benefits.
How to make ginger water
You’ll need fresh ginger if you want to make ginger water. Purchase organic ginger in the produce section of a grocery or health food store.
- 4 cups of water
- Freshly-squeezed lemon juice (optional)
- Honey (optional)
To make ginger water, you need to cook ginger in water to make a tea. You can use unpeeled ginger since you’re not going to eat it and many of the nutrients are right beneath the skin.
Use more or less water or ginger depending on how strong you want the ginger water to be. The ratio of water to ginger in this recipe is equivalent to one gram of ginger extract.
- Wash ginger root then use a zester to grate half a teaspoon of ginger.
- Boil four cups of water on the stove, then add the ginger once the water is boiling.
- Remove the ginger water from the heat. Let the ginger steep in the water for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the ginger from the water. Add a teaspoon or less of honey or lemon juice to taste.
- Drink ginger water hot or cold.
Experts recommend consuming a maximum of three to four grams of ginger extract daily. If you’re pregnant, don’t take more than one gram of ginger extract a day. Ginger is not recommended for children younger than two years old.
The following are all equivalent to a gram of ginger:
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated raw ginger
- 4 cups water steeped with 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
You will need less raw ginger when brewing tea because certain nutrients in ginger become concentrated when heated.