You've heard about ginger ale, ginger tea, candied ginger – but what about ginger water? By mixing together a few simple ingredients, you can make a tasty drink that provides a powerhouse of nutritional benefits.
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How to Make Ginger Water
To make ginger water, simply grate a two-inch piece of ginger root in three cups of warm water. Add the juice from one lemon, and stir in raw honey to taste.
Enjoy the beverage at several points throughout the day to take full advantage of its benefits. The combination of ginger, lemon, and raw honey gives your body a tremendous boost.
1. Ginger Lowers Cholesterol
Ginger has the power to lower cholesterol and may reduce your chances of heart disease and stroke. In a 2000 study, mice that were given ginger extract had significantly lower levels of blood cholesterol than mice that were not.
Ginger specifically targeted LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, which is the type that builds up and hardens your arteries.
This suggests that people who incorporate ginger into their diets can significantly reduce their risk of cholesterol-related illnesses.
2. Ginger Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
If you're concerned about diabetes, you have even more reason to drink a daily glass of ginger water. A 2015 study showed that diabetic patients who took daily ginger capsules had lower blood sugar levels than those who took a placebo.
The most impressive thing, though, was that it wasn't just their glucose that was lowered; ginger also lowered their levels of Hba1c, a powerful marker of long-term blood sugar levels.
This suggests that taking ginger every day can reduce your chances of diabetes if you don't already have it and can help relieve some of the symptoms if you do.
3. Ginger Fights Inflammation
Studies have shown that ginger has similar properties to anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil and Ibuprofen, but with none of the side effects. In addition to relieving pain from osteoarthritis, ginger has been shown to reduce simple muscle pain through its anti-inflammatory properties.
If you suffer from arthritis, menstrual cramps, or regular muscle soreness, ginger is an all-natural way that you can get some relief.
4. Ginger Has Antioxidant Properties
If the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties of ginger aren't enough, it also contains powerful antioxidants, which are the substances that stop free radicals from breaking down your cells, leading to disease and a host of negative effects from aging.
Multiple studies have shown that ginger dramatically reduces the free radicals in your body, so drinking that cup of ginger water can actually make you feel younger.
5. Ginger May Be Good For Your Brain
There's a chance that the free radicals targeted by ginger can lead to Alzheimer's, which means that ginger can prevent your risk of Alzheimer's disease (and that's not counting the way it lowers your NFkappaB levels!).
A 2014 study showed that ginger can prevent Alzheimer's-causing oxidants from forming inside your brain, which may reduce your risk of the condition. Other studies have shown that ginger reduces the occurrence of Alzheimer's in rats or reduces the severity of Alzheimer's symptoms.
If you're mainly concerned with short-term brain health, ginger can help you there, too. A 2011 study suggested that ginger improves reaction time and memory in women.
6. Ginger Is Good For Your Teeth
Although gum disease is small potatoes compared to cancer and Alzheimer's, it still isn't pleasant. Ginger, with its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, has been proven to kill the harmful oral bacteria that cause diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
You wouldn't want to drink a glass of ginger water instead of brushing your teeth, but it may be a nice supplement for your oral hygiene.
7. Lemons Reduce Your Risk of Stroke
Ginger may be the star ingredient of ginger water, but the lemon juice does more than add flavor.
Lemons are a citrus fruit, which means that they're high in antioxidants called flavanones. A 2012 study showed that women who ate large amounts of citrus fruit had decreased risk of stroke because of the fruit's high flavanone levels.
Squeezing a lemon into your ginger water gives you an entire lemon's worth of flavanones every day.