For most of your life, you’ve probably been told to drink plenty of water. Your parents, friends, the fitness bloggers and lifestyle influencers all over social media— they’ve all repeated the same mantra: “Stay hydrated to stay healthy.”
But maybe that all hasn’t been enough to convince you. Maybe you’ve always harbored the belief that water is a bit boring. Whether you’re a full-time hydration fanatic or a more-reluctant water drinker, the good news is that there are ways to make this drink smell and taste more tempting. Here, we’ll look at one of the most flavorful and useful additions: ginger.
Ginger has been used for its purported health benefits for thousands of years, and recent scientific studies have lent new support to ginger’s reputation as an anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea agent. Many report seeing benefits of ginger such as:
- Improved digestion
- Faster relief of cold symptoms
- Reduced inflammation
- Decreased nausea
- More-balanced blood-sugar levels
Let’s take a deeper look at the health benefits of drinking ginger water and explore a few easy recipes.
Your Guide to Ginger
If you’re not much into cooking or baking, ginger may not have been high on your radar. However, this flowering plant (and, more important, its roots) can pep up plain water and support your other health goals.
Here’s everything you need to know about ginger:
Where Does Ginger Come From?
Ginger is native to Southeast Asia, where it flourishes in humid tropical and subtropical forests. The plant has stems, leaves and flowers, but for culinary purposes, the most important part is the root.
Yellow-brown and covered in a distinctive cork-like layer, ginger roots are most recognizable by their irregular branching shapes. These roots are harvested, cleaned and sun-dried before they end up in your kitchen.
Today, ginger usually comes from one of the following countries
How Do You Buy Ginger?
Because so many savory and sweet recipes and herbal remedies call for ginger, it’s generally easy to find at the grocery store or online in plenty of forms, including:
- Fresh ginger root or raw ginger
- Ginger extract
- Ground ginger
- Preserved ginger
Of course, you can also find hints of this root in some of your favorite snacks — such as ginger ale or holiday gingerbread men.
What Are the Health Benefits of Consuming Ginger?
Ginger’s roots, pardon the pun, in both Eastern and Western complementary and alternative medicine, are long. Ginger root has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for 5,000 years, heralded for its ability to help treat cold symptoms. It was also used in Greece and in medieval Western Europe as a digestive aid.
Today, ginger seasoning blends, ginger tea and ginger water are some of the most popular products for those looking to enjoy the health benefits of ginger. Some of ginger’s natural compounds are anti-inflammatory, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine clinical dietitian Emma Slattery, and ginger can act as a natural anti-nausea and morning-sickness aid. Ginger has also been shown in some studies to help lower blood-sugar levels.
4 Ginger Water Recipes
Now that you know what ginger is, how to buy it and what it might do for your body, let’s look at how to make ginger water and other ginger beverages. Here are a few recipes packed with ginger water benefits:
Hot Ginger-Honey Tea
Fighting a sore throat or other cold symptoms? Try sipping on some hot ginger-honey tea. All you need is fresh ginger, honey and hot water.
Peel a thumb’s worth of fresh ginger and slice it into one-inch cubes. Use the back of a knife to smash the ginger to help release its flavor. Then, place the ginger and 1 tablespoon of honey in a large mug and steep them in hot boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drinking ginger tea with honey can work to soothe your sore throat, open up your sinuses and get you feeling better more quickly.
Berry Ginger Iced Tea
Maybe you like your ginger tea chilled. In that case, grab your favorite berries — blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries work best — and try this recipe.
First, put a pot on the stove and start boiling about 4 cups or 1 liter of water. While you wait, prepare your fresh ginger root by peeling and chopping it into narrow strips. When the water is boiling, add your ginger and 1 or 2 tablespoons of your favorite sweetener — sugar, honey or stevia. Stir until the sweetener is fully dissolved. You can add some of your berries, too. Let this concoction cook for about five minutes, and then strain out the ginger and let your tea cool.
Next, pour the tea over ice and add fresh berries. You can include a dash of lemon juice and a few sprigs of mint for even more flavor.
Mint-Pineapple Ginger Water
If you’re looking for a tasty drink packed with thirst-quenching ingredients and ginger benefits, look no further than mint-pineapple ginger water. You can drink this any time of the year, but it’s particularly refreshing after a day spent in the summer sun.
Take a large pitcher and drop in 4 cups of sliced pineapple rings, a handful of fresh mint sprigs that have been slightly crushed and about 1 cup of smashed ginger slices. Add 2 quarts of water and refrigerate for about four hours to let the ingredients infuse flavor into the water. Before serving, stir the drink, strain it and pour over ice.
Apple Lemon Ginger Water
Ginger can pack a one-two punch when paired with lemon or lemon juice. That’s because lemon contains vitamin C — so if you want the health benefits of lemon juice, this recipe is for you.
Peel and slice two lemons and two apples. Add them to a large glass jar, preferably one that has a water spout for pouring. Peel, cube and smash two thumbs’ worth of ginger and throw them into the mix. Add liquid stevia, to taste, for a touch of sweetness. Fill with water to the top and allow the trio of ingredients to sit in the refrigerator overnight before drinking.
The First Ingredient in Every Ginger-Water Recipe
If you want great ginger drinks, the first step is to make sure you have great water. After all, water is the first ingredient in all of these ginger recipes — and if your tap water looks, tastes or smells off, your freshly made beverages will have the same problem.
The good news is that you can save your ginger tea and other drinks from this fate. — it all begins with a water test and consultation. This is your chance to learn what really happens when you turn on your tap, what might be in your drinking water and how you can address it.
For example, a free water test can measure:
- Chlorine: Chlorine is a common issue in municipal water supplies. That’s because city water is often treated with this chemical — and although chlorinated water is generally safe to drink, it’s not an ideal addition to your ginger water recipe. After all, chlorine can create swimming-pool-like tastes and odors.
- Iron: If you don’t want a metallic taste in your next glass of ginger tea, you don’t want iron contamination in your water. Too much iron can also lead to yellowing teeth and rust stains in your sinks, tubs and toilets.
- TDS: Total dissolved solids, or TDS, can include salts and minerals. In some cases, TDS levels could be high enough to make your ginger water recipe taste salty or bitter. Luckily, if this problem is lurking in your tap water, a water test can identify it.
Although these issues have direct flavor and odor impacts, other, invisible contaminants — like lead and arsenic — could also wind up in your ginger drink from your tap water, all without you knowing.* That’s why a water test should be your first recipe-prep step.
Once you’ve had a water test and consultation, you’ll have all the information you need to choose a solution that can help improve your water quality. For most issues, your Culligan® water expert will likely recommend a drinking-water filtration system powered by reverse osmosis (RO).
RO might just be the best thing to happen to your ginger water recipes. That’s because a home RO system acts like a tap-water protector, helping reduce many of the taste, odor and appearance issues that affect your water experience. Here are just a few of RO’s biggest benefits:
- Improved taste
- Virtually limitless supply of filtered water
- Bacteria reduction
- Virus reduction
- Treatment for lead, nitrates, mercury and more
If your ginger-root drink tastes and smells like chlorine, a Culligan water expert might recommend whole-home filtration. These systems work differently from RO filtration, but they’re a great choice for chlorine because they treat all of the water you use — which means that not only your drinking water but also your water for bathing, cooking and cleaning will be more pleasant to use.
See What Better Water Does for Your Recipes
Better water can work wonders — not just for your ginger recipes, but for your water experience overall. After all, you can’t get the health benefits of drinking ginger water if you aren’t actually drinking it. Improved taste and odor and a clearer appearance make your water more palatable, which means you’ll be happier to serve it to friends and family in all your favorite recipes.
Different water problems require different solutions, however, so. it’s smart to start with a water test and consultation — that way, you get the expert advice necessary to meaningfully improve your water quality.
Take the first step toward better ginger water recipes by scheduling your free, in-home water test and consultation.
*Contaminants may not be present in your water.
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