Whenever I had a stomach ache as a child, my mother would always give me a glass of ginger ale to sip. While I did have my doubts as a kid (though that didn’t stop me from drinking the whole glass!), there is some truth to the benefits of ginger ale. Ginger is one of the best natural remedies for inflammation!
The biggest problem with store-bought ginger ale like Canada Dry is the high sugar content it brings. This kind of ginger ale is sweetened with glucose and fructose sugars. In research published in the “Journal of Clinical Investigation”, it was found that pop sweetened with fructose can lead to insulin resistance, a major factor that leads to diabetes.
That’s not all! When your insulin processes are interrupted, you raise your risk of certain cancers such as pancreatic cancer. The diet version of ginger ale is no better either! Aspartame is produced by the face of GMOs, Monsanto, and is considerably toxic for the body.
Luckily, you don’t have to harm your body in order to bring it relief from pain and stomach aches. It’s very easy to make your own ginger ale. Unlike other ginger ale recipes, this one doesn’t involve yeast and waiting for your ginger ale to ferment. You can prepare the ginger syrup ahead of time and make as much ginger ale as you need without having to worry about the whole batch going “flat”. Unlike store-bought ginger ales, this homemade ginger ale is a healthy alternative that works to combat inflammation instead of causing it!
Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe
- 1 cup peeled, finely chopped organic ginger
- 2 cups purified water
- Sparkling water (I like using San Pellegrino)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Raw honey (optional)
- Bring the purified water to a boil.
- Add ginger and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Take off of heat and, if desired, strain to remove pieces of ginger.
- When serving, I recommend using 1 part ginger syrup and 3 parts sparkling water. Optionally, add ice, sweeten to taste, and add some lemon juice.
Health Benefits of Ginger
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This ubiquitous spice known for the aromatic and pungent taste it lends to many Asian dishes, is one of the best spices when it comes to delivering gastrointestinal relief and treating inflammatory conditions like arthritis. The main source of ginger’s anti-inflammatory powers are compounds called gingerols. Not only are these gingerols responsible for many of gingers health benefits, they’re also responsible for its unique flavor. A number of studies have highlighted the anti-inflammatory effects of ginger on the body.
One study conducted two tests double-blind tests with placebos and raw or heat-treated ginger. It was found that for patients experiencing muscle pain taking the ginger (regardless of heat-treatment) experienced moderate-to-large reductions in pain from injuries caused when exercising. A similar study looked at the effect of ginger compared to one of the leading non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diclofenac, for the relief of osteoarthritis in the knee. The researchers found that ginger was just as effective as diclofenac with the added bonus of no adverse side-effects!
Ginger doesn’t just rival NSAIDs. According to Dr. Michael Greger, ginger has also been found to be just as effective as the migraine relieving drug sumatriptan (popularly sold as Imitrex). Notably, this study only used 1/8th of a teaspoon of powdered ginger compared to the regular dose of the drug. Ginger lacks the adverse side-effects, but delivers the same healing powers at a fraction of the cost of leading pharmaceuticals. If you haven’t tried making your own ginger ale before, I’m guessing this makes a good case as to why you should!
Instead of reaching for the Canada Dry, try making your own anti-inflammatory, pain and migraine relieving ginger ale.
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