Healthy Elixir: Ginger Water - Benefits, Uses & Recipes
I absolutely, positively swear by this drink. I'm not sure about it helping me "lose weight", much less tummy/belly fat but I do know it's great for digestion and detoxing. I try to make a huge pot of this 1-2 times a week. There really isn't a science to it and I long stopped trying to "measure" every ingredient. I don't drink pop and rarely drink coffee. I drink lots of water and prefer to drink this 24/7 if I could. I mostly drink it cold, but you could warm it up and drink it like a hot tea.
So when a recent Facebook post contained an article about ginger water that sparked a lot of comments, I said I'd do a blog post and share how I make it. Before I give you all my recipe(s) though, let me just recap some of the health benefits & uses.
Lowering high blood pressure
Lowering your cholesterol levels
Powerful against infections
Promotes weight loss
Boosts your immune system
Alleviates joint, muscle, rheumatic & arthritis pain
Speeds up your metabolism
Balances blood sugar
Healthy hair and skin
Disclaimer: As with any herb or supplement, ginger may interact poorly with other medication you may take. Side effects from ginger are rare, but can include heartburn, gas, stomach ache or burning in the mouth if consumed in excess. People with heart conditions, diabetes, and gallstones should consult their physician before taking ginger as a supplement.
How To Make Ginger Water/Tea
I tend to make a HUGE batch of this because I drink it DAILY! Here are the base ingredients I use (and then I'll share some others that I add occasionally):
1 Gallon of water
Fresh ginger (peeled & cut into chunks)
Agave, honey or raw sugar to sweeten
As you'll see from this pic, I added cinnamon sticks. I used to make a separate cinnamon tea and just decided to combine them into one. You'll also see how much I LOVE ginger! I like mine a little spicy, but really the cinnamon is so overpowering that the ginger taste can get a bit lost to me. You don't need to use as much as I did! I would say start with 4-5 chunks for starters and then adjust the next time you make it. Add more or less to your taste.
Other ingredients I've added:
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of tumeric powder (it turns everything yellow!)
Fresh lemon juice & include lemon (slices or chunks) into pot
Fresh lime juice & include lemon (slices or chunks) into pot
Once everything is in the pot and you've added the water, set on medium to high until it comes to a full boil. Stir ingredients at least once as it's coming up to a boil.
At this point, I usually add my sweetener (I use raw, natural or organic) and stir well. How much you add really does depend on the size pot you use, how much water and how sweet you want it. I like it a little hint of sweet, but not fruit juice or carbonated beverage sweet. Just remember, if you're counting calories go easy on the sweetener! Either way, I usually end up adding sweetener twice (I'm always afraid to over sweeten so I'm not heavy handed the 1st go 'round).
Turn the head down on low and just let it simmer for and hour or two. I promise your whole house will smell wonderful if you add the cinnamon sticks! They will also turn the water a dark brown (cinnamon) color. Again, you don't have to add the cinnamon if you don't want to. It does have its own health benefits which I can report on later.
Once it's done simmering, I turn off the stove and just let it cool. After that, I pour into glass containers, pitchers, etc. and put in the refrigerator.
I don't leave home for work without at least a good sized water bottle every morning! It's how I start my day. When it's cold outside, I pop it in the microwave first and drink it warm on my 45 minute to an hour commute to the office.