GRAMpaddling, my mom would always bring me a can of ginger ale to gulp down when I had an upset stomach. Although this was probably a bit of the placebo effect at play, let’s be honest that can of soda probably didn’t contain any fresh ginger at all, it still managed to make me to think that I felt much better. And well, that was all that mattered. Thanks Mom.
Today, finding beverages made with a substantial amount of fresh ginger (or simply making one at home from scratch) is a snap and is definitely the most science-backed option when it comes to soothing an upset stomach. So when we discovered this three-ingredient ginger lemonade recipe from Minimalist Baker, we knew we had the powerful new tonic to soothe those pesky tummy aches.
To learn all the benefits of this super-hydrating, refreshing beverage, we spoke with Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder and CEO of Real Nutrition. She explains why ginger and lemons are the perfect combination to fight inflammation and boost the immune system, and shares her essential tips to make this recipe even more delicious and nutritious than ever.
Why a Registered Dietitian Loves Ginger Lemonade So Much
“I love this mix because it’s not only full of bright, refreshing flavors, but it’s also packed with nutrients and immune-boosting compounds,” says Shapiro. Super simple lemonade recipe featuring lemons and ginger takes no more than 10 minutes to prepare and just a little muscle power to squeeze lemons.
“Ginger is one of my favorite anti-inflammatory ingredients. The powerful compound in ginger is gingerol, which has medicinal benefits, including helping the body fight bacteria and therefore infections as well,” says Shapiro. Additionally, he notes that research shows that ginger can effectively reduce symptoms of nausea, especially for those with conditions like motion sickness, morning sickness, and nausea.
Aside from the effectiveness of ginger in calming your stomach, this lemonade also contains tons of lemons which also provide a host of health benefits. “Lemons are one of my all-time favorite fruits as they are loaded with vitamin C to boost immunity and protect skin from sun damage and oxidative damage. This is a have to during the summer months,” says Shapiro. He also notes that lemon can help maintain healthy liver function. Studies show that citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges, contain flavonoids that are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and help fight oxidative stress, which contributes to most liver disease.
“Finally, let’s not forget the water component here. Staying properly hydrated is key to everything from energy to focus to joint health, so anything that encourages us to drink more water has my thumbs up,” Shapiro concludes. And if she’s looking to add even more natural flavor and boost the health benefits (and antioxidant capacity) of this drink recipe, she recommends cutting back on the agave and adding some fresh mint leaves instead. *So* refreshing.
ginger lemonade recipe
Makes 5 servings
3 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup agave syrup (plus more to taste)
2/3 cup minced fresh ginger, peeled optional
1 cup lemon juice
Fresh mint leaves to decorate (optional)
1. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup (120 mL) water, the agave, and minced fresh ginger. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once it simmers, cook for 10 minutes to extract the ginger flavor. Get out of the fire.
2. Meanwhile, in a glass jar or jar, add lemon juice and remaining water. Place a strainer over the jar-lemon mixture and strain the ginger syrup through it, removing any small bits of ginger. Shake the lemonade well to mix it with the ginger syrup and serve over ice. Optionally, decorate with fresh mint leaves. Serve alone or mixed with tequila, gin or vodka.
3. Lemonade will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze in popsicle molds for a sweet, cold treat. It can also be frozen into ice cubes and added to summer drinks.
How about something *new* for the lemonade stand menu?