Ginger Beer, Ginger Ale's Healthier Cousin
Health Benefits of Ginger and Ginger Beer
Ginger beer has a number of health benefits that make it quite different from most refreshing beverages:
Relieves Nausea and Improves Digestion
Did you know that ginger beer is an effective remedy against nausea and morning sickness? According to studies conducted by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, ginger beer enhances digestion and helps food move smoothly through the stomach
Probiotics have been in your system from the very moment that you were born. When you travel through your mother’s birth canal during delivery, that’s when you were exposed to your mother’s bacteria for the very first time. This event started a cascade of events inside your gastrointestinal tract, your GI tract, and it started to produce good bacteria.
This rich gut microbial community is referred to as the microbiome, which plays a vital role in your immune system and overall health.
Now here’s a fun fact. The human brain weighs about three pounds, and a healthy human body will have about 3.5 to 5 pounds of probiotic bacteria and microbes. So, our bacteria are heavier than our brains, they’re primarily in our digestive system.
Did you know that our digestive systems are the second largest with the neurological system? It’s called the enteric nervous system, and it’s located in the gut. That’s why it’s called our “second brain.”
When consumed on its own, ginger beer can have some amazing health benefits. In fact, one of the most popular ways to consume ginger is in its beer form. Yes, you read that right! Ginger beer is much healthier than most carbonated drinks, and it’s also one of the most refreshing drinks you can easily prepare in your own home.
The key ingredient in ginger beer is ginger root, which is known for its myriad of culinary and medicinal uses since ancient times. The ginger root holds an active compound called gingerol, natural oil which is a rich source of minerals such as magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, and vitamin B6. This active compound is responsible for ginger’s medicinal properties. Additionally, gingerol is also responsible for the rich unique fragrance of the root.
Gastrointestinal cancer and liver cancer are some of the most common cancers present around the world. Fortunately, we have superfoods such as ginger available at our disposal. In addition to gingerol and shogaol, other active compounds like zingerone and paradol work in unison to fight cancer cells. Moreover, these compounds exhibit chemo-preventive properties that alleviate the signalling molecules that cause inflammation and stop the other destructive activities of the cancer cells in our bodies.
Have you ever suffered from arthritis, osteoarthritis, gastritis, esophagitis, hepatitis, and any other type of body inflammation? Ginger beer can help! Body inflammation happens when the body’s white blood cells are set into motion to fight or protect our body against foreign substances. This sudden release of chemicals raises blood flow to the afflicted area, which results in inflammation. Ginger contains active compounds that can effectively suppress the inflammation and also aid in pain relief.
Ginger Beer Ingredients
In its simplest form, ginger beer can be made using either fresh or dried ginger, sugar and lemon juice. Not to be confused with the fizzy ginger ale, ginger beer’s carbonation is created by adding yeast during the brewing process, whereas the ale’s fizziness is obtained through adding seltzer water. There are two varieties of ginger beer currently being sold: alcoholic and nonalcoholic. The taste of ginger beer greatly varies due to the differing amounts and types of ginger and sugar used. More importantly, some brands do not indicate the ginger content in their beer. Thus, the best way to truly reap the benefits of this amazing beverage is to make your own at home.
How To Make Ginger Beer
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups of water
5 tbs fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
- Add the ginger with the other ingredients in a large jar with a lid.
- Mix thoroughly until sugar is dissolved with a wooden spoon.
- Cover the jar and put it in a warm place for 24 hours, you now have a batch of Starter.
- FEEDING the starter: Add 2 tbs fresh grated or finely chopped ginger to the jar with 2 tbs sugar and 2 tbs water. Stir well.
- Cover tightly and place in a warm, dark area for 12 hours.
- After 12 hours you will need to stir with a wooden spoon. Cover again tightly.
- Wait for another 24 hours until it's bubbly, your ginger beer is now ready to drink!
- Strain the ginger beer into a clean jar or soda pop bottle with a lid.
- Enjoy with fresh lemon juice or mint leaves on ice!
- Save the ginger and liquid at the bottom of the jar. This is your STARTER for your next batches. Feed it sugar, ginger and water as above every 3 days. Store at room temp. Feed once per week in colder months. If not using for a while keep it in the fridge. Remove from the fridge at least 48 hours before making a new batch feeding and stirring every 12 hours.
So, what can you do to ensure that you have an ample supply of good bacteria in your gut?
#1: Be sure to include lots of sour and probiotic-rich foods in your diet. Apple cider vinegar, ginger beer, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, raw milk yogurt, natto, kombucha, lots of different fermented foods.
#2: Do your best to avoid substances that can destroy probiotics, like grains, GMOs, tap water, and antibiotics.
#3: Use a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Bottom line: Probiotics are absolutely essential for our overall health. We die from disease and we die from malnutrition if we do not have probiotics in our system. Your immune system will not function properly if you don’t have a sufficient supply of probiotics, and neither will your neurological system.
So go make some ginger beer and start today!
Here’s to your health. God bless.
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