You may have heard of lemon water, mint or cucumber water, and you may have seen some cafes and restaurants, especially vegan, raw food and health food ones, serve drinking water in a pitcher with a slice of fresh lemon, fresh cucumber, some mint leaves or any combination of these, floating inside. We drink, or, at least, we are supposed to drink, around half a gallon of water every day – a good way to measure your water consumption is to follow the ‘8×8’ rule – drinking eight 8-ounce glasses.

Ginger water benefits

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So it only makes sense to enhance the goodness by adding the vitamins and minerals readily available in fresh lemon, mint and cucumber. But why not take it to the next level and not only add some invigorating zest to the flavor, but also amp up the healing action of your water by taking advantage of the health benefits powerhouse that is ginger? Known by the traditional medicine for centuries, ginger has a long list of ailments it’s been used as a remedy for – from detox our body, to anti-inflammatory properties to pain relief, from relieving nausea to improving digestion, from regulating blood sugar to aiding weight loss, from improving cognitive functions to fighting cancer.

Here is how easy it is to make ginger water

The first thing to note is that you don’t need to peel fresh ginger – its thin, light-brown skin is harmless and edible, even if not especially tasty. You do want to clean it though – ginger rhizome (or root) grows underground, and depending on where you get your fresh ginger from it may still have some soil caught on the surface and in tight spots between the lobes and branches. Health food stores and supermarkets will likely sell ginger root that’s been fairly well cleaned, so all you’ll need to do is a quick rinse, while places like Asian markets or farmers’ markets might have it just straight out of the garden and still with quite a bit of soil. It’s easiest to break off all the lobes and give them a good wash under running water to get rid of all the dirt. Exposed areas where you break off a piece of ginger will dry out so each time only break off what you need, leaving the rest of the rhizome intact.

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Finally, make sure you wash the strainer promptly without letting it dry out – dried on ginger fibers can be quite tricky to clean off.

You can keep ginger water in the fridge for more than a week, but of course it’s best to drink it over a couple of days while it’s fresh and then make a new portion to take full advantage of ginger’s bioactive compounds.

If you don’t have a strainer you can skip it altogether – most of the ginger flesh will sink to the bottom of the jar. However, ginger skin usually floats on the surface, so you can either collect and remove all the floating bits with a spoon or you can peel you ginger before grating it.

Start by grating ginger into the bowl. For 4 cups of water you’d want to aim at approximately 1-1.5 teaspoons of grated ginger, however, start with less and add more according to your taste – fresh ginger can be really spicy when grated, especially the older, more mature roots. Once you got the desired amount scrape off the grater and then rinse it off into the bowl with some water so you don’t waste the remainder of the ginger pulp stuck in the grater holes – this step also makes it easier to wash the grater and sends less debris down your drain. And speaking of washing – it is a good habit to wash your grater right after using it, to prevent bits of food stuck to it from drying out, becoming very hard to clean off later – especially if you live in a dry and hot climate. So go ahead and take care of that before going on to the next step.

Once your grater is clean, pour some more water onto the grated ginger and give it a stir to help ginger release its juices into the water. If you are going to keep your ginger water in a jar or a pitcher – then pour the contents of the bowl into your jar and top up with the rest of the water – and that’s it, your ginger water is ready! Simple as that! Now every time you want to have a refreshing and revitalizing drink – give the ginger water in the jar a good stir, pour it into a glass through a strainer – and enjoy!

Finally, make sure you wash the strainer promptly without letting it dry out – dried on ginger fibers can be quite tricky to clean off.

You can keep ginger water in the fridge for more than a week, but of course it’s best to drink it over a couple of days while it’s fresh and then make a new portion to take full advantage of ginger’s bioactive compounds.

If you don’t have a strainer you can skip it altogether – most of the ginger flesh will sink to the bottom of the jar. However, ginger skin usually floats on the surface, so you can either collect and remove all the floating bits with a spoon or you can peel you ginger before grating it.

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Ginger Benefits - Ginger Water 4

To take ginger water with you to school, to work, to the gym or simply when going for a walk, just strain some ginger water into a jar or a Pyrex mug and then fill your water bottle. Keep in mind that if you have just made your ginger water you need to let it sit for at least 30 minutes before straining it out, to allow ginger to release most of its juices.

And, of course, you can be creative and add some extra ingredients to this recipe – squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and put some lemon slices into the jar or add fresh herbs like mint or basil for a nice aroma. If you need some sweetness to balance out the zesty edge of ginger – use a natural sweetener like honey.