Healthy Drinks

This Easy Ginger Lemonade Is Basically Lemon Water 2.0, and It’s Packed with Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Photo: Stocksy/ Cameron Whitman
Growing up, my mom would always bring me a can of Ginger Ale to glug down when I was dealing with an upset stomach. Although this was likely a bit of the placebo effect at play—let's be honest, that soda can probably contained no fresh ginger whatsoever—it still managed to make me think that I felt a whole lot better. And hey, that was all that mattered. Thanks, mom.

Nowadays, finding drinks made with a substantial amount of fresh ginger (or simply making one at home from scratch) is super easy—and definitely the more science-backed option when it comes to calming a belly ache. So, when we discovered this three-ingredient ginger lemonade recipe by Minimalist Baker, we knew we had the new powerful tonic for calming those pesky tummy aches.

To learn all the benefits of this refreshing and super hydrating beverage, we spoke with Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian and the founder and director of Real Nutrition. She explains why ginger and lemons make the perfect combination for combating inflammation and boosting your immune system, and shares her essential tips for making this recipe even more delicious and nutritious than ever.

Why a registered dietitian loves ginger lemonade so much

“I love this mixture because it is not only full of bright and refreshing flavors, but it's also loaded with nutrients and immune-boosting compounds,” Shapiro says. The super-simple lemonade recipe that stars lemons and ginger takes no more than 10 minutes to prep and just a little lemon-squeezing muscle power.

“Ginger is one of my favorite anti-inflammatory ingredients. The powerful compound in ginger is gingerol, which has medicinal benefits, including helping the body to fight off bacteria and therefore infections as well,” says Shapiro. Additionally, she points out that research shows that ginger can effectively reduce the symptoms of nausea, especially for those with conditions like seasickness, morning sickness, and nausea.

Aside from ginger’s effectiveness in calming your stomach, this lemonade also contains tons of lemons that also provide a bounty of health benefits. “Lemons are one of my all-time favorite fruits, as they are loaded with vitamin C to boost immunity and protect your skin from sun damage and oxidative damage. This is a must during the summer months,” Shapiro says. She also notes that lemon can help support healthy liver functioning. Studies show that citrus, like lemons, limes, and oranges, contains flavonoids that are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and help combat oxidative stress, which contributes to most liver diseases.

“Finally, let's not forget about the water component here. Staying adequately hydrated is key in everything from energy to focus to joint health, so any ingredients that encourage us to drink more water get a thumbs up in my book,” Shapiro concludes. And if you’re 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 instead adding a few fresh mint leaves. *So* refreshing.

ginger lemonade
Photo: Minimalist Baker

Ginger lemonade recipe

Yields 5 servings

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup agave syrup (plus more to taste)
2/3 cup chopped fresh ginger, peeling optional
1 cup lemon juice
Fresh mint leaves for garnishing (optional)

1. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup (120 ml) water, the agave, and the chopped fresh ginger. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, cook for 10 minutes to extract the ginger flavor. Remove from the heat.

2. Meanwhile, to a glass jar or pitcher, add lemon juice and remaining water. Place a strainer over the jar/lemon mixture and pass the ginger syrup through it, removing any small pieces of ginger. Whisk the lemonade well to mix in the ginger syrup, and serve it over ice. Optionally, garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serve on its own or as a mixer 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 beverages.

How about something *new* for the lemonade stand menu:

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