Ginger ale or ginger beer is made with ginger, the root of the ginger plant. Ginger root can be used fresh or processed into a powder for use as a spice or supplement. Ginger benefits include reducing the symptoms of nausea, lowering fasting blood sugar and reducing the risk of heart disease.
The health benefits of ginger are many, so when you are buying ginger ale, search for a company that uses real ginger in its sodas. There will be a label on the bottle or can letting you know.
Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer
Two of the benefits of ginger beer are that, as a rule, it has less sugar than ginger ale, and it also has some nutrients that ginger ale doesn't. According to the USDA, one 12-ounce can or bottle of ginger ale contains 32.6 grams of sugar, whereas a 12-ounce container of ginger beer contains only 17 grams of sugar.
The USDA also indicates that ginger beer doesn't contain any sodium but that ginger ale has 25.6 milligrams. Other ginger beer benefits include vitamins and minerals, such as 170 grams of potassium, 24.1 milligrams of vitamin C and small amounts of vitamin B6 and iron. Ginger ale, on the other hand, contains 3.66 milligrams of potassium and small amounts of the minerals zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.
There are many ginger ale benefits for your health, but you can reduce your sodium and sugar intake by choosing ginger beer instead. This can help you stay within the daily dose limits for sodium. The American Heart Association recommends getting less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day and notes that an ideal limit is 1,500 milligrams per day, especially for anyone with high blood pressure.
Read more: Ginger Water Benefits
Health Benefits of Ginger
According to a systematic review of 12 studies published in the March 2014 issue of the Nutrition Journal, the health benefits of ginger include its ability to significantly reduce the symptoms of nausea. This systematic review found that ginger is a harmless and potentially effective alternative for pregnant women who experience nausea.
A 2015 study involving 41 participants with Type 2 diabetes, published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, showed that consuming 2 grams of ginger powder on a daily basis for 12 weeks had some serious health benefits:
- Lowered fasting blood sugar by 12 percent.
- Improved HbA1c, a marker for long-term blood sugar levels, which led to a 10 percent reduction over the 12 weeks.
- Reduced ApoB/ApoA-I ratio (a risk factor for heart disease) by 28 percent.
- Reduced markers for oxidized lipoproteins (a risk factor for heart disease) by 23 percent.
That's a lot of ginger benefits, but what about ginger ale? To reap these benefits from your ginger ale, you will have to find a company that uses real ginger rather than artificial flavoring in its ginger ale recipes. If you want to make your own ginger ale, use a recipe that calls for plenty of real ginger root so you can enjoy its health benefits.
- USDA FoodData Central: "Beverages, Carbonated, Ginger Ale"
- Nutrition Journal: "A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effect and Safety of Ginger in the Treatment of Pregnancy-Associated Nausea and Vomiting"
- Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research: "The Effects of Ginger on Fasting Blood Sugar, Hemoglobin A1c, Apolipoprotein B, Apolipoprotein A-I and Malondialdehyde in Type 2 Diabetic Patients"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Ginger Beer"
- James Beard Good Food for Good Foundation: "Homemade Ginger Beer"
- American Heart Association: "Why Should I Limit Sodium?"