Ginger beer (or ale) is widely accepted as a natural tonic to settle the stomach. Even the biggest natural health naysayers have probably given it a try in the past… The only thing is, the stuff found in a can, then you’re is pretty toxic.
In fact, years of lackluster results from clinical studies suggest its effects may be mostly in your head.
The regular ginger beer is full of high fructose corn syrup, the worst of the Big Food sugars out there. And the “diet” versions aren’t much better, packed with synthetic sweeteners that can spike your insulin and send your risk of diabetes through the roof.
Not to mention the reason why ginger beer is thought of as a health tonic is because it supposedly contains a wonderful healing plant, ginger.
But most ginger fizzy drinks mimic the ginger taste with chemical artificial flavourings. And manufacturers who list ginger as one of the ingredients in their fizzy drinks typically won’t say how much actual ginger they contain – their excuse is that they have to protect their secret formulas – which probably means that even the best ginger fizzy drinks only contain trace amounts of ginger.
That’s probably why the research that has been conducted specifically on ginger beer shows it to be not nearly effective as pure ginger root.
The rhizome (root) of the ginger plant has been used since ancient times for its medicinal qualities, as well as in cooking for its warm, spicy, aromatic fragrance and flavour.
There is some good research out there on ginger that supports its potency as a digestive aid and anti-emetic (drug that treats nausea and vomiting).
Although ginger fizzy drinks do seem to have alleviate nausea related to pregnancy or motion sickness, it may very well be placebo effect. Only real ginger will treat nausea and vomiting related to stomach flu, mild food poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohns Disease, etc.
When it comes down to it, fizzy drinks in general contain massive amounts of sugar that can put you on a track to diabetes, weight gain, and chronic inflammation in your body.
Even sugar-free, zero-calorie fizzy drinks trigger the same insulin response as the high-fructose corn syrupy stuff, so “diet” ginger beer won’t help you avoid the fizzy drinks-to-diabetes pipeline that so many people are falling victim to these days.
If you want to reap the digestive benefits of ginger, use fresh ginger root in your Paleo-friendly dinners, drink some organic ginger tea, or try ginger chewing gum (just make sure it’s sweetened with xylitol). You can also find ginger root capsules at your local health food store.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Can Ginger Ale Really Soothe Nausea? theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/10/ginger-ale/505484/