Trend Alert: What’s the Deal with Ginger Shots?

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK/PINKOMELET

Ever since Selena Gomez was filmed tossing one back with “Carpool Karaoke” host James Corden, ginger shots have become the latest celebrity-driven superfood craze.

Ginger shots are usually made with one to two ounces of fresh ginger juice, and a pound of ginger will produce about 12 ounces of juice. Will a daily ginger shot detox your organs, kill cancer cells or melt away fat? Of course not. But ginger does have some legitimate health benefits. 

Ginger root contains small amounts of various vitamins and minerals but not enough to have a substantial impact on your overall nutrition. However, ginger also contains compounds called gingerols that translate to anti-inflammatory activity in the body. If your ginger shot also contains a substantial amount of sugar, which tends to be pro-inflammatory, it might end up being a wash.

Gingerol also has anticoagulant properties, reducing the tendency of the blood to form clots. Consuming natural foods with these properties can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, they also could interact with prescription anticoagulants like Warfarin to cause excessive bleeding. Even if you’re not on any meds, too many ginger shots could potentially cause you to bruise more easily. Ginger shots probably are best avoided by those who take prescription blood thinners, those with any kind of bleeding disorder, and anyone planning surgery or dental procedures.

Ginger also is possibly effective in reducing and preventing nausea, so a ginger shot might settle a queasy stomach. On the other hand, some people report heartburn or mild stomach discomfort after consuming ginger.

Fresh ginger juice has a little too much kick for most people to enjoy straight up, so it’s usually blended with other ingredients such as lemon juice, honey, turmeric or, in Gomez’s case, yerba mate tea. Bottoms up!

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Monica Reinagel
Monica Reinagel MS, LDN, is a writer, speaker, culinary nutritionist and creator of the Nutrition Diva podcast. She blogs at NutritionOverEasy.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.