When writing my stories, I like to use examples of real things, the realistic elements that add verisimilitude which help readers suspend their disbelief. Such things include recipes that I may or may not have actually tried. In my latest book, Russian Revival, leading male character Ciro tells our heroine, Evelina, about ginger water.
I first came across ginger water as a mention in the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In one of the later volumes, Wilder mentioned her mother making ginger water for their hardworking father, as guzzling plain water could lead to stomach aches. In Russian Revival, our hardworking heroine chugs water throughout the day. (Hard, physical labor demands the body rehydrate the moisture lost through sweat.) She prefers lemon-infused water.
Lemon water has several well known benefits:
- It contains antioxidants and vitamin C
- It has anti inflammatory effects
- It may help treat kidney stones
- It may help weight loss
- It can optimize mood and memory
- It can relieve constipation
- It can improve athletic performance.
Moderation, of course, is key. Drinking too much lemon water may lead to the following health problems:
- It can erode tooth enamel, making your teeth prone to tooth decay
- It may lead to heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and reflux
- Lemon rinds can host germs and bacteria.
Ginger water, like lemon water, contains antioxidants which help to lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, chlorine, and selenium. Ginger has been found to reduce inflammation and ease allergies. It’s said to ease nausea and aid digestion and balance blood sugar.
So, how do you make ginger water? It’s simple. One recipe I found calls for two tablespoons of thinly sliced fresh ginger or grated fresh ginger and four cups of water. Put the ginger in the water and boil for ten to twenty minutes. If you want, add honey to sweeten the tea.
As with lemon water, moderation is key. Too much ginger—more than four grams daily—can lead to heartburn, gas, and stomach aches.
Here’s the excerpt from Russian Revival:
He watched without comment. She stashed the two unopened plastic bottles of Gatorade in the refrigerator for use the next day. Then she emptied her thermos and discarded the mushy remains of the day’s lemon wedges.
“Try ginger,” he suggested.
“Ginger?” She squirted a tiny bit of dish detergent into the thermos.
“Do you have any ginger root?”
“No.” She scrubbed the thermos.
“Slice up some ginger root and use it instead of lemon,” he said. “It will prevent bellyaches and give you some variety in your water.”
“Steep half a teaspoon of grated ginger in boiling water for ten minutes. It’s full of antioxidants and helps control cholesterol and prevent diabetes.”
Pausing in her chore, Abigail ran a critical eye over his trim figure displayed to perfection in the tailored suit he wore and scoffed, “Like you have to worry.”
“My mama swore by ginger water,” he said with a Gallic shrug.
Pre-order your copy of Russian Revival on Amazon.