Is ginger candy healthy?

Ginger candy has become an increasingly popular treat and health supplement. Made from ginger root, these colorful, often spicy confections are touted to help with digestion, nausea, inflammation, pain relief, and more. But are the health claims backed by science? Is ginger candy actually good for you? Here, we’ll explore the potential benefits and downsides of ginger candy.

What is Ginger Candy?

Ginger candy is made from ginger root (Zingiber officinale), a flowering plant originally from Southeast Asia. The rhizome (underground stem) is where the flavor and health benefits are concentrated. Ginger rhizomes are peeled, dried, and often cooked in sugar syrup to produce chewy ginger candies, sometimes with added natural flavors like lemon or chamomile. Crystallized ginger is also popular, where raw ginger gets preserved in a coating of sugar.

Compared to fresh ginger, the candied version packs less of a spicy punch but retains the distinctive ginger flavor. Gingerols and shogaols are the main active compounds, which give ginger its unique taste and potential therapeutic effects. The candying process tends to reduce these compounds somewhat but not completely.

Potential Health Benefits

For centuries, ginger has been used in traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Modern research is still unraveling the potential health effects of ginger and how it might support wellbeing:

May Ease Nausea

Ginger is perhaps most well-known for its ability to help relieve nausea. The gingerols and shogaols are thought to interact with serotonin receptors to soothe nausea and vomiting triggered by motion sickness, pregnancy, chemotherapy, and other causes. Numerous studies have found ginger comparable to medications for seasickness. Ginger candy is portable and can be helpful when traveling.

Could Aid Digestion

Ginger may help stimulate saliva, bile, and gastric juice production to support healthy digestion. Gingerols and shogaols are believed to relax stomach muscles and optimize movement of food through the GI tract. This can help reduce bloating, gas, cramping, and constipation symptoms. The fiber in ginger candy could also feed beneficial gut bacteria.

May Reduce Inflammation

Chronic inflammation drives many modern diseases. Animal and human studies indicate ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that could help protect cardiovascular health, manage arthritis symptoms, and more. The compounds 6-shogaol and 10-gingerol are thought to inhibit pro-inflammatory messaging molecules like NF-kB.

Might Lessen Menstrual Discomfort

Dysmenorrhea, or painful periods, affects many women. Ginger is traditionally used for menstrual pain and may be as effective as drugs like ibuprofen. Researchers believe ginger inhibits cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes involved in menstrual cramps and muscle contractions. Ginger candy provides portable relief.

Could Alleviate Migraine Pain

Migraine headaches plague over 37 million Americans. Ginger root powder reduced migraine frequency and severity as effectively as a common preventative medication in one study. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory actions and ability to inhibit serotonin secretion may underlie these benefits. More research is still needed.

May Reduce Muscle Pain and Soreness

Ginger has been shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle pain and speed recovery in athletes. Gingerol compounds are thought to interact with pain receptors and inflammation pathways. Consuming ginger candy before working out could support training endurance.

Provides Antioxidant Protection

Free radicals from pollution, stress, and unhealthy diets can harm cells. Ginger contains antioxidants like gingerols, shogaols, zingerone, and ketone derivatives that neutralize these reactive molecules, preventing oxidative stress-related damage.

Could Support Heart Health

From lowering blood pressure and cholesterol to preventing blood clots and improving circulation, ginger shows promise for protecting cardiovascular health. Reduced chronic inflammation and antioxidant actions likely contribute to these benefits. More human research is still needed.

May Have Anti-Cancer Potential

Early cell studies indicate ginger may suppress cancer growth and spread for ovarian, prostate, breast, skin, colon, and other cancers. Compounds like 6-shogaol, 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol, 10-gingerol, and 6-dehydrogingerdione exhibit anti-tumor effects. Much more research is required to confirm effects in humans.

Potential Downsides of Ginger Candy

Ginger candy is likely safe for most people when enjoyed in moderation but there are some potential side effects to keep in mind:

– Upset stomach – High doses of ginger may cause heartburn, diarrhea, mouth irritation, and stomach upset in sensitive individuals. Start with small portions.

– Blood thinning – Ginger may increase bleeding risk by inhibiting platelet aggregation. Those on blood thinners should exercise caution and consult their doctor before regularly consuming ginger candy.

– Allergic reactions – Ginger allergies are rare but possible. Discontinue use if any signs of allergy like rash, itching, swelling, or breathing problems occur.

– Drug interactions – Ginger may interfere with absorption of medications for heart conditions, diabetes, and other health problems. Speak with your pharmacist about potential ginger candy interactions with your prescriptions.

– Dental damage – Hard ginger candies could damage fillings or break teeth. Opt for softer chews. Crystallized ginger’s sugar content could also promote cavities.

– High sugar content – Ginger candy often contains lots of added sugar, which should be limited for optimal health. Seek out options made with less sugar or alternative sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit.

How Much Ginger Candy Should You Eat?

There’s no standardized recommended daily intake for ginger or ginger candy. Most studies showing benefits use around 1000-1500mg of ginger powder or extract daily, split into multiple doses. To put this in candy terms:

– One teaspoon of crystallized ginger pieces provides around 500mg ginger
– Two standard ginger chews contain approximately 1000mg ginger
– One tablespoon of ginger syrup (often used in DIY candy recipes) has about 1200mg ginger

Consuming up to 4000mg ginger daily appears to be safe for most healthy adults. Moderation is advised, with not more than a few pieces of ginger candy per day. Listen to your body and adjust as needed. Those on medication or with underlying health conditions should consult their doctor.

Selecting the Healthiest Ginger Candy

When shopping for ginger candy, read ingredient labels closely and aim for options that provide the most pure ginger content with minimal added sugars. Here are some tips:

– Seek out candies sweetened with stevia, monk fruit, erythritol or small amounts of brown rice syrup or coconut sugar instead of table sugar.

– Look for ginger candy made from organic, sustainably grown ginger for reduced pesticide residues.

– Avoid candies with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

– Select raw, soft-style ginger chews over harder boiled options to maximize gingerol content.

– Prioritize candies made with fresh ginger juice over dried ground ginger root powder.

– Brands that use ginger extract may deliver more active compounds.

– Be wary of suspiciously cheap ginger candy, as quality is often lower.

DIY Healthy Ginger Candy Recipes

For the purest, healthiest ginger candy, consider making your own at home. Here are two nutritious DIY ginger candy recipes to try:

Simple 4-Ingredient Ginger Syrup Candy


  • 1 cup fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Peel and finely grate 1 cup of fresh ginger root. Add to small saucepan with 1 cup water.
  2. Bring water to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain liquid through a mesh sieve into a glass jar or bowl, pressing on solids. Discard solids.
  4. Add 1 cup honey and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Mix well until fully combined.
  5. Pour ginger syrup into candy molds or glass jar. Place in fridge until set, about 2 hours.
  6. Unmold ginger candies and keep stored in refrigerator. Enjoy up to 2 pieces daily.

Baked Ginger Coconut Oil Candy Bites

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1⁄4 cup coconut flour
  • 1⁄4 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1⁄4 cup raw ginger powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1⁄2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1⁄4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  3. Add wet ingredients and stir until fully combined into thick dough.
  4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and let cool completely.
  6. Store in airtight container. Consume up to 3 candies daily.

The Bottom Line

When consumed in moderation, ginger candy can provide a range of science-backed health benefits thanks to its unique phytochemicals. From easing nausea and pain to supporting digestion and immunity, ginger candy is a tasty way to promote wellness. Be mindful of added sugars, however, and potential medication interactions. For maximum benefits without the empty calories, try making healthy ginger candy at home. Overall, ginger candy can be a delicious addition to a balanced, whole foods diet when enjoyed sensibly.

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