Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Are Ginger Chews Bad For You?

Also Known As: Ginger candy



Short answer

Ginger chews are loved for their flavor and potential health benefits but are often high in sugar, which can lead to health issues if consumed in excess. A single ginger chew typically contains 3-5 grams of added sugars, quickly adding up against daily recommended limits. While sugar alcohols in some chews offer alternatives, they may cause digestive issues. It's key to enjoy these treats in moderation, considering their sugar content and the possible impact on health, and opt for varieties with less or no added sugar.



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Long answer

Sugar Content and Its Effects in Ginger Chews

Ginger chews are often sought after for their spicy-sweet flavor and potential health benefits, such as nausea relief and digestive aid. However, it's important to scrutinize their sugar content, as this can significantly impact their overall nutritional profile and health implications.

The primary concern with the sugar content in ginger chews comes down to the type and quantity of sugar used. Many commercially available ginger chews contain added sugars, which can contribute to various health issues if consumed in excess. Commonly used sugars include:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Cane sugar
  • Glucose syrup

The adverse effects of consuming high amounts of added sugars are well-documented. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), excessive sugar intake can lead to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay. They recommend that men limit their intake to no more than 36 grams per day, and women to no more than 25 grams per day. Notably, a single ginger chew can contain anywhere from 3 to 5 grams of added sugar, which can quickly add up if consumed in multiple quantities throughout the day.

In response to these concerns, some brands offer ginger chews sweetened with alternative sugars or sugar alcohols. These might include:

  • Stevia
  • Erythritol
  • Xylitol

While these sugar alternatives may offer lower calorie options and a reduced impact on blood glucose levels, they are not without their potential issues. For instance, sugar alcohols can sometimes cause digestive discomfort or have a laxative effect when consumed in large quantities.

Analyzing the label of ginger chews for sugar content is essential. Consumers should look for:

  • Total sugar content per serving
  • The presence of added sugars
  • Type of sugars used

Understanding the exact type of sweeteners used in ginger chews can help consumers determine their potential impact. It is essential to compare this with dietary recommendations from trusted health organizations and consider the effects of these sugars on individual health goals and conditions.

Additionally, scientific studies often reveal the impact of frequent sugar intake on overall health. For example, research published in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" has highlighted the correlation between added sugar consumption and increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. Being mindful of consumption frequency and serving sizes while enjoying ginger chews can help mitigate potential health risks associated with their sugar content.

For those who enjoy ginger chews but wish to limit sugar intake, it may be beneficial to seek out varieties that prioritize low or no added sugar. These may be sweetened with natural ingredients that can offer the benefits of ginger without the drawbacks of high sugar consumption.

Natural vs. Artificial Ingredients in Ginger Chews

When evaluating the potential health impacts of ginger chews, distinguishing between natural and artificial ingredients is crucial. Ginger chews, often touted for the digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits of their key ingredient, ginger, can vary widely in their composition. Let's take a closer look at the implications of these ingredients.

Natural Ingredients:

  • Ginger: The star ingredient, known for its anti-nausea properties and gastrointestinal relief, is derived from the root of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale). A study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine highlighted ginger's anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, underlining its potential health benefits when consumed in natural form.
  • Sweeteners: Many ginger chews contain natural sweeteners like cane sugar or honey. While these can provide a pleasurable taste, it's important to monitor intake, as excessive sugar consumption can lead to various health issues. It's worth noting that the American Heart Association recommends no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day for men and 25 grams for women.
  • Additional Flavors: Some chews may incorporate natural flavors sourced from fruits, spices, or herbs, which may contribute additional nutrients and benefits—a welcome enhancement in moderation.

Artificial Ingredients:

  • Artificial Sweeteners: To reduce sugar content, some ginger chews use artificial sweeteners. While these ingredients can benefit those monitoring their sugar intake, like diabetics, research published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health suggests that long-term consumption of some artificial sweeteners may have adverse effects on health.
  • Preservatives: Chemical preservatives may be employed to extend shelf life. Articles from the Environmental Working Group have pointed out potential health risks associated with certain preservatives leading to consumer concern over these additives.
  • Colorings: Artificial colorings are sometimes added to make products more appealing. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates these additives, there is ongoing debate about their safety. A comprehensive review in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology updated on the health implications of synthetic food colorings could provide valuable insights for consumers looking to avoid these ingredients.

Ultimately, the health impact of ginger chews is directly related to their composition. It is generally advised that individuals seeking the benefits of ginger opt for chews with more natural ingredients and minimal additives. Always check the product label to understand what you're consuming and consult with a healthcare provider about any dietary concerns you may have, especially if you're managing a health condition that could be affected by these ingredients.

Digestive Benefits of Ginger

Ginger, known for its pungent scent and fiery taste, has long been used in traditional medicine for its myriad health benefits, particularly in aiding digestion. The primary bioactive compound in ginger, gingerol, is responsible for much of its medicinal properties. This section will explore the well-documented benefits of ginger for digestive health.

Alleviating Nausea: Ginger is renowned for its ability to ease nausea and vomiting. Numerous studies support its effectiveness in reducing symptoms of motion sickness, morning sickness during pregnancy, and chemotherapy-induced nausea. A review of 12 studies involving 1,278 pregnant women found that 1.1–1.5 grams of ginger significantly reduced nausea.

Improving Digestion: Ginger can enhance gastric motility, which helps prompt the digestive process and reduce the likelihood of indigestion. By accelerating the emptying of the stomach, ginger has been found to relieve discomfort associated with indigestion, as shown in a study where participants had their gastric emptying rates increase after consuming ginger.

Reducing Inflammation: Chronic indigestion can be associated with underlying inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can contribute to mitigating this. Ginger's effect on inflammation goes beyond the digestive system—it can help manage various forms of inflammation within the body.

Combating Bloat and Gas: Through its carminative effect, ginger can help relieve bloating and gas by relaxing the gastrointestinal muscles, thus preventing gas and bloating from occurring in the first place.

Supporting Microbiome Balance: Preliminary research indicates that ginger may encourage a healthy balance of the gut microbiome, thereby contributing to overall gut health.

Overconsumption Risks

While ginger offers notable digestive benefits, as with any food or supplement, moderation is key. Consuming ginger in large quantities can lead to certain adverse effects, some of which are outlined here:

Gastrointestinal Discomfort: Too much ginger can backfire, producing gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, diarrhea, and stomach upset, particularly in those with a sensitive digestive tract.

Increased Bleeding Risk: Ginger can thin the blood and may increase bleeding risk, a critical consideration for those on blood-thinning medications or facing upcoming surgery.

Interactions with Medications: Ginger may interact with medications, especially anticoagulants, heart medications, and antidiabetic drugs. It's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before introducing a high intake of ginger.

Risks During Pregnancy: Though often recommended for morning sickness, excessive consumption of ginger during pregnancy can be concerning. Pregnant individuals should not exceed the recommended limit and always consult their healthcare provider before taking ginger supplements.

To reap the digestive benefits of ginger without risking overconsumption, healthcare professionals generally recommend incorporating ginger into one's diet in moderation, such as using fresh or powdered ginger for cooking, or occasionally enjoying small amounts of ginger chews as a treat.

Dental Health Implications of Chewing Ginger Candy

When considering ginger chews from a dental health perspective, it's important to examine the components of these popular treats and their potential impact on oral health. Ginger itself has some health benefits, but the form in which it's consumed can play a critical role in dental health outcomes.

Sugar Content:

Ginger chews, like many candies, often contain high amounts of sugar. Sugars can adhere to teeth and provide a food source for the bacteria in the mouth, which may lead to tooth decay and cavities. According to the American Dental Association, frequent snacking on sugary foods can increase the risk of caries - a process where dental plaque turns sugars into acids, leading to enamel deterioration.

Stickiness Factor:

The texture of ginger chews is typically quite sticky, which can pose additional risks to dental health. Sticky foods tend to cling to the teeth longer than other types of food, which can prolong the exposure to sugars and acids, thereby contributing to the risk of dental erosion and decay.

pH Levels:

Some ginger chews might also be acidic. The pH level of any food can impact tooth enamel, with high acidity potentially leading to erosion of the enamel over time. However, it's also noted in studies such as the Journal of the American Dental Association that ginger itself can have an antibacterial effect, which could in theory contribute to a healthier oral environment if consumed in its natural state without added sugars.

Chewing and Jaw Health:

Chewing on harder ginger candies can exert extra force on the teeth and jaws, which might be detrimental if a person has certain dental conditions like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) or weakened teeth. While the act of chewing can stimulate saliva flow, which helps to neutralize acids and remineralize tooth enamel, the hardness of some ginger chews could lead to dental fractures or exacerbate existing dental issues.

Artificial Ingredients:

It's also worth considering whether the ginger chews contain artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives that might have indirect impacts on oral health. Certain additives might interact with the oral microbiome or contribute to reactions in susceptible individuals.

When partaking in ginger chews or any candy, it's recommended to practice good oral hygiene to mitigate potential negative impacts on dental health. Brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and visiting a dentist for routine checkups can help preserve oral health while still enjoying occasional treats.

In summary, while ginger itself may have some properties that could be beneficial for oral health, the form of ginger chews presents several factors that could lead to dental health concerns. Moderation and proper dental hygiene practices are key when consuming these types of candies.

Balancing Ginger Chews in a Healthy Diet

Integrating ginger chews into a healthy diet requires understanding their nutritional profile, potential benefits, and the moderation needed for optimal health. Ginger, the root from which these chews are derived, has a long history of use as a herbal remedy attributed with a variety of health benefits. However, ginger chews are often combined with sugar and other ingredients that can detract from these positive aspects when consumed in excess.

Understanding Nutritional Content: Ginger chews usually contain calories, carbohydrates, and sugars due to the sweeteners used to make them palatable. They may contain little to no fat or protein. Reading labels is essential to know the exact content and to choose options with fewer additives and lower sugar content.

  • Typical serving size (e.g., 2 chews)
  • Calories per serving
  • Amount of sugar per serving
  • Presence of high fructose corn syrup or healthier sugar alternatives
  • Any additional vitamins or minerals

Portion Control: Habitual snacking on ginger chews can inadvertently lead to a high intake of sugars and calories. Limiting consumption to a few pieces per day could mitigate this risk and help maintain a balanced diet.

Contextual Consumption: Ginger chews work well as a treat rather than a regular snack. Positioning them as a go-to remedy for specific situations like easing digestion or quelling nausea rather than a daily food item is prudent. This helps prevent unnecessary calorie and sugar intake.

Beneficial Components: The ginger in ginger chews contains bioactive compounds like gingerol, which have been associated with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies suggest ginger may bring gastrointestinal relief and help with nausea associated with pregnancy or chemotherapy (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health).

Healthier Alternatives: If ginger's health benefits are desired without the added sugars, considering other forms like fresh ginger, tea, or supplements might be preferable. These alternatives can be easily incorporated into meals or taken as needed without the excess sugar found in ginger chews.

Diet Integration Tips:

  • Choose ginger chews with the least amount of added sugar.
  • Incorporate them as part of a meal plan that accounts for their sugar content.
  • Use them strategically for the symptomatic relief of nausea or digestive discomfort, not as a casual snack.
  • Explore other ginger-containing products or whole ginger root for the same benefits with fewer calories and sugars.

Keep in mind that individuals with specific dietary needs or health conditions should consult with a healthcare provider before regularly including ginger chews in their diet.

Frequently asked questions

Ginger chews with natural ingredients are generally preferred due to their fewer processed additives and closer resemblance to whole food forms. However, 'natural' does not always equate to 'healthier,' particularly if they still contain high levels of sugar or other natural but calorie-dense components. Consumers should still read the label to evaluate the overall nutritional content and consider the product in the context of their individual health needs and dietary restrictions.

Ginger chews may indirectly assist with weight management due to ginger's potential role in enhancing thermogenesis and reducing feelings of hunger. However, the sugar content in ginger chews can negate these benefits if consumed in large quantities. For weight management, it's crucial to enjoy ginger chews in moderation and opt for those with lower sugar content or to choose other forms of ginger like fresh ginger or ginger tea.

The type of sweetener in ginger chews influences both their calorie content and their impact on blood sugar levels. Natural sweeteners like cane sugar contribute to the overall sugar and calorie count, while sugar alcohols and non-nutritive sweeteners may offer less caloric intake but can sometimes lead to digestive issues when consumed in excess. It is important to choose ginger chews with sweeteners that align with your health goals and to consider the total sugar intake in the context of your entire diet.

Yes, ginger chews can retain the medicinal properties of ginger, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects, and can provide mild relief for nausea and indigestion. However, the concentration of ginger in chews is often lower compared to other forms such as fresh ginger or supplements. Therefore, while some benefit can be gained, relying on ginger chews for medicinal purposes should not replace professional medical advice or the use of more potent ginger preparations.

Ask a question about Ginger Chews and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • stomach upset
  • dental caries
  • tooth enamel erosion
  • jaw discomfort

Possible long-term side effects

  • obesity
  • type 2 diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • tooth decay
  • increased bleeding risk
  • potential adverse effects from artificial sweeteners and preservatives

Ingredients to be aware of


  • nausea relief
  • digestive aid
  • enhanced gastric motility
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidative properties
  • supports microbiome balance

Healthier alternatives

  • stevia-sweetened ginger chews
  • erythritol-sweetened ginger chews
  • xylitol-sweetened ginger chews
  • fresh ginger
  • ginger tea
  • ginger supplements

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

CHIMES Ginger Chews

  • Natural ginger flavor
  • Chewy candy treat
  • Individually wrapped
  • Premium quality
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 02-09-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 02-09-2024

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