Ginger is one of the oldest spices in the world, having been consumed for thousands of years (dating back to about 4000 B.C.) for cooking and in traditional medicine. Did you know that you can use ginger for weight loss too?
This powerful spice actually works in many different ways to help you shed those extra pounds! It also provides a host of other benefits to nourish you and your family’s health.
What is ginger?
Ginger is a rhizome with an underground stem that looks like a thick root. You can actually grow the ginger found at your grocery stores by simply dividing its rhizomes rather than from seed.
Ginger’s aromatic and spicy flavor is often found in Asian stir-fries and vegetable dishes. Another common thing that comes to mind is making gingerbread during the holidays. But ginger is good for much more than just flavoring cookies and stir-fries!
10 Incredible Benefits of Ginger for Weight Loss and Health
1. Naturally Boosts Metabolism
Ginger is a thermogenic food that can raise the temperature of the body by burning stored up body fat, resulting in a boost to your metabolism and reduced fat storage.
Consuming thermogenic ingredients like ginger may boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent, and increase fat burning by up to 16 percent (source).
Ginger’s high fiber content also helps to increase your metabolism.
2. Increases Food Satiety
While diet and willpower play a role in weight loss, hormonal balance also plays an important role. Leptin is a hormone that takes a part in you feeling full and satisfied after a meal.
In a healthy person, leptin levels determine how hungry you get and how much fat your body stores. Obese individuals tend to have higher leptin levels, which can cause their brain and body to become resistant to leptin. This results in the brain not turning your fat-burning switch on, and you stay hungry and store more and more fat.
The main bioactive compound in ginger, called gingerol, has been shown to improve blood sugar levels and leptin levels (source). Ginger’s well-known anti-inflammatory properties can also help you reverse leptin resistance, which in turn helps you reverse weight gain.
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3. Natural Appetite Suppressant
Ginger may help to suppress your appetite, keep you feeling full, and ultimately reduce your overall daily caloric intake.
A 2012 study published in the journal Metabolism found that people who drank a hot ginger beverage with 2 grams (about ½ teaspoon) of ginger powder after meals have reduced feelings of hunger for up to six hours (source).
Get ginger weight loss benefits by making ginger drinks along with eating a healthy diet of clean foods!
4. Reduces Cortisol Production
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism, immune, and stress response. Hormonal changes and chronic stress can cause spikes in blood cortisol levels.
Elevated cortisol levels may contribute to weight gain, especially making it hard to lose belly fat. It also causes the immune system and metabolism to be out of balance.
According to an article in the “Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin” of 2004, ginger suppresses cortisol production, so consuming ginger can help restore your internal balance, promote your well-being and weight loss.
5. Aids Digestion
Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a digestive aid. It can improve digestion by increasing the pH of the stomach and stimulating your digestive enzymes. It can also relax the smooth muscle in your gut lining and move food along throughout the system.
This is one reason why ginger can relieve bloating, constipation, and other gastrointestinal disorders. When everything moves more smoothly and efficiently, you benefit by losing weight more easily.
Can ginger be used to reduce belly fat? Ginger benefits extend beyond a digestive aid to reduce your bloat and reveal a flatter tummy. Drinking ginger tea before bed allows it to work its magic during your sleep.
6. Fights common cold and flu.
Ginger is a must-have spice for moms! Not only can you use ginger for weight loss and energy boost, but ginger is also a well-known traditional remedy for treating the cold and flu for the whole family!
Ginger is naturally antiviral and contains chemicals called sesquiterpenes which can specifically target rhinoviruses (the most common family of cold viruses). Ginger’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties can help to boost your immune system.
Ginger can also relieve the common symptoms associated with a cold and flu as it can act as an antihistamine and decongestant. It is a natural pain reducer and a mild sedative. It’s ability to stimulate perspiration can bring down body temperature and reduce fever.
7. Soothes sore muscles and joints.
The gingerols in ginger contain anti-inflammatories that can improve blood circulation and help relieve tired muscles.
A great way to both soothe your muscles and reduce stress is to immerse yourself in a hot ginger bath. Grate ½ cup of fresh ginger, seal it in a cotton bag and place it under running bathwater.
The ginger can cause you to sweat profusely, which is a great way to get rid of toxins in your body, helping you to feel refreshed and energized. Just be sure to replenish your body with water to avoid dehydration.
8. Menstrual Pain
Menstrual cramps are one of the most common problems that women face, affecting over 50 percent of menstruating women. For some, the pain can be so intense that it disrupts their ability to go about their normal daily routines every month.
Ginger has been shown to be as effective as ibuprofen and mefenamic acid in reducing pains associated with menstrual cramps (source). Many women actually find that while the commercial pills dull the pain, ginger can completely remove the pain.
9. Treats nausea
Ginger has long been a popular remedy for nausea in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It is used to ease nausea from morning sickness, motion sickness, food poisoning, and even chemotherapy. The ginger is commonly consumed as a tea or cooked into a therapeutic rice porridge or congee. Many people also use ginger supplements for treating nausea.
10. Improves Memory and Attention
Ginger has traditionally been used to treat memory loss and dementia. More recent research shows it can enhance a wide variety of other cognitive functions besides memory.
In a study of healthy middle-aged women that were given dried ginger supplements, they showed improvements in working memory, reaction time, and attention (source). I know I could definitely use the help to battle my “mommy brain” from time to time!
How to use ginger for weight loss?
Ready to ramp up your consumption of ginger to lose weight and improve overall health? To incorporate more ginger into your life, drink it in a tea, grate it or add its dried powder into just about anything: stir-fries, vegetables, soups, eggs, muffins, oatmeal, desserts, and smoothies.
I regularly use ginger for weight loss by adding it to my daily coffee, tea, or smoothies.
You can also make ginger water for weight loss by adding sliced or grated raw ginger into your detox waters. Making your own ginger drinks give you the flexibility on ingredients so you can, for example, combine ginger and lemon for weight loss, or make green tea and ginger for weight loss.
Don’t have time to chop or grate ginger? This ginger juice is a perfect time-saving alternative to fresh or ground ginger. Simply splash it on salads, over fish, and in tea, stir-fry, marinades, soups, and more!
Ginger for weight loss recipes
You can further promote weight loss by using ginger with other powerful fat-burning ingredients in your recipes. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Lemon and ginger for weight loss recipe
Lemon and ginger make a flavorful fruit and spice pairing. A Japanese study also found a micronutrient, called polyphenols, in lemon to reduce weight gain and improve fat metabolism in mice who were fed a high-fat diet (source).
I personally found that drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning suppressed my appetite that I forget to eat my mid-morning snack.
This Ginger Turmeric Tea combines the detoxing and fat blocking powers of lemon, ginger, and turmeric into a delectable tea! It’s also my go-to drink whenever I have the sniffles to keep colds at bay.
Green tea and ginger for weight loss recipe
Green tea has one of the highest sources of antioxidants called catechins. A study has found that consuming catechin-rich green teas, like this organic matcha powder, is effective in reducing weight and abdominal fat in moderately overweight subjects (source).
The Flat Belly Smoothie combines the health benefits of green tea and ginger to help you lose weight and achieve a flat belly.
Cinnamon and ginger for weight loss recipes
One of the most well-known health benefits of cinnamon is its ability to control blood sugar, and since high blood sugar levels can lead to increased body fat storage, cinnamon helps prevent this increased fat storage and therefore helps you lose weight.
The sweetness of cinnamon complements the spicy kick of ginger in this healthy breakfast Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie.
Another breakfast recipe using ginger and cinnamon is this easy 5-minute Peanut Butter Overnight Oats.
Apple cider vinegar and ginger for weight loss recipe
There are many apple cider vinegar health benefits from reducing eczema and fever to improving digestion and weight loss.
ACV and vinegar of all kinds have also been used as one of the top home remedies to aid weight loss due to their ability to make you feel full.
The acetic acid in vinegar is also known to interfere with your body’s ability to digest starch so that less is broken down into calories in your bloodstream and thus helps you lose weight.
This Homemade Bone Broth uses apple cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, black pepper, and an Asian superfood combined to make it into a powerful weight loss broth!
Potential risks and side effects
If you are on any medication, you should always check for potential interactions with any herbs and foods, including ginger.
Side effects from consuming ginger are rare but can include mild symptoms such as heartburn, diarrhea, gas, stomachache, and burning of the mouth.
Consult with your doctor first before supplementing with ginger, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have chronic health conditions like diabetes or heart diseases.
Do you consume ginger for weight loss and health? What are your favorite ways of consuming ginger? Comment below!