Aromatic, pungent, and spicy – ginger adds a special flavor and zest to many dishes. Ginger is a herb widely used throughout the world for treating loss of appetite, nausea, stomach upset, motion sickness, etc. But do you know that it can help you lose weight also?
Working out creates body heat that helps you burn calories. Ginger also creates internal heat that revs up your metabolism. Ginger is nearly calorie-free, and when used in cooking or brewed in tea, it can give you a slight advantage in meeting your weight loss goals. Ginger is not a replacement for a calorie-reduced diet, but it may augment a sensible eating and exercise plan.
Studies show that ginger creates thermogenesis, an action that boosts metabolism. While a great deal of anecdotal evidence also shows a connection between ginger consumption and weight loss in humans, scientific studies on the subject remain unpublished.
The dry, fibrous ginger rhizomes are the ones commonly used as spices, preservatives and flavoring agents. The characteristic odor and flavor of ginger are due to different groups of phenol compounds such as gingerols, shogaols and zingerone. The gingerols are volatile oils which have been shown to be responsible for the analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antipyretic, gastrointestinal motility and sedative effects of ginger. These oils also show promise as anti-cancer drug candidates in different preliminary studies.
Fresh ginger contains 80.9% moisture, 0.9% fat, 12.3% carbohydrate, 2.3% proteins, 2.4% fiber and 1.2% minerals. Ginger root or rhizome contains B vitamins, vitamins A and C as well as iron, potassium and phosphorus. It is also rich in dietary fiber.
Ginger Serves as a Digestive Aid
Ginger can improve digestion by increasing the pH of the stomach and stimulating the digestive enzymes. Because ginger also has high fiber content, it increases gastrointestinal motility. The combination of these two effects means that essential nutrients are absorbed quickly while the non-essential foods that cause bloating and constipation are excreted quickly. An efficient digestive system can help process ingested food more efficiently, and this can contribute to weight loss because the bulking parts of ingested foods can be efficiently processed and eliminated from the body.
Ginger Improves Metabolism
A number of studies suggest that ginger is also a thermogenic agent that can help burn fat. There are reports that ginger can boost metabolism by up to 20%. By increasing the rate of metabolism, ginger can help burn off some of the fat stored up in the body. This not only translates to weight loss but can also help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels as the body burns all the fat it is provided.
Ginger for Weight Loss
Ginger is available both as fresh or dried roots. These can be used in various ways including in the preparation of food or to make ginger tea. As an herbal supplement, ginger is also supplied in the form of extracts, capsules, tinctures and oils.
Ginger should not be given to children under the age of 2 and even adults should consult with their physicians first before taking ginger especially if they are currently placed on other drugs or supplements.
There are no standard doses of ginger for weight loss. However, the maximal daily dose is 4 grams. Pregnant women should not take more than 1 gram per day of the herb. A common way to take ginger is to make ginger tea by adding ½ teaspoon of the powdered herb to 4 – 6 ounces of hot water. Once dissolved, the tea can be sweetened as needed.
Honey and Ginger Juice
The combination of honey and ginger is excellent to lose weight. Taking this mixture twice a day will help to reduce your weight. Ingredients here are 3 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of ginger. Extract the juice from ginger and add 2 tablespoons in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of honey to the juice. Mix it well and drink it twice a day. Notice the change in your body in a month’s time.
Ginger tea is used for weight because it increases metabolism, stimulates circulation and excretion of toxins.
Ginger tea has a number of contraindications. You should not use ginger tea for weight loss if:
- You suffer from inflammatory diseases of the skin
- You have a very high temperature and fever
- You suffer the aggravation of gastric ulcers
- You have a wound in the process of healing
Other health benefits of ginger
It treats respiratory problems, nausea and vomiting, prevents morning sickness and loss of appetite. It is an anti-flatulent, reduces menstrual pain, relieves headache. It is used as a treatment for arthritis. It removes stress, is good for sleep, is anti-inflammatory, and improves immunity.