Ginger is a common cooking ingredient that you can find in most kitchens worldwide. From baking to cooking vegetables, people use it in various ways. Although most people know it as a flavouring agent in our foods, ginger offers multiple health benefits. For example, ginger helps reduce inflammation, relieves cough, improves heart health, increases energy etc. However, ginger’s most underrated and significant benefit is its weight loss properties. In addition, it has hunger suppressing properties that help lose weight.
Obesity is a widespread problem globally. A global study by World Health Organisation in 2016 suggests that more than 650 million adult-population worldwide are obese. So, it is a grave concern that requires modification in diet and lifestyle. Fortunately, the awareness is relatively high these days.
The ideal way to lose weight is by taking steady measures like eating right, eating frequently and portion control. The change can occur in every household at a kitchen level. Our foods play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy body weight. Therefore, incorporating some foods with weight loss properties is a good idea.
Ginger is a flowering plant that people cultivate for its roots. Besides being a flavouring agent, ginger helps you lose weight. Therefore, adding ginger to your diet can significantly affect your weight loss journey. In addition, it has several other health benefits.
This article focuses on ginger’s weight loss and other health benefits.
Nutritional Properties of Ginger
One hundred grams of ginger holds the following nutritional values.
- Energy: 80kCal
- Protein: 1.82g
- Carbohydrates: 17.8g
- Fibre: 2g
- Calcium: 16mg
- Magnesium: 43mg
- Phosphorus: 34mg
- Potassium: 415mg
Note: The nutritional values are for one hundred grams of ginger. However, that is not the recommended amount of consumption. The recommended ginger consumption per day is around 3-4 grams.
Ginger and Weight Loss
The consumption of ginger brings several health benefits. It stimulates biological activities. Some of these activities help lose weight.
Research suggests that oxidative stress (caused by free radicals in the body) and inflammation can cause obesity among individuals. Gingerol, a compound in ginger, has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As per research, gingerol also helps reduce oxidative stress and hence, it helps lose weight.
A research review says that most of the experimental studies supported the weight lowering effect of ginger extract or powder in obese animal models. In contrast, the available limited clinical studies showed no changes or slight changes in anthropometric measurements and body composition in subjects with obesity. However, the review further states that ginger could modulate obesity through various potential mechanisms. These mechanisms include thermogenesis, increasing lipolysis, suppressing lipogenesis, inhibiting intestinal fat absorption, and controlling appetite.
The importance of a healthy digestive system for weight loss is no secret. Since ginger helps enhance digestion, it acts as an effective weight loss ingredient. In addition, as per another study, oral supplementation of ginger extracts helps regulate blood pressure. Stable blood sugar means your cells don’t get flooded with insulin, giving your body time to burn fat for energy between meals. It can therefore help you lose weight.
Best Ways to Use Ginger for Weight Loss
You can consume ginger in many ways. However, as per nutritionists and health experts, consuming ginger with other healthy fruits and vegetables improves taste and enhances weight loss benefits.
Ginger with Lemon
It is a potent combination if you are on a weight loss journey. Lemon is rich in vitamin C, which suppresses appetite and thus, reduces calorie intake. Lemon also helps you keep hydrated for a long time. Staying hydrated enhances your metabolism and aids in weight loss. So, the delicious and hydrating ginger-lemon water or tea can be an excellent weight loss remedy.
Recipe (Ginger Lemon Tea)
- Prepare a cup of tea by boiling water, tea leaves and grated ginger
- Squeeze half a lemon in the ginger tea
- Your drink is ready to serve
- Taking 2-3 cups of the drink per day will fasten the weight loss process.
Ginger with Apple Cider Vinegar
The weight-loss benefits of apple cider vinegar are well-known. You can read more about that in a detailed article here. In addition, it can help improve gut health, which is further essential for weight loss. Together, ginger and apple cider vinegar can be beneficial in your weight loss journey.
Recipe (Ginger and ACV Drink)
- Blend ginger extract (or powder), water, one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and honey (optional)
- Your drink is ready to consume
- Consuming this drink before breakfast can give the maximum benefit.
Ginger with Green Tea
Green tea has metabolic properties, and it is beneficial for weight loss. When combined with ginger, the mixture can offer enhanced weight loss benefits.
Recipe (Ginger Green Tea)
- Boil a cup of water and add green tea leaves and grated ginger (or ginger powder) to it.
- Strain and serve
- You can have this ginger green tea twice a day to maximise the benefits.
Ginger Powder and Water
It is the easiest way to consume ginger. Simply put the ginger powder in water and drink it. Water is a magical weight loss ingredient. You can add to its weight loss benefits by adding a ½ teaspoon of ginger powder. However, ensure that you do not add too much ginger powder as an excess of it can cause indigestion.
Ginger powder is highly effective in fighting cancer. It also has anti-inflammatory properties due to a constituent called Shogaols.
Ginger in Food
Apart from all the healthy ways to consume ginger, you can sprinkle a small amount of ginger powder on your healthy food. For example, you can use grated ginger as an ingredient to prepare your meals. In addition, you can mix it with spices and add it to your daily cooking recipes.
Other Health Benefits of Ginger
Besides helping you lose weight, ginger has other immense health benefits. Some of these benefits are:
Reduces Oxidative Stress
Excess free radicals in your body are the primary cause of oxidative stress. Gingerol, a compound in ginger, has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As per a study, the presence of gingerol in ginger helps reduce oxidative stress thereby reducing inflammation in the body. .
Helps Treat Nausea
Ginger is effective in the treatment of various kinds of nausea. These include nausea and vomiting that arise from any form of surgery. In addition, it helps treat nausea that arises due to pregnancy. A review of studies showed that a small amount of ginger could significantly improve nausea or symptoms of morning sickness in pregnant women.
Effective Against Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in joints of the body. Ginger is effective in dealing with this stiffness and joint pain. In addition, a study found that combining ginger with cinnamon and sesame oil helps reduce pain and stiffness in the knee joint.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Ginger has potent anti-diabetic properties as well. A systematic study on participants having type 2 diabetes showed that a minimal amount of ginger powder could reduce fasting blood sugar levels by a significant amount.
Ginger helps ease chronic indigestion that causes extreme pain in the upper part of the stomach. Ginger is helpful because it plays a crucial role in emptying the stomach quickly. A study showed that people who ate ginger could empty their stomachs significantly faster than those who did not.
Enhances Brain Function
Oxidative stress and inflammation are the leading causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Research has shown that ginger reduces oxidative stress and hence helps in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, more research has suggested that ginger intake is also related to better reaction time and working memory.
Precautions and Possible Side Effects of Ginger
Though ginger is considered safe for most people, some may experience side effects from eating it. Following is a brief list of those side effects.
Some people who are allergic to ginger can experience stomach discomfort after consuming it. It can also lead to severe side effects like heartburn, diarrhoea and excessive burping. These side effects can also occur as a result of excess ginger consumption. Hence, you should consume less than 4 grams of ginger per day to avoid these side effects.
Any food or ingredient that offers health benefits does so only when you use them correctly. Ginger may be a cause of skin irritation in some people. Hence, you should avoid applying ginger or ginger paste on your skin to avoid such irritation.
May Cause Bleeding During Pregnancy
Health experts and doctors suggest that pregnant women should refrain from consuming ginger. However, it is especially valid in the last few weeks before a child’s birth. That is because ginger being warm, can cause excess bleeding, leading to weakness and unhealthy pregnancy.
Slows Blood Clotting
Ginger can also cause excessive bleeding during and after surgery. Hence, you should completely stop ginger intake at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
The Bottom Line
Ginger is helpful in weight loss. In addition, it has immense health benefits like reducing oxidative stress, easing digestion, preventing nausea and morning sickness, relieving joint pain, and improving the brain’s overall functioning. Furthermore, it is a versatile ingredient that you use in various ways. For example, you can mix it with other foods or mix it in water. However, overconsumption of ginger can cause problems like digestive issues, heartburn, diarrhoea, skin irritation, excessive bleeding during pregnancy and slowed blood clotting. As a result, it is best to limit your consumption to not more than 4 grams of ginger per day.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What does ginger do to the body?
A. Ginger is very beneficial, and regular consumption can improve your health considerably in the long run. Ginger stimulates various biological activities in the body. Gingerol (a compound in ginger) has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger helps maintain stable blood pressure. Furthermore, it helps counter various types of nausea and morning sickness in pregnant ladies. Ginger effectively treats osteoarthritis (a condition that leads to stiff joints). In addition, ginger also helps in easing digestion. Further, there is evidence that eating ginger regularly can lead to better reaction time and working memory.
Q. Does ginger raise blood pressure?
A. No, ginger does not raise blood pressure. Instead, it helps lower blood pressure levels. A study demonstrates the efficacy of ginger consumption on blood pressure.
Q. Can ginger cure cough?
A. Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants. That is due to a compound known as gingerol, which is present in high quantities in ginger. This compound plays a crucial role in relieving the throat that becomes irritated and inflamed due to coughing. A study suggested that ginger components can also relax airway muscles. An animal study found that ginger extract was highly effective in preventing cough in the subjects.
Q. Can ginger reduce belly fat?
A. Several factors can help reduce belly fat. First, a healthy digestive system plays a vital role in cutting down belly fat. Ginger helps improve the digestive system. It also has an anti-obesity effect that helps reduce overall fat. An analysis of a study showed that ginger intake significantly reduced belly fat.
Q. Is it good to drink ginger tea every day?
A. A. Ginger tea is usually safe to drink every day. It comes with immense benefits. Examples are helping in weight loss, reducing oxidative stress, and controlling nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy. In addition, it is effective in treating osteoarthritis, lowering blood sugar, easing digestion, and enhancing brain functioning. However, excess intake of ginger can cause problems like stomach irritation, heartburn and skin irritation. Also, if you are taking blood-thinning medicines, you should avoid using ginger as it might interact with your medication.
Q. What are the benefits of drinking lemon garlic and ginger water?
A. The combination of ginger, garlic and lemon is instrumental if you aim to lose weight fast. When taken in the morning, the combination of ginger, garlic, and lemon helps remove fat from all parts of the body. As a result, it plays a preventive role in diseases arising from a fat belly like fatty liver and type-2 diabetes. It is also helpful in treating cold and flu. Other benefits include eased digestion, detoxification of the entire body, balanced pH levels, better immune response, and overall mood and energy boost.
Q. Can I drink ginger tea at night?
A. You can take ginger at any time of the day. However, the best time for drinking ginger tea is early in the morning, preferably as soon as you wake up. It enhances metabolism and helps if you have nausea or morning sickness. At night, it is acceptable to drink ginger tea. Ginger does not contain caffeine, so it will not disrupt your sleep. If you want to improve the quality of your sleep, you can add a squeeze of lemon to your ginger tea. It has a relaxing effect on the brain and will enhance sleep quality.
Q. Is ginger and honey good for you?
A. A ginger and honey mixture has loads of benefits. For starters, the goodness of ginger can help you lose significant amounts of weight. A ginger honey mixture is also a home remedy for cough and cold. That is because honey thins the mucus that blocks the nose and throat. Ginger acts as a natural pain killer also. The mixture is also beneficial for the heart. It improves heart health by preventing blood clots and reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. It is also helpful in preventing morning sickness and nausea.
Q. How much ginger should I take daily?
A. Despite having various benefits for the body, you should avoid overconsumption of ginger as it comes with a few risks. For example, overconsumption of ginger may cause digestive issues, heartburn, diarrhoea, skin irritation, excessive bleeding during pregnancy and slow blood clotting. Hence, you should limit your consumption to less than four grams.
Q. Does ginger make you urinate a lot?
A. Yes, it may be the case because ginger has diuretic properties. So, it may make you urinate a lot. However, limited consumption has many other valuable benefits for your body in the long run.