Drinking ginger water may help to decrease inflammation, joint swelling and pain experienced in conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatism. An article published in “Journal of Medicinal Food” in the 2005 summer issue noted that during the past 25 years scientists have provided scientific support for the long-held belief that ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger is a source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are powerful substances that protect your body against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause damage to healthy cells. An article published in “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” in July 2010 noted that the results of a study done on the composition and antioxidant power of ginger revealed that fresh and dried ginger contain powerful antioxidants. The results suggested that ginger can be used as source of natural antioxidants in foods.
Ginger water may be effective in helping to prevent and inhibit cancer growth. The mechanisms responsible are substances in ginger, including antioxidants, which have been shown to kill and decrease the spread of cancer-causing substances in the body. An article published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” in February 2012 noted ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and has been observed to slow the spread of certain cancers, indicating that ginger may play a promising role in the prevention of cancer.
Ginger for Weight Loss – the Studies
According to the ancient practice of Ayurveda, eating and drinking ginger root can help keep your weight under control and research has confirmed this as well.
In a study published in the Journal of the Science and Food of Agriculture in 2014, researchers found that overweight rats who were given gingerol (a compound found in ginger) were able to lose weight after a 30-day supplementation period. The rats also showed improvements to blood sugar levels and leptin levels.
Leptin is a compound that plays a role in feeling full and satisfied after a meal and I’ve already covered in great detail the importance of leptin for weight loss.
The researchers concluded that that ginger supplementation suppresses obesity induced by a high fat diet and it might be a promising adjuvant therapy for the treatment of obesity and its complications.
Another study published the prior year in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences showed that ginger supplementation had an equal impact on rat weight loss as a popular weight-loss medication, Orlistat. Additionally, the ginger caused noteworthy improvements to blood cholesterol level, with “good” cholesterol levels (HDL) up from their baseline level.
With ginger’s power to help you feel full and help you properly digest your food, it’s no wonder that it shows such a strong impact on weight loss.
How Ginger Helps Battle Belly Fat
Not only can ginger help with weight maintenance in general, it can also keep that pesky belly fat at bay. Ginger can target the main reasons that belly fat accumulates, such as overeating, hormonal changes and low energy leading to lack of exercise.
Ginger helps you to feel full, so eating ginger or drinking ginger water can help curb the urge to overeat.
Hormonal changes and chronic stress can cause spikes in levels of blood cortisol, which throws the immune system and metabolism out of balance. According to an article in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin of 2004, ginger suppresses cortisol production.
Elevated levels of cortisol may contribute to weight gain, especially making it hard to lose belly fat and I’ve mentioned it in my post on how to reset your hormones to lose weight and in my posts on how to lose belly fat without exercise.
Consuming ginger can help bring the internal balance back in tune and promote well-being and weight loss. Ginger’s sharp, distinctive flavor can also help naturally boost your energy levels, both physically and mentally.
How to Use Ginger for Weight Loss
If you want to use the healing powers of ginger to lose weight, here’s what to do.
Before eating, chew on a thin slice of ginger root. This will help in regulating metabolism, stimulating digestion, reducing cortisol production and increasing energy.
You can also grate a small piece of ginger and add a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of salt, then mix the ingredients. Eating a couple of small pinches of this mixture before you eat each of your meals helps to control appetite and aid digestion.
Alternatively you can make this ginger lemon tea as lemon can also aid weight loss and I’ve mentioned it in my post on how to use lemons to lose weight.
Don’t limit your ginger intake to before meals—use ginger as a spice in your cooking whenever you can to increase your ginger intake. Cooking ginger for a short period of up to 6 minutes actually enhances its health benefits (as you can read in my article about the health benefits of cooked and dried ginger). Luckily, ginger has a tasty flavor that doesn’t need to be “masked” in order to reap the rewards the plant has to offer.