Ginger…you either love it or hate it, right? An abundance of new evidence suggests people in both categories should consider getting more ginger into their diets.
Ginger seems to play a significant, measurable role in weight management and gastrointestinal health and has anti-inflammatory and detoxifying benefits as well. Oh, and it might just make you prettier.
How Ginger Affects Weight
By Serving as a Digestive Aid
- Ginger can improve digestion by increasing the pH of the stomach and stimulating the digestive enzymes. Because ginger also has a 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.
- Also, an efficient digestion means an optimal use of the energy store of the body. Therefore, the processes involved in digestion can help use up the glucose in the blood as well as stored fat.
By Improving Metabolism
- A number of studies suggest that ginger is also a thermogenic agent that can help burn fat.
- A Dutch study confirm that ginger can boost the body’s metabolic rate and should be recommended for treating obesity. Also, there are reports that ginger can increase 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 contribute to reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels as the body burns all the fat it is provided.
By Enhancing Satiety
- Ginger was once believed to promote weight loss mostly by affecting the metabolic rate.
- The study was published by researchers from New York Obesity Research Center and Columbia University, and it involved 10 healthy but overweight adult men. The researchers gave the group ginger tea (prepared with 2 g of dried ginger powder) to accompany their standard breakfast for one day and then only the standard breakfast on the next day.
- The researchers then monitored the feelings of hunger before the breakfast (with or without the ginger tea) and every hour after that as well as the calories burnt.
The results of the study showed that ginger had a significant effect on the feeling of satiety after eating.
This effect was significant even with a single dose of ginger and well before the thermogenic and cholesterol-lowering effects of ginger could kick in.
This study shows that ginger can improve weight loss by enhancing the feeling of fullness after a meal. By suppressing appetite, ginger supplementation is an effective way of avoiding ingesting more calories from food, and therefore, losing weight.
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Credit: Alicia Andrews