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Ginger is a flowering plant that is mostly cultivated for its root, an ingredient in cooking and baking. Ginger also decreases inflammation, stimulates digestion, and suppresses your appetite. These properties lead some people to believe that ginger may promote weight loss.
The medical literature indicates that ginger can work along with a healthy diet and exercise to help you reach a healthy weight. Ginger is typically used with other ingredients when weight loss is the goal.
Let’s explore how to use ginger to lose weight, the limits of its effects on weight loss, and which ingredients you should consider combining with ginger for the best results.
Ginger contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols. These compounds stimulate several biological activities in your body when you consume ginger.
Research indicates that obesity can bring on oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress is caused by damage from free radicals in the body.
Ginger’s antioxidant properties help control these free radicals, and its anti-inflammatory properties can counter inflammation.
These properties of ginger don’t directly address excess pounds, but they do help prevent cardiovascular damage and other side effects of being overweight while you work to bring your weight to a healthy number.
Other research supports the idea that ginger could play a role in weight loss as well.
One small study found that overweight men who consumed ginger stayed fuller longer.
A meta-analysis of studies that looked at ginger’s weight loss benefits suggests that ginger has a significant effect on body weight and belly fat (waist-to-hip ratio).
Gingerols encourage certain biological activities in your body. They have an anti-obesity effect, helping food to digest faster and stimulate the body to speed digested food through the colon. Research suggests that gingerols may stabilize your blood sugar levels. Keeping blood sugar stable can be key to losing weight.
When you take ginger and lemon together for weight loss, you may be getting an extra boost for keeping your body healthy. Lemon juice may act as an appetite suppressant, in addition to containing high amount of vitamin C.
How to use ginger and lemon for weight loss
Adding a squeeze of lemon to your ginger tea or ginger drink might help you drink more liquids. This may keep you hydrated and feeling fuller longer, possibly improving your weight loss efforts.
Drink a healthy lemon-and-ginger beverage two or three times a day to maximize the hydration and appetite-suppressing properties of ginger and lemon.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has weight loss properties of its own. Using it along with ginger could boost the antiglycemic and antioxidant effects of both ingredients.
Apple cider vinegar also brings powerful probiotics into the mix, which can improve your gut health as you work to lose weight.
How to use apple cider vinegar and ginger for weight loss
The easiest way to get these two ingredients in your diet is to blend them together and drink them.
You can prepare a ginger tea by brewing a tea bag in hot water, letting it cool down before you add the ACV. Water that is too hot will kill the bacteria in ACV, and you’ll lose its probiotic effect.
Add a little honey or a squeeze of lemon to 1 cup (8 ounces) of brewed ginger tea, stir in 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and drink.
Take this tea once per day, in the morning before eating, to experience the maximum benefit of ACV.
Green tea also has weight loss properties of its own. Green tea is a popular ingredient in weight loss supplements because of evidence that it can speed your metabolism.
How to use green tea and ginger for weight loss
You can add ground ginger to hot green tea as a way of combining the powerful effects of both ingredients. You can also steep a ginger tea bag and a green tea bag together, adding extra water so that the brew isn’t too overpowering.
Drink once or twice per day, keeping in mind that green tea does contain caffeine.
Drinking ginger juice is another way to take advantage of ginger’s weight loss benefits.
Ginger juice typically includes other ingredients to dilute the pungent, spicy taste of pure ginger. These extra ingredients — honey, lemon juice, and water — happen to have hydrating, antioxidant, and immune-boosting properties themselves.
How to use ginger juice for weight loss
You can make ginger juice at home, adding freshly squeezed lemon juice and agave, honey, or another form of natural sweetener to taste.
Blend fresh unpeeled ginger (about 1/3 of a pound cut into chunks) in a blender along with about 1 cup water, and strain the mixture if you like. Add the ginger extract you’ve created to your other ingredients, garnishing with mint and adding ice cubes as desired.
Drink once or twice per day as an appetite suppressant.
Compared to fresh ginger, dried ground ginger (ginger powder) contains a higher amount of compounds called shogaols. These compounds may have cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to use ginger powder for weight loss
You can consume ginger powder in capsule form or mix it into water to make a ginger powder drink. You can also sprinkle ginger powder on your food.
Consuming tablespoons of ginger powder in its raw state may cause indigestion, and its taste can be overpowering.
Ginger has plenty of other health benefits in addition to promoting weight loss, including:
- regulation of cortisol (known as the “stress hormone”)
- increased and more regular bowel movements
- increased energy
- decreased risk of heart disease
- improved memory and brain function
- improved immune system function
Ginger is generally safe for most people to use for weight loss. Some experience side effects like constipation and flatulence.
Ginger might increase the flow of bile from the gallbladder, leading doctors to be cautious about recommending it to people who have gallbladder disease.
There’s also a gap in what we know about using ginger during pregnancy, although some health professionals recommend ginger for nausea to those who are pregnant. Talk to a doctor before using ginger if you’re nursing or pregnant, or if you take blood-thinning (anticoagulant) medication.
You can purchase ginger in most grocery stores. You’ll find fresh ginger in the produce section and ground ginger in the aisle where other dried herbs and spices are stocked.
Health food stores sell different versions of ginger, specifically formulated for use as a weight loss aid or for ginger’s other health benefits. Health food stores also sell capsules containing ground ginger.
You can purchase ginger online as well. Check out these products available on Amazon.
Be aware that ginger oral supplements and ground ginger aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Only buy ginger products from online sources that you trust.
Ginger has demonstrated potential as an ingredient to help you lose weight. When you take ginger along with other antioxidant, blood-sugar stabilizing, and anti-inflammatory ingredients, you’re giving yourself a head start on moving the scale toward a healthier weight.
But ginger alone won’t lead to a significant drop in excess weight. A healthy diet and regular exercise are still vital to overall weight loss.
Speak to a doctor about concerns you have about your weight, and remember that there is no magic ingredient that makes weight loss happen.