Ginger is a flowering plant in the family Zingiberaceae whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine. But do you know all the properties of this plant? Let’s start from one of them – good digestion!
Benefits of ginger root are next:
- Ginger and Blood Sugar
Preliminary research suggests that ginger helps stabilize blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Wild fluctuations in blood sugar can lead to cravings, extreme hunger and insulin desensitization, all of which can cause overeating. In a 2015 study published in the Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, participants with type 2 diabetes who consumed ginger powder daily for 12 weeks experienced reduced levels of fasting blood sugar. A 2014 study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition reported that ginger taken daily for eight weeks helped reduce insulin sensitivity and fasting blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. Despite these promising results, larger and additional studies are needed to confirm whether ginger is effective for people with diabetes.
- Ginger Helps You Feel Full
Ginger may help diminish your appetite, which makes cutting calories easier. The journal Metabolism published a study in 2012 that demonstrated that a hot ginger beverage containing 2 grams of ginger powder consumed after a meal reduces feelings of hunger for up to six hours. The ginger drink also seemed to increase the number of calories the body used to digest the initial meal, known as the thermic effect of food. This small study is promising, but more research is needed to confirm the findings.
- Ginger for Obesity Treatment & Weight Loss
Animal studies have indicated that ginger, when used in conjunction with other therapies, may be a way to treat obesity. A 2014 issue of the Journal of the Science and Food of Agriculture, tested the effect of gingerol — the primary component in ginger — on body weight in obese rats. After 30 days, the rats experienced significant reduction in body weight as well as improved levels of leptin — the hormone that signals satiety -and insulin.
Another study performed on rats and published in a 2013 issue of European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences compared the effects of a ginger supplement and Orlistat, a medication that promotes weight loss. After four weeks, the ginger and Orlistat had similar significant effects on reduction in body weight. The ginger also improved the level of good cholesterol in the rats’ blood.
However, it’s too early to say whether or not ginger has the same weight loss benefits in humans.
If you want to lose weight by taking advantage of ginger and lemon as two very good friends, you also need to follow a healthy diet, free of junk food, soft drinks, flours, fats, sodium, and other things. You also need to do physical activity and drink at least two liters of water a day. If you follow this lifestyle, you will soon notice that you are no longer carrying around those extra pounds.
Here’s a simple recipe of ginger tea:
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
2 cups filtered water
1 Tbsp. raw honey or pure maple syrup
½ lemon, juiced
1 cinnamon stick
Fresh mint leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Peel the ginger root with a peeler or with the back of a spoon.
Grate the ginger with a grater/zester. If you slice it, slice it thin and use more.
Infuse the ginger; if you add cinnamon, mint, camomile or cayenne, add it here.
If you are using a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add ginger and turn off heat. Put the lid on it and let it steep for 10 minutes.
If you are using a teapot, add ginger in the teapot and pour boiling water in it. Let it steep for about 10 minutes.
If you are using a saucepan, strain the water to remove the ginger.
Add fresh lemon juice and natural sweetener if you like. Stir and enjoy!
If you want a cold tea, let your tea cool down, store it in the fridge and add ice cubes before serving.