Losing, or at least not gaining weight, is hard for most of us. While there is no magic bullet, the good news is that nature has a lot of the answers. Movement, fresh foods, fresh air, sleep, mindfulness… For most of us, it’s the good old basics that are the foundation for a healthy weight. And it is also nature that provides us with “tricks” to help us along the way. Ginger is one of nature’s brilliant “tricks”. Humans have used ginger for thousands of years. In Jamu, Indonesia’s traditional herbal medicine, ginger is one of the most revered staples for a healthy metabolism and immune system. Here is why it helps with weight management. It works!
Ginger Boosts Your Metabolism
Ginger is a spice. If you notice how your belly gets warm after eating ginger, it’s not your imagination. Ginger warms the body because it increases your metabolism, which is crucial for losing weight and maintaining it.
Ginger Suppresses Your Appetite and Increases Satiety
A study by the New York Obesity Research Center and Columbia University showed that participants that consumed ginger before breakfast felt fuller right after breakfast and long thereafter, compared to those that did not take the ginger supplement. It has been theorized that ginger improves leptin levels. Leptin is a compound that plays a role in feeling full and satisfied after a meal
It really works. I have tried it as a way to control my appetite, by drinking a cup of ginger tea before the meal. I will still be hungry but less ravenous, which means it’s easier to slow down, be mindful with every bite, which in turn makes you more aware of when you are full.
Ginger Suppresses Stress Hormone Production
Hormonal changes and chronic stress can spike your cortisol levels, which disrupts our metabolism and our finely calibrated mechanism that signals hunger and satiety. By balancing cortisol production, as research has shown, ginger helps protect this natural mechanism.
Ginger Improves Digestion
Researchers have theorized that poor nutritional absorption is partly responsible for not feeling satisfied after a meal. Your body is left feeling like it needs more nutrients! By helping in the digestive process, you “get more” from the food you eat, plus you will have fewer annoying symptoms like bloating, cramps and heartburn.
How to Consume Ginger for Weight Loss?
Ginger is extremely versatile and can be consumed in various ways. While a simple ginger tea is an easy way to incorporate it as a weight loss supplement before meals, why not get creative and have fun with it, even outside of your daily meals? Here is a refreshing ice tea recipe my partner, Metta Murdaya has put together for those balmy Summer get-togethers:
REFRESHING LEMONGRASS GINGER TEA RECIPE (by JUARA Co-Founder Metta Murdaya)
The weather is warming up, time to pop out the colorful glasses and get ready for outdoor cheer with friends! Here is an easy way to spruce up a party or a meal by upping the ante on a simple iced tea with this 2-ingredient charmer. The best part is you can make this in bulk and drink it the rest of the week!
Great things come in pairs. Lemongrass and Ginger – a combination so happy together, it’s like the Peanut Butter and Jelly of teas in Indonesia. Ginger’s signature spice is warming and familiar, while lemongrass is citrusy with floral/grassy notes. Together they balance each other and create a flavor that is both comforting and rejuvenating – a winning combo!
To prepare your Ginger-Lemongrass happy-duo:
- 2 stalks of Lemongrass, cut into pieces 3″ long (or approximately the length of your index finger.)
- A generous handful of fresh ginger
- Honey, brown sugar, or coconut sugar to taste
Slice the ginger into thin pieces and rinse until the loose skin pieces falls off and water runs clear. Slice the lemongrass pieces down the middle from top to bottom so it exposes the center and lets the aroma out. Using the back of the knife, give the woody stalks a few whacks to bruise it, allowing the fragrance to bloom even more.
Fill a pot with a quart of water, add ginger slices, lemongrass and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Note this recipe is loose in ingredient percentages as it can be adjusted to taste. For a brighter, citrusy note preference, add more lemongrass. For a spicier kick, with a hotter punch, add more ginger. The amount of water used can also be adjusted to taste.
Pro tip: Smash and pan roast the ginger pieces before slicing until the skin is dark. We do this in Indonesia as this process helps release the flavors and brings out the heat of the ginger. To garnish our glasses like we do in Indonesia, add a stalk of lemongrass to the beverage which can be used as a stirrer for the sweetener. Slip in a few pieces of the boiled ginger slices in the drink as well for that exotic and enticing look.
This tea can be served hot or iced, during a meal or after a meal for a nice digestive.