While many health foodies are familiar with the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of ginger, a new review of studies published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences shows that it may have one more awesome benefit: It may help us lose weight.
The findings of this review (which were complied from a majority of studies done on animals and a few done on humans), show that ginger may “play a role in fat burning, carbohydrate digestion and insulin secretion,” as well as possibly “reducing atherosclerosis, the buildup of dangerous fat in the arteries.”
According to a piece in TIME, even though there hasn’t been a lot of funding devoted to the scientific research of ginger and its benefits:
…These studies have suggested that consuming ginger can enhance calorie burn and reduce feelings of hunger, and [it is] associated with weight loss in overweight adults. [Ginger has] also been linked to positive changes in cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, inflammatory proteins and liver health.
While the jury is still out on how much ginger needs to be consumed by humans for these effects to truly take place, researchers say that adding ginger to your diet (in smoothies, teas and in meals) is a perfect way to find out for yourself just how beneficial this spice is. After all, there’s nothing wrong with getting an extra dose of anti-inflammatory goodness!
Smoothie Recipes With Ginger
Need some ginger inspiration? Below are just a few of our favorite smoothie recipes with ginger!
Because it does have a very spicy flavor when eaten raw, if you’ve never used ginger in a smoothie, start out with a small serving, and then increase as your taste buds allow!
Ginger Cantaloupe Cleanse
Flaxseed is a great vegan source of Omega-3s, helps to reduce cholesterol levels, and is a good way to keep your digestion regular. Ginger is another digestion aid and stomach soother, and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Combine these two superfoods with the delicate flavors of both pear and cantaloupe, and you have the perfect remedy for a tummy that’s seen one too many early Halloween treats.
Yellow Turmeric Ginger
This brilliantly bright yellow-orange blend is packed with nutrients. Yellow squash is a great source of iron and folate. It also provides manganese, which helps maintain healthy bone structure and calcium absorption. Kumquats are an amazing flavor bomb. We like to call them nature’s Sour Patch Kids. Thier skin is so thin, it doesn’t need to be peeled, just toss them right in the blender. Turmeric is a powerful superfood that contains several compounds with medicinal properties. Often used in curry flavoring, turmeric is good for brain function, and can help decrease inflammation.
Gingerols, the compounds found in ginger root that have proven, potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, are the main reasons ginger is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Add in extra antioxidants from kiwis, and healthy fat and protein from cashews, and you have a creamy, nutritious smoothie that is not only good for chasing away colds, but for keeping your joints healthy as well.
Green Cranberry Ginger
In addition to helping to prevent urinary tract infections, cranberries have also been shown to lower blood pressure and upgrade oral health. By combining these tart, low-sugar fruits with grapes (known for their polyphenol power) pear (fiber), and ginger (a potent anti-inflammatory), you get a sweet smoothie with a hint of spice, along with tons of vitamins from chard (A and K, specifically) and flax (Omega-3). Snack smart with this low-calorie, low-fat treat!
Golden Ginger Beet
Slightly less “earthy” tasting than red beets, golden beets are full of fiber, iron and potassium. Beets themselves are great for sore muscles, and keep green smoothies tasting sweet. Golden berries contain calcium and metabolism-boosting B-complex vitamins, and ginger is a fantastic anti-inflammatory. The potent vitamin C from both a lemon and orange, plus the healthy fat, protein and fiber from hemp seed, make this the perfect light meal replacement for a busy morning. Drink this instead of your usual orange juice, and instantly feel energized!
Honey Orange Ginger
Native to Mexico, tomatillos are a small, green fruit that should be peeled out of their papery husk before blending. Their taste is a mild combination of a lemon and tomato, and they contain fiber, potassium, and manganese. This bright, low calorie smoothie is full of vitamin C, as well as anti-inflammatory power from ginger, which means it will have you glowing and ready to take on the day. And thanks to the mild flavor of collard greens, this smoothie is sweet enough to replace that morning orange juice.