If there is one spice I could talk about forever, it is ginger. Oh how I adore ginger. This amazing root is packed with so many different natural chemicals that give it both its pungency and medicinal effects.
I already did a post on how ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects may help relieve arthritis pain in Ginger spice and everything nice and pain relief, but let’s look and see if it has any other benefits. Based on a quick look at the literature, it looks like ginger may supposedly help promote feelings of satiety(fullness), though research is still at a preliminary stage. According to the Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University, New York, NY, which I ran by not too long ago, in Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: a pilot study:
Evidence suggests that ginger consumption has anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, glucose-sensitizing, and stimulatory effects on the gastrointestinal tract. This study assessed the effects of a hot ginger beverage on energy expenditure, feelings of appetite and satiety and metabolic risk factors in overweight men. Ten men, age 39.1±3.3 y and body mass index (BMI) 27.2±0.3 kg/m(2), participated in this randomized crossover study. Resting state energy expenditure was measured using indirect calorimetry and for 6h after consumption of a breakfast meal with or without 2 g ginger powder dissolved in a hot water beverage. Subjective feelings of satiety were assessed hourly using visual analog scales (VAS) and blood samples were taken fasted and for 3 h after breakfast consumption. There was no significant effect of ginger on total resting energy expenditure (P=.43) or respiratory quotient (P=.41). There was a significant effect of ginger on thermic effect of food (ginger vs control=42.7±21.4 kcal/d, P=.049) but the area under the curve was not different (P=.43). VAS ratings showed lower hunger (P=.002), lower prospective food intake (P=.004) and greater fullness (P=.064) with ginger consumption versus control. There were no effects of ginger on glucose, insulin, lipids, or inflammatory markers. The results, showing enhanced thermogenesis and reduced feelings of hunger with ginger consumption, suggest a potential role of ginger in weight management. Additional studies are necessary to confirm these findings.
Well doesn’t that just sound fabulous? Of course, even if this is confirmed by subsequent research, it doesn’t mean overweight people should rely solely on ginger to help with weight loss. At best, the effects would be modest, or could possibly get canceled out by other foods. Weight loss supplement companies though love to exaggerate the results from studies like this to get people to buy their worthless pills. They want customers to think “I can eat whatever I want so long as I eat it with ginger!”. After all, scientific studies “prove” that it works!
Nothing, and I mean nothing can replace limiting calories and getting adequate exercise. There are plenty of other herbs and spices that can help improve feelings of satiety or suppress appetite, though practically none can help shed all excess weight over the long term in a safe manner.
So while ginger may help relieve mild arthritis pain, don’t rely on it for weight loss.