The best ways to support a swift and healthy metabolism include eating a well-balanced diet, hydrating frequently, exercising regularly and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule. With that said, there are many foods that can help promote smoother digestion and can aid greatly in your weight loss journey. We checked in with dietitians, nutritionists and health experts to learn more about one versatile herb that can be put on or in practically anything and that is often linked to healthy digestion. Read on for tips and suggestions from Sara Chatfield, MPH, RDN, registered dietitian and nutritionist at Health Canal, Dr. Daniel Boyer, MD health and nutrition expert at Farr Institute, Lisa Richards, registered nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet, and Lahana Vigliano, MS, CCN, certified clinical nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru.
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How Ginger Supports A Swift & Healthy Metabolism
Originally deriving from Southeast Asia, ginger is a beloved herb and vital flowering plant used in delicacies and medicine for thousands of years. Regarding your good health, ginger, experts say, contains probiotics that help food move through your intestines comfortably. “Ginger is an herb known to have many medicinal purposes such as reducing inflammation and pain in the body,” Richards explains. A lesser known benefit, she says, is ginger’s role in “weight loss, especially among women, due to its potential metabolism boosting effects.”
And what might those be? “Ginger is an excellent ingredient that can be included in a variety of foods due to its spicy aroma and taste,” Boyer says. He cites a scientific report by the National Center for Biotechnology that he says notes that “ginger is an herb that may enhance your metabolism, the burning of fat, and also decrease fat absorption at the same time.” The benefits of ginger are also important factors for weight management, meaning that including ginger in your regular food may lower the risk of developing many health conditions related to obesity, Boyer adds.
Ginger root can be found “fresh in many grocery stores now, as well as powdered in the spice aisle,” Chatfield says, and it can be used in both savory or sweet foods. “Ginger is well known for its ability to help with nausea, and it provides a natural enzyme which may help with nutrient absorption,” she continues. Another benefit ginger provides, according to Vigliano is that it can increase the thermal effect of food (aka increasing how much energy it takes to break down a food).
“Ginger is also beneficial for digestion and can increase gut motility (which helps foods move throughout the digestive system),” she says. “Slower gut motility can increase risk of gut imbalances and symptoms, such as bloating and indigestion.” While you might find ginger as a main ingredient in many dishes like chicken, tofu, ramen, soup, stew, etc., this herb can even be a stand alone in a cup of tea, Vigliano concludes, stressing its versatility and how the options to cook with it are endless.