New Years Resolutions With GingerJanuary 2018
New Year’s Resolutions with Ginger
By: Alexandra Rothwell Kelly, MPH, RD
January marks a time for cleansing ourselves from the indulgences of the holiday season and establishing new habits for a healthier, happier new year. Traditionally, New Year’s resolutions involve self-improvement such as weight loss, establishing exercise routines or eating a clean diet. These are all admirable (and achievable) ambitions, but they are lofty and abstract and often become neglected despite the good intentions of resolutioners. When counseling for behavior modification, I always encourage clients to imagine their long-term, “big-picture” goals but to initiate a series of small and easily attainable objectives, one by one. Achieving small goals can lead to feelings of pride, accomplishment and positive reinforcement that can motivate other healthy behaviors and ultimately lead to attainment of the greater ambition.
Adding a daily dose of ginger to the diet this new year is a perfect example of a small objective with a big payoff. Here are my top five reasons to eat more ginger this year to achieve your weight management goals.
Ginger may promote fat loss. Animal studies have shown ginger can help to inhibit the creation and accumulation of body fat and reduce fat mass, but more research is needed to confirm this phenomenon in humans.
Ginger can increase calorie burn. Ginger has demonstrated the ability to increase the “thermic effect of food”. When we eat, our body expends a certain amount of energy (or calories) to process food, and this is known as the “thermic effect of food” or “dietary induced thermogenesis”. Ginger increases this effect so that we burn more calories when eating foods that contain ginger.
Ginger reduces inflammation, which is a negative consequence of excess body fat. One of ginger’s most recognized health benefits is its anti-inflammatory properties, and there seems to be no exception for inflammation related to obesity. Studies that have examined the effect of ginger consumption in overweight individuals have shown a reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokines (markers of inflammation).
Ginger can help to control appetite. In a study involving overweight men, subjective measures of hunger were reduced after a meal containing ginger.
Ginger brings a strong, spicy and slightly sweet flavor, which can reduce the need for adding excess sugars when cooking.