The study was led by Muhammed Mansour, M.S. and a team of researchers from Columbia University Medical Center’s Institute of Human Nutrition. Six hours after consuming breakfast, each of the men was given a hot beverage to drink. Some subjects received plain hot water. Some were given hot water with 2 grams of powdered ginger incorporated into it. The participants gave blood samples, were evaluated for feelings of fullness, and had their internal energy expenditure measured as they rested. Ginger produced a surprisingly significant impact.
Participants who drank the ginger brew burned 43 more calories at rest than those who drank only hot water. Perhaps more importantly, those who consumed the ginger reported feeling less hungry.
The researchers noted that ginger contains compounds called gingerols, which when dehydrated make a unique substances called shogaols. They speculated that shogaols increase the pungency of the ginger, giving powdered ginger a greater effect than fresh ginger.
As for why subjects felt more satiated even though hunger hormones were not activated, a different pathway may be responsible. Ginger is known to trigger the release of serotonin, therefore subjects may feel more generally content and less likely to eat because of stress.
The study was very small, with only ten men included, so much more research is needed. However, it should be noted that the ginger may not have to be added only to hot water to have an impact. Adding a teaspoon of ginger to a daily cuppa may give your body a weight loss boost.
Looking for help from other holiday flavors? Peppermint is thought to combat nausea and vomiting. Some studies suggest that cinnamon can have a positive impact on blood sugar, weight, and inflammation. Licorice gives a boost to the adrenal glands which help the body handle stress.