Ginger: A Functional Medicine Guide | Dr. Will Cole

by health and nutrition advice journalist

1. Ginger can promote fat loss 

I write all the time about how weight loss is about more than just calories in and calories out. That outdated equation doesn’t take into account the state of your metabolism — in other words, whether or not you’re metabolically flexible — and doesn’t account for the quality of the food you eat. Ginger is a perfect example of how certain high-quality foods can promote a healthier body composition. The author sof a review paper published in 2019 wrote that ginger supplementation significantly reduced body weight, and improved the waist-hip ratio in people who were overweight or obese. (1

2. Ginger is easy to use 

You can take ginger in any number of ways; there are ginger teas, tinctures, supplements, powders, and you can even incorporate fresh ginger into your favorite recipes, including soups, stir fries, and smoothies. You name it, and you can probably add ginger to it. If you’re not sure where to start, try my Clean Green Juice for fighting inflammation. 

3. Ginger is a potent antioxidant 

Antioxidants are critical components of our diets, and why you’ve been told since childhood to “eat the rainbow.” Ginger contains functional ingredients like gingerols, shogaol, and paradols that have all demonstrated potent antioxidant properties, which means they can protect your cells from damage caused by stress and toxins. In fact, ginger is even being studied as a potential agent in cancer prevention. (2

4. Ginger can treat nausea 

You may have noticed that ginger chews, pills, and tinctures are always at the shops in the airport. That’s no coincidence! Ginger has been used to fend off nausea for hundreds of years and more recently, ginger has been studied for morning sickness and chemotherapy-related nausea. For example, a review of 12 existing studies on over 1,000 pregnant women showed that 1.1 to 1.5 grams of ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea. (3) If you’re about to jump on a plane, boat, car, or train, make sure to bring some ginger with you if you’re prone to motion sickness. 

5. Ginger is (extremely) affordable 

In a world of expensive potions, pills, and powders, it’s nice to find an inexpensive (but still incredibly effective!) remedy. A ginger supplement can cost as little as $9 dollars and a fresh ginger root can cost as little as $2 dollars per pound. I also love this Herb Pharm Ginger Tincture for just under $13 dollars. Compared to some other supplements, this is quite a deal! 

6. Ginger is the perfect post-meal supplement 

A ginger chew or a cup of ginger tea is the perfect thing to consume after a heavy meal. Why? Because ginger can reduce bloating, gas, and indigestion. For example, one study showed when people with chronic indigestion took ginger capsules after eating, their stomachs emptied faster. (4) If you’re sitting down to a big meal and want to support healthy digestion, sipping on some ginger tea before, during, or after the meal is a great go-to remedy.

7. Ginger is the ultimate post-workout supplement 

Ginger gets a lot of fame and attention for nausea and stomach aches, but it has also shown its value as a post workout supplement. Researchers at the University of Georgia examined the effects of 11 days of ginger supplementation on muscle pain caused by exercise and found that daily ginger supplementation reduced the exercise-induced pain by 25 percent. (5) If you had a particularly tough workout today, some ginger may very well help you feel less pain tomorrow. 

8. Ginger is delicious 

There aren’t many supplements that actually taste good — but ginger is a common culinary herb and tastes spicy, refreshing, and delicious. That’s why probably my favorite way to take ginger is as a homemade ginger tea. Here’s a recipe you can use daily: 

Anti-Inflammatory Ginger Tea Recipe 

One of the best ways to get a daily dose of ginger is in the form of a simple homemade tea. 



As you can see, ginger’s applications and beneits are practically endless. It’s something we’d all be wise to incorporate into not just our travel routine but our daily routine as well. 

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