Dieting and weight loss don't have to be boring. Simply adding ginger, garlic and lemon for weight loss can make meals a little tastier — and even healthier. Here's how these spicy and tangy items can supplement your meal plans.
Ginger and garlic have been used in meals for hundreds of years, and contain a variety of healthy elements like antioxidants. To aid in your weight loss plan, incorporate ginger, garlic and even some lemon into your drinks, meals or shakes.
Health Benefits of Ginger
You've probably experienced the unique taste of raw ginger as a palate cleanser after sushi or added it to hot tea with honey when you're sick. Ginger is neither spicy nor sweet, but somehow brings an extra tangy edge to food.
Humans have been using ginger for thousands of years, as evidence of its use for medicine and food is found in ancient Chinese, Roman and Arabic records. It still maintains popularity in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for nausea and vomiting.
But what does the science say about ginger? Ginger may actually help reduce nausea and vomiting when it's caused by pregnancy or chemotherapy, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). A December 2018 study published in Nutrition Research and Practice also found that steamed ginger may have protective benefits when it comes to protecting against obesity.
Add some raw ginger, which you can buy at most grocery stores, into your morning smoothies. Cook it up with stir fries or soup. You can also add raw ginger to boiling water to make tea.
Why Garlic’s Good for You
Garlic has also been used in health and medicine since ancient times and is found in cultures across the world like the Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). It's used in the modern day as an addition to meals either raw or cooked, or as a dietary supplement in the form of garlic powder, oil or even tablets.
But there's not enough research to support the idea that garlic may have anti-cancer or weight loss elements, according to NCCIH. Some studies have examined garlic's role in lowering blood cholesterol or blood pressure, or its protective benefits against cancer, but the results are mixed.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, garlic releases allicin when it's crushed, which may reduce inflammation. Garlic also contains flavonoids and saponins, compounds that are being studied for their anti-cancer benefits, but further research is needed.
It may also be possible that garlic can aid in weight loss. A March 2019 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that obese rats given garlic oil showed a reduction in body weight, fat mass and cholesterol, and they experienced protection from liver problems.
Adding Lemon to Your Diet
Incorporating lemon into your diet plan can possibly aid in weight loss and protect against diabetes. Lemons are citrus fruits along with grapefruits, oranges and limes that are packed with vitamin C, folate and potassium, according to the American Diabetes Association.
That being said, lemon or lemon juice likely won't make you lose weight entirely by itself. Squeeze in some extra vitamin C into your diet by adding lemon to your water, cooking your salmon with it or throwing some into your tea as part of a full healthy diet.
Get Creative and Combine
You can play with different combinations of garlic, ginger and lemon to aid in weight loss. Fortunately, these are tastes that can be mixed together and work well in different combinations.
Make a vegetarian ginger and garlic soup with vegetable broth, bok choy and tofu. You can also combine garlic, ginger and lemon into a morning drink or smoothie to help in your weight loss plan. Mix them with cayenne pepper, water and apple-cider vinegar for a cleansing blend.
You can also get creative and make a ginger and garlic paste to add to a variety of dishes, including stir fries, fish and meats. Chop up some ginger and garlic and mix it with salt, oil and turmeric to create a delicious paste that can be useful (and healthy) in a variety of dishes, and enjoy.
- Nutrition Research and Practice: "The Antioxidant Activity of Steamed Ginger and Its Protective Effects on Obesity Induced by High-Fat Diet in c57bl/6j Mice."
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Ginger"
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Garlic"
- American Institute for Cancer Research: "AICR's Foods That Fight Cancer"
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology: "Anti-Obesity Effect of Garlic Oil on Obese Rats via Shenque Point Administration."
- American Diabetes Association: "Diabetes Superfoods"