Ginger benefits weight loss, digestion, and morning sickness


Nagina Abdullah


May 2, 2018

Benefits of Ginger_Heart health

Confucius knew the benefits of ginger. He is one of the world’s most respected wise men in history. He was a philosopher, teacher and politician who lived in the mystical land of ancient China and said he never ate a meal without ginger. (1)

This wise man was wise to use ginger!

Ginger has its own seemingly mystical powers and it was part of what Confucius saw as a balanced life. Full of digestive, disease-fighting and fat-burning compounds, ginger could be your new favorite ingredient. Plus, it adds an extra flavor punch to a wide variety of dishes. I feel a little wiser myself every time I add this superspice to my meals, snacks and drinks.

Here are some of the ginger benefits, pro tips on ways to use ginger, plus precautions and warnings that I’ll go over in this post:

  • Ginger’s benefits specifically for women
  • Ginger’s many health benefits for a strong, balanced body
  • Easy hacks to cut and prepare ginger
  • Precautions and interactions
  • How much ginger is safe?
  • Ways to use ginger

Ginger Benefits for Women

Ginger Reduces Menstrual Pain

One of the recurring challenges we face as women is menstrual pain and discomfort. Some women experience this more than others, and it can change over our lifetimes.

There are so many benefits of ginger for women in particular, and pain relief during your time of the month is one of them!

Rather than popping over-the-counter medicine for relief next month, try adding dried and ground or chopped fresh ginger to your meals. Ginger has been used traditionally to relieve pain for thousands of years, and scientific studies are verifying this tradition is useful.

Healthline mentions a study where women had 1 teaspoon of ground ginger powder a day for the first 3 days of their periods. The women reported that the ginger relieved the pain as much as taking an ibuprofen or mefenamic acid. (2)

Relieves Morning Sickness

Ginger is one of the most powerful natural anti-nausea compounds. It treats seasickness, general nausea and brings relief to pregnant women with morning sickness. (2)

Pregnant women who consumed about ⅛ teaspoon to ¼ teaspoon (1 to 1.5 grams) of dried powdered ginger a day noticed relief of nausea in 12 different studies. (3)

Cut the skin off of a small piece of raw ginger and chew on the raw yellow fleshy part, drink ginger tea or even get ginger lozenges or candies. (4)

Get relief from morning sickness with ginger tea

There are some concerns that too much ginger could cause problems in early pregnancy by stimulating blood flow to the uterus, but there’s not much evidence to back this up.

If you keep ginger consumption to between ⅛ and ¼ teaspoons of ginger a day while pregnant, you should be perfectly fine. Since ginger does thin your blood and stimulate blood flow in general, you might reduce or cut ginger out in the last few weeks of pregnancy. This goes for if you’ll be having surgery soon, too.

Boosts Weight Loss

Fresh or ground ginger can help you lose any weight you gain during pregnancy (or just regular life!)

It does this by accelerating fat-burning, helping with carbohydrate digestion and better control over how much insulin your body secretes. (5)

Studies suggest that eating or drinking ginger can boost calorie burn and reduce feeling hungry. (5) That makes ginger an incredible tool for losing weight safely and naturally!

Benefits of Ginger for a Healthy, Balanced System

Ginger for Digestive Health

Ginger has phenolic compounds that support healthy digestion in a variety of ways. They stimulate saliva, which breaks food down better as you chew it. That makes it easier for your stomach to digest when it gets there. These compounds also calm any irritation in the intestines. (4)

Another excellent benefit of ginger is that it also boosts your body’s natural digestive enzymes and moves food through the digestive tract better. (2)

Ginger’s natural compounds help stimulate the stomach so it empties quicker and more easily.  It also boosts nutrient and mineral absorption. (6)

Stimulating the appetite and readying the body to digest food are some reasons ginger slices are served with sushi and other foods, and part of why Confucius ate it with almost every meal.

Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant

Gingerol, the main compound in ginger, is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant attributes. (2)

Ginger even releases antioxidants of other healthy foods you eat. This makes what’s already good for you even better! (4) Lots of antioxidants slows signs of aging.

Delay signs of aging with ginger and this honey and cinnamon glowy face mask

Heart Health

Some research shows that ginger extract can be as powerful as prescription medication in lowering LDL or bad cholesterol. (2) It also shows promise in controlling blood sugar levels, even in type 2 diabetics. (2)

This means ginger adds up to be a heart-healthy food. It combats two of the main stressors on the heart.

5 easy ideas for getting more ginger in your diet with this free ginger cheat sheet PDF!

Cancer Prevention and Fighting

One of the most impressive compounds scientists have uncovered in ginger is called 6-gingerol. This amazing ingredient found in raw ginger has been linked to preventing and fighting certain cancers in several studies. (2)

Gingerol plays a role in a Cancer Prevention Research study showing that ginger reduced the risk of colorectal cancer. (4)

Ginger even seems to be able to help the body inhibit cancer cell and tumor growth, while sparing the healthy cells surrounding them. (6)

Fighting Colds, Flus and Infections

Gingerol is also used to fight infections. It does this by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and even viruses that cause respiratory infections. (2)

It also helps your body fight the flu virus by inducing sweating and removing toxins that are keeping you sick. (6)

Here’s a ginger tea for cold prevention
Cognitive Disease Prevention

Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s attack cognitive ability. Some key markers in people who suffer from these are chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

Ginger helps prevent and counteract these effects with high amounts of antioxidants, bringing down brain inflammation. (2)

It has also been linked to actively boosting cognitive function and working memory for middle-aged women, and protecting against age-related cognitive decline. (2)

How to Use Ginger

Ginger comes in many shapes and forms — fresh, dried and ground, or as an oil, juice or supplement. (2)

You can even find crystallized ginger and add it to baked treats or desserts. Even though there’s some sugar in the crystallized form, it still has lots of health benefits, so it’s ok once in a while.

Fresh vs. Dried Ginger — Which Is Healthier?
Bright yellow freshly peeled ginger and dried ground ginger are both tasty and healthy

Though fresh ginger contains the highest amount of gingerols, dried and powdered ginger has more shogaols, which are as good as or even more potent than gingerols.

So whether you’re getting your ginger raw or dried, it’ll do your body good! Try to get a mix of both if you can.

How to Prepare and Use Fresh Ginger

To prepare fresh ginger, peel it and chop, mince or even grate it into your recipes.

Use this ginger grater as a quick hack for peeling fresh ginger easily and without wasting. Sometimes when you peel ginger skin off with a knife, you lose a lot of the fleshy part, too.

Hack ginger peeling with this easy ginger grater

To make it even easier, chop, mince or grate your fresh ginger and keep it in the freezer for up to 6 months. That way you can pull it out and toss it into any stir fry, smoothie or soup recipe in a wink (toss it in frozen and it will quickly defrost).

If a recipe calls for ground ginger and you only have fresh ginger on hand, you can substitute ⅛ teaspoon of ground ginger for one tablespoon of fresh grated ginger, or the other way around.

Ground ginger is used in these cookies from my “Spice Yourself Skinny” program which opens 1-2 times a year, leave a comment if you’re interested in finding out more!

Potential Harmful Effects of Ginger — Important Precautions

Ginger may aggravate acid reflux in some people. While for most people ginger is a digestive helper, other people with acid reflux may be too sensitive for much ginger. (8)

If you notice your acid reflux symptoms worsen when you eat ginger, try reducing it until you reach a comfortable level.

Ginger thins the blood as it increases blood flow. So, it should not be taken at the same time as blood thinner medications as it could prevent blood clotting if you get a cut. (8) It could interact with medications that slow blood clotting for diabetes or high blood pressure (8)

Your insulin levels could increase and/or your blood sugar levels could lower when you consume ginger. So, if you have diabetes, your medications controlling these things might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider. (9)

Get more recipes and info on the benefits of delicious, healthy ginger here

As I mentioned above, ginger usually increases blood flow (which is good!) but it might also increase your risk of bleeding. So, talk to your doctor if you have bleeding disorder, will be having surgery soon, or if you’re in the last of pregnancy.

How Much Ginger Is Safe?

General safety rules are no more than 1 teaspoon (4 g) of dried ginger a day, or about ⅛ teaspoon (1 g) during pregnancy, including from food sources. (4)

Organic Authority says 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger is about equal to ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger. (10) So, if 1 teaspoon of ground ginger is safe per day for most people, then you could safely have 4 Tablespoons of fresh ginger a day, and 1 Tablespoon for pregnant women.  

The biggest concerns are ginger lessening the effectiveness of specific medications or causing problems that you would notice like heartburn, or irritation in the mouth. And, of course increasing blood flow for people who will have surgery or a baby soon.

If you’re not taking any of the medications above, or in the last few weeks before a delivery or surgery, you can probably play around with having more ginger and see how it agrees with you.

Ways to Use Ginger

Peel and chop, mince or or grate fresh ginger to make:

Ginger tea (Read about benefits specific to ginger tea here.)

Wellness Mama’s golden milk

Paleo beef stir fry with golden cauli rice (It’s Tuesday night’s meal plan!)

Slow-cooker chicken tikka masala (Or one of these other easy healthy crockpot recipes)

Juice it with cucumbers and greens for a healthy, zippy drink

Sprinkle dried, ground ginger:

Over your morning coffee with cinnamon

Into your desserts like pumpkin pie or gingersnap cookies. (comment below if you’re interested in finding out more about my 8-week meal planning program called Spice Yourself Skinny! It includes my ginger cookies (and other sweets) recipes!) That way even your desserts also have some fat-burning properties!

Into your spice rub mix or marinade.

Combine 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, turmeric, paprika, cumin or any other spices you like. Then rub it into your meat or veggies, or marinate them with 1 Tablespoon of healthy oil in a ziplock bag in the fridge. Then when you cook them, they’ll be packed with flavor!

Add either fresh or dried ginger to smoothies

Get a recipe for a bright, flavorful Strawberry Ginger Zinger smoothie in your FREE ginger cheat sheet.

There you have it, now you know what the benefits of ginger are. 

How do you like your ginger? Freshly chopped in a stir-fry? Dried and sprinkled into your favorite lentil soup? In your morning smoothie? Let me know! And let me know if you want more info on my next Spice Yourself Skinny program.

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Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

Reader Interactions


  1. meenal deshpande says

    I love ginger, I drink it religiously morning in warm water with lemon and raw organic local honey, then before bed just ginger and warm water. It has rid me of my foot spur, lost weight, I have very little heartburn now, get rid of my inflammation around my waist and puffiness around my eyes, my kids upset stomachs, my husbands knee problems and more. The honey has help and almost rid of my allergies.

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