If you’re looking to decrease your bloat for a flatter belly, the #1 veggie you should add to your diet is ginger, says Dietitian.
One of the best food groups you can add to your diet if you’re dealing with a bloated belly is vegetables.
“Veggies are the lowest calorie food out there, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods too!” says Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and National Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. They are jam-packed with nutrients and health benefits.”
However, it’s one food group that Americans rarely get enough of.
“Specifically over 90% of Americans are not eating the recommended amounts each day,” says Ehsani. “Veggies are also high in water content, so they can help hydrate you and hit your daily fluid goals each day as well.”
So thanks to their high water content and dietary fiber, consuming certain veggies can help your gut health, as fiber helps move things through your digestive tract, aiding you in having regular bowel movements and preventing constipation—and bloat that’s making your belly a bit rounder than normal.
If you’re looking to decrease your bloat for a flatter belly, the #1 veggie you should add to your diet is ginger.
1. Ginger Nutrition Facts
On your plate of sushi, in teas, and in your favorite Indian dishes, ginger is one of the most nutritious and tasty spices out there. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, a flowering plant that originated in Southeast Asia.
We eat the rhizome, which is the underground part of the stem most commonly called ginger root or simply, ginger. Ginger is closely related to turmeric, cardamom, and galangal and is commonly used together in recipes.
Ginger contains several health benefits and boasts powerful medicinal properties. It is best known to reduce nausea, but it also has anti-inflammatory characteristics. Ginger also can help reduce pain from osteoarthritis, reduce blood pressure, and may help prevent cancer.
The nutrition information for five slices (11 grams) of ginger is provided by the USDA.
Carbs: There are 2 grams of carbohydrates in five slices of ginger. Ginger also contains an insignificant amount of fiber and sugar.
Ginger also is considered a low glycemic food. People with diabetes and those needing to be mindful of their blood sugar can eat ginger without concern about carbohydrate content.
Fats: Ginger contains zero grams of fat.
Protein: Ginger does not contain a significant amount of protein. Be sure to include other high protein foods in your diet.
Vitamins and Minerals: While ginger is not a significant source of many micronutrients, it does contain some magnesium and potassium.
Calories: At 9 calories per five slices, ginger is not a significant source of calories. The majority of the calories in ginger are derived from carbohydrates.
2. The #1 Best Vegetable for a Flat Belly, says Dietitian
“Ginger is one root veggie people may not think too much about, but it’s definitely the #1 veggie to include in your diet when you are looking to debloat,” says Ehsani.
She notes that ginger has many medicinal properties than can both flatten your belly as well as soothe your gut from the inside out. Specifically, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that ease inflammation that can cause a larger belly. It also has enzymes that can help the body digest food more easily, helping to prevent that post-meal bloat.
“If you’re suffering from an upset stomach or nausea, ginger can help calm down your nausea as well,” says Ehsani. “It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can help reduce muscle pain or other types of inflammation in the body like arthritis. Ginger contains digestive enzymes that help your body break down proteins, so can help you better digest protein-rich foods.”
So next time you’re looking for a flatter belly, reach for some ginger.
Ehsani suggests that you can make a cup of ginger tea or add grated ginger to your next stir-fry.
Looking for more ideas? There are so many ways you can get more ginger into your diet for a flat belly.
“It’s so versatile! You can grate it and add it to soups, or add it as a spice when marinating chicken or fish,” says Ehsani. “You could add fresh or dried ginger to smoothies, smoothie bowls, or even your bowl of morning oats. You could add it to pretty much any sauce or marinade or dressing even.”
3. Health Benefits of Ginger
May Relieve Nausea
Ginger has been used in many traditional and alternative medicine settings due to gingerol, its main ailment fighting compound. Gingerol is responsible for ginger’s unique fragrance and flavor as well as its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Mainly, gingerol appears to be highly effective at fighting nausea. It is used for individuals undergoing surgery, particularly chemotherapy, and is found to be beneficial for pregnant women experiencing morning sickness.
In one review that included 1,278 pregnant women, the researchers found that taking 1.1 to 1.5 grams of ginger greatly reduced morning sickness nausea symptoms. While ginger is considered safe for pregnancy, talk with a healthcare provider before adding large amounts.
May Reduce Osteoarthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis causes degeneration of joints leading to joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness. In one study, individuals with osteoarthritis in the knee were given 500 milligrams to 1 gram of ginger for 3 to 12 weeks.
After this period, participants had reductions in pain and disability. It is notable that 22% of participants in this study dropped out due to intolerance to the taste of ginger.
May Lower Blood Sugars
More recent research shows strong evidence for a link between ginger consumption and lowering fasting blood sugar levels. In a study with 41 participants with diabetes, taking 2 grams of ginger powder daily resulted in a 12% decrease in fasting blood glucose levels.
Additionally, over a period of 12 weeks, the participant’s HgA1C—which is an average of 3 months of blood sugar levels—decreased by 10%.
Decrease Menstrual Bleeding
Regularly consuming ginger was shown in one small study to reduce the amount of blood released during menstruation. As a result, ginger might help women who suffer from heavy periods find relief.