The energy used in digestion, absorption and distribution of nutrients is known as the thermic effect of food. Diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) is an increase in metabolism and calorie burning caused by your body processing the foods you eat, creating heat and warming you up. Thermogenic foods may also aid weight loss: although our bodies burn the majority of calories consumed in maintaining regular metabolic functions and physical activity, a small percentage, about 10-30 percent, of calories are burned through diet-induced thermogenesis.
Ginger gets its thermogenic quality from a combination of two compounds, gingerol and shogaol. Many swear by it for relief from headaches and digestive troubles, but it is also great for warming the body up on a cold day. For extra warmth, try it in the form of hot ginger tea. Here’s a great recipe:
- 4-6 thin slices raw ginger
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups water
- juice from 1/2 lime, or to taste (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp honey, or to taste (optional)
Peel the ginger and slice thinly to maximize the surface area. This will help you make a very flavorful ginger tea.
Boil the ginger in water for at least 10 minutes. For a stronger and tangier tea, allow to boil for 20 minutes or more, and use more slices of ginger.
Remove from heat and add lime juice and honey to taste.
The secret to making a really flavorful ginger tea is to use plenty of ginger - more than you think you will need - and also to add a bit of lime juice and honey to your ginger tea.
Enjoy your piping hot ginger tea!
Here’s a recipe from Martha Stewart, using unpeeled ginger:
- 8 to 10 slices of unpeeled, fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- Brown sugar, to taste
Add ginger slices, grated ginger, and brown sugar to 4 to 5 cups water and bring to a boil in a saucepan for approximately 20 minutes. Strain and serve immediately.