Among the foods rumored to be thermogenic, ginger stands out as a popular fat-burner. But how effective is it? Can an herb really increase the rate at which your body turns calories into energy?

While the scientific jury is still out, ginger does act as a vasodilator. It opens the veins and promotes better blood circulation. This could increase the body’s metabolic rate by pumping more blood to the liver, which metabolizes fat.

Ginger also soothes the stomach and can promote more efficient digestion. Try adding some pickled ginger to salads, or sipping ginger tea before your workouts.