Spinach Extract Curbs Appetite and Helps Maintain Body Weight [VIDEO]

First Posted: Mar 11, 2014 04:22 AM EDT

A particular compound present in spinach and other green leaves slows down digestion and curbs appetite, according to a new finding.

The study conducted by researchers at Lund University, Sweden, reveals the presence of a compound, 'Thylakoid', present in extracts of green leaves and spinach, which slows down food digestion and therefore, can make people feel full.

The compound Thylakoid lowers the rate of fat digestion giving the intestine ample time to complete the process of digestion. When the food reaches the distal intestine, the compound triggers the release of the satiety hormone. The hormone sends signals to the brain indicating fullness in the stomach.

On the other hand, in the processed foods, only the upper intestine is involved in the digestion process, hence, the key hormone ( satiety hormone)is suppressed and is not released.

"I like to say our intestines are unemployed", says Professor Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson at Lund University, the researcher behind the findings.

Professor Erlanson-Albertsson  strongly believed that it was possible to involve the whole intestine in the process of digestion. Seeking help from her husband, a scientist researching photosynthesis, the team focused on the compound thylakoid in green leaves as it is known to carry galactolipids.

"It contains hundreds of substances - galactolipids, proteins, vitamin A, E, K, antioxidants, beta-carotene, lutein, and so on", she explains.

To test the impact of spinach consumption on hunger cravings, she gave human subjects shots of spinach extract. She noticed that the subjects felt less hungry and also their hunger cravings during the day reduced drastically.

With the help of the spinach extracts the subjects found it easier to manage with just three meals a day compared to the control group that had the spinach shot without the active substance.

Apart from this, the researcher observed that the group that had spinach with thylakoid in it had higher levels of satiety hormones present in their blood and also had more stable blood glucose levels.


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