Maybe Popeye was on to something? New research has found that a spinach extract can help boost weight loss by cutting down on food cravings.
The study, by researchers at Lund University in Sweden, found that the extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids decreases so-called “hedonistic hunger” cravings up to 95 percent and increases weight loss with 43 percent, Science Daily r
Hedonic hunger is defined as cravings for unhealthy foods such as sweets or fast food, a common cause of obesity and unhealthy eating habits. The study shows that taking thylakoids reinforces the body's production of hormones that kill appetite and make people feel full, which leads to better appetite control, healthier eating habits, and increased weight loss.
"Our analyses show that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast reduces cravings and keeps you feeling more satisfied all day," said researcher Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson.
The study involved 38 overweight women who were tracked for three months. Every morning before breakfast the participants had a green drink. Half were given 5 grams of spinach extract and the other half were given a placebo. The participants did not know which group they belonged to -- the only instructions they received were to eat a balanced diet including three meals a day and not to go on any other diet.
Those who consumed the spinach drink lost nearly 3.5 pounds more than those who did not, the results showed.
"The thylakoids extend digestion, producing a feeling of satiety. This means that we are able to stick to the diet we are meant for without snacks and unnecessary foods like sweets, crisps and such," said Erlanson-Albertsson.
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