Eating Spinach May Reduce Hunger
Is there anything spinach isn’t good for? Packed with nine vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and K, folate and iron, spinach is a powerhouse food linked with brain health, hearing and blood sugar control. At less than ten calories per cup, you may not suspect this leafy green could also help keep you full, but researchers from Louisiana and Sweden have found satiety could be another benefit of adding spinach to your daily diet.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized crossover study, the gold star for study design, 60 overweight or obese adults consumed either five grams of spinach extract or a placebo before eating a 750 calorie lunch. For two hours after the meal, participants were periodically asked about their hunger levels.
Compared to the placebo, consumption of the spinach extract before lunch increased diners’ fullness by about 6% and reduced their hunger by about 11% for two hours after the meal. Researchers attribute this effect to thylakoids in spinach, compounds in plant membranes that contain chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their green color. Thylakoids can slow fat digestion, thus promoting the release of satiety hormones and reducing the hunger hormone ghrelin. This process supports a feeling of fullness and alters cravings for food.
Add spinach to your daily diet—this leafy green might not only help strengthen your muscles, it could strengthen your willpower to keep your hands out of the Halloween candy basket this month. Spinach is a versatile food that can easily be added to smoothies at breakfast or sandwiches as lunch, and it also works well as a festive Halloween meal. Our Spider Clusters salads are a fun and nutritious way to add spinach into your Halloween celebration.
Published October 1, 2015