Amazing Research That Proves The Role Of Spinach In Weight Loss

A lot of people in this world actually suffer from the hedonic hunger – eating for pleasure rather than to satisfy a biological need. The body’s balance is broken down, and soon the unwanted pounds start piling up. People experience craving often for sweets and fast food, and the urge resembles an addiction. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have now discovered a way to reset the body and resist the unhealthy food. It comes in the form of humble green leaf membranes called thylakoids from the spinach plant.

Research on Obesity and appetite control

The experiment was led by Dr. Charlotte Erlanson- Albertsson, who researches obesity and appetite control. At first she collaborated with her husband, a professor of biochemistry, with a special interest in photosynthesis. Together they designed an in vitro study that showed fat digestion is inhibited in the presence of thylakoids and pancreatic lipase, which is a digestive enzyme. The research couple then moved to in vivo studies in rats and mice. They observed that the animals ate less, lost weight and their blood lipids (fats) decreased when they were given thylakoids extracted from spinach. They then went on to conduct their first human study, which is described below.

The study that explored the potential of thylakoids was published in Appetite. It included 38 women with a body mass index (BMI) of 25-33 kg/m2, and followed them for a period of 90 days. The women were randomly divided into two groups. The first got a green drink that contained five grams of green-plant membrane extract every day before breakfast. The second group was given a green drink that was a placebo. Both groups were instructed to stick to three meals a day, avoid snacking, and increase their exercise levels.

Results of the research

  • It was discovered that women who were taking green-plant membranes lost significantly 43% more body weight than those on placebo. People who consumed green-plant extract lost 5.0 kg compared to the control group who lost 3.5 kg.
  • Within three weeks, total and LDL cholesterol reduced in the spinach consuming group, and the release of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) increased after the m GLP-1 decreases food intake by increasing satiety in the brain.
  • As people felt fuller, their food cravings decreased. It was noted that the urge for sweets and chocolate went down significantly and the hedonic hunger dropped by up to 95%.

How to reap the benefits of Thylakoids

To get the desired effect of thylakoids, about half a kilo of spinach a day has to be eaten, but after isolation and purification of the substance, only a few grams are needed. It works best if its consumption coincides with fat ingestion. That is why for maximum impact thylakoids should be consumed with a meal. It appears that they form a coating around the fat molecules and don’t allow access to the digestive enzymes. The green leaf membranes slow down the digestion process, so that the brain has enough time to receive the signal that says we are satisfied.

Source of Thylakoids

Consuming a thylakoid-filled salad or shake can return our bodies to a health-promoting homeostatic hunger pattern in which one eats only when it is really needed. Thylakoids are found primarily in leafy green vegetables, (these foods include spinach, cabbage, lettuce, kale, collard and other greens) but also to a lesser extent in other green vegetables. It has not been studied whether cooking reduces the health benefits of thylakoids, so it is better to make sure that one adds raw leafy greens to their diet in order to increase their intake of appetite-suppressing thylakoids. In fact, it can also help people overcome emotional eating as well as lose the stubborn belly fat.

Eating Spinach has benefits when considering the fact that it contributes to eating a healthy diet and provides thylakoids at the same time. Therefore, as is beneficial in many cases, eating spinach is a good idea for more than one reason. Eating healthy and exercising is a challenge when two bad habits have to be changed at a time. However, it is manageable when one considers the benefits of Spinach added to the diet and how it expands to even a change in their lifestyle. Happy slimming with Spinach!