My Spinach “Discovery”
I love it when I make a “discovery” in my own life, and then research (google) it to see if anyone else has proven it 🙂
Earlier this week, I decided to blend in spinach with my protein pudding to add some thickness & bulk to it. It doesn’t look the most appetizing, but you can’t taste the spinach at all (it just makes it green) 🙂 .
I did this a few days, and realized by the end of the day, I was not super-hungry (which is almost a given for me)! Since that was about the only thing that changed, I wondered what was in spinach & if it causes appetite to be suppressed for some reason…. I did a quick search, and it does!
Spinach — & actually ALL green leafy vegetables — contain a compound called thylakoid. Thylakoids slow down food digestion, make you feel fuller, & curb over-eating — making it nature’s appetite suppressant. **
The thylakoids are effective when the leaves are crushed or blended ** — like in a green smoothie or drink (or pudding) or a spinach-pesto sauce 🙂 — there are recipes at the end of the post if you are interested!
Thylakoids have been studied since the 1990’s and have proven to alter our main hunger-related hormones & support efforts to lose weight.
* One study found that mice who were given thylakoids had higher levels of the satiety hormone cholecystokinin, a hormone secreted by the small intestine that helps digest fat and protein as well suppressing appetite.
* Another study found that humans who had a spinach-pesto sandwich had:
- a significant increase in the satiety hormone cholecystokinin (like the mice study above) compared to those given the regular sandwich
- a reduced amount of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is secreted by fat cells and tells your body it is hungry.
- significant increases (6 hours later that day) in leptin — the hormone that tells your body it’s full. (I think this was the effect I have been noticing)
- a reduced insulin level — while blood sugar level was unchanged. So, LESS insulin was needed to keep the blood sugar normal for the subjects.
. When the insulin response is exaggerated, such as in those with metabolic syndrome, you’re more likely to experience blood sugar swings with episodes of reactive hypoglycemia, leading to increased hunger a couple of hours after eating. Higher insulin responses are also associated with increased belly fat and inflammation, raising the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. ***
* One other study found that adding thylakoids into breakfast can prevent compensational eating later in the day! (my biggest battle)
There it is! I did not make the discovery, but did experience it & wanted to share the find with you! Here are a few recipes you can use to make thylakoids part of your daily diet and experience the effect for yourself!
Speedy Spinach Pesto sauce — what the researchers added into the sandwich in the study above — http://www.food.com/recipe/speedy-spinach-pesto-176624
High Protein Vanilla, Banana, and Spinach Green Smoothie from Shape Magazine — http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/green-vanilla-almond-post-workout-shake
Banana & Mango Green Smoothie Bowl — cool breakfast idea! — http://withfoodandlove.com/banana-mango-green-smoothie-bowls-with-hemp-seeds-sprouts-vegan/ — you could add in some protein as well if you want 🙂
Peanut Butter & Jelly Green Smoothie — http://cupcakesandkalechips.com/peanut-butter-jelly-green-smoothie/
Snickerdoodle Green Smoothie — http://rabbitfoodformybunnyteeth.com/snickerdoodle-green-smoothie/
You can also take any protein smoothie recipe from my sponsor’s site: http://www.nutrition53.com/blogs/recipes/6633306-real-strawberry-lean1-smoothie & add some spinach or other greens to them! Nutrition53 protein powders also include green coffee bean extract and green tea extract which help your body burn fat (but don’t add caffeine).
Enjoy your Thylakoids! 🙂