Researchers from Lund University in Sweden in a new have found that spinach could curb the cravings for fast food, which is a major cause for the obesity epidemic across the United States.
Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, Professor of Medicine and Physiological Chemistry at Lund University, in a press statement reported, "Our analyses show that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast reduces cravings and keeps you feeling more satisfied all day."
In the study, 38 overweight women were given a green drink each morning before breakfast for three months. Half of the participants were given a drink containing five grams of spinach extract, whereas the green drink given to the other half did not. The women were not informed about which group they belonged to, but were all instructed to eat a healthy, balanced diet consisting of three meals a day.
"In the study, the control group lost an average of 3.5 kg while the group that was given thylakoids lost 5 kg. The thylakoid group also found that it was easier to stick to three meals a day -- and they did not experience any cravings," said Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson.
Spinach has thylakoids which reinforces the body's production of satiety hormones and suppresses hedonic hunger, which leads to better appetite control, healthier eating habits and increased weight loss. Hedonic hunger is a term given to the cravings many people experience for unhealthy foods, such as sweets and fast food. This is a common cause of obesity and poor diet habits, which decreased by up to 95 percent and increases weight loss by 43 percent.
"It is about making use of the time it takes to digest our food. There is nothing wrong with our digestive system, but it doesn't work well with the modern 'pre-chewed' food. 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 Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson.