Spinach Extract Could Help Curb Hunger

A concentrated extract that contains certain properties found in spinach helps to reduce hunger and cravings, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Thylakoids - the active compounds in the extract - are components of spinach that help to release satiety hormones, which increase feelings of fullness.

The study included 60 people - half men and half women -who either consumed the spinach extract or a placebo. Researchers monitored samples of the subjects' blood and also measured their lipid and glucose levels. After several hours, pizza was served to the participants to determine how much the subjects would eat.

"The results showed that the spinach extract containing thylakoids increased satiety over a two-hour period compared to a placebo," a news release on the study stated.

A plant-based appetite suppressant?

A 2009 study found results that corroborate the findings of the current study: that thylakoids, which are membranes from plant chloroplasts, are useful in suppressing appetite and regulating body weight when consumed with a high-fat food.

Another previous study found that women had reduced cravings for sweets after a dose of the spinach extract.

Spinach eaten as a whole plant food contains about 2.1 grams of dietary fiber - which also increases feelings of satiety - per half-cup.

"The reduction in hunger and the desire for salty food that we saw in this study might make thylakoids particularly useful for people with high blood pressure and associated weight problems," concluded Dr. Frank Greenway, study co-author.

Source: Web MD, Taylor & Francis

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