Which Are The Best Foods to Shut Off the Hunger Hormones
Imagine if you could fight off the cravings? How fit and lean would you be?
Most of the time, your hormones, and neurons, rather than your willpower determine your appetite and cravings. The main player in the hunger-scene is ghrelin, better known as the hunger hormone. When your stomach is empty or even when it thinks it is empty, it secretes ghrelin which sends signals to the brain. In turn, the brain convinces you that you are starving and you have an entire plate of fries. Leptin is an appetite suppressor. Ideally, it should help you curb your cravings but, like insulin, you may develop an insensitivity to leptin leaving you at the mercy of your stomach.
Recent studies show that the appetite-controlling area of the brain has a class of glial cells in the hypothalamus. Activation of these cells by specific nutrients or lack of nutrients will tell you to stop eating to eat more, even when you are not hungry. As drug regulatory consultants focus on OTCdrugs, scientists are now focusing on a new hormone, asprosin, which turns on the appetite tabs stimulating hormones to turn off the appetite suppressing neurons.
Other than the hormones, neurons also determine if you feel hungry and how soon. The AgRP neurons, also called the agouti-related-expressing neurons are found in the hypothalamus. The AgRP neurons fire when you are hungry. They work as sensitive alarm systems. Unfortunately, eating zero-calorie foods will only suppress the neurons temporarily, and they will fire again soon so that you crave more of the French fries and chips. The neurons only turn off when you eat a high-calorie meal.
Now that you have the science bit taken care of, what should you do to fight hunger? Even though fighting the hormones and neurons is a tough battle, some foods can control the hunger hormones. Which foods are these, you ask?
Did you know that waking up to a protein-rich meal sets fat burning wheels in progress, the whole day long? Eggs are rich in the neurotransmitter choline which has immense fat-burning properties. Also, eggs have a lower-response to ghrelin, compared to other foods. You will, therefore, feel less hungry consuming eggs for breakfast.
To fully suppress the hunger hormone, ghrelin, you have to keep your stomach full. You should, therefore, eat a high-fiber meal that will leave you sated for hours. While kale serves as an alternative, artichoke contains almost twice the amount of fiber as kale. Artichoke also contains a high concentration of the prebiotic inulin that feeds the good bacteria, helping to maintain a balance between leptin and ghrelin hormones.
- Boiled potatoes
They are not as bad as we are made to believe, but only if you boil rather than fry your potatoes. To perk up their fat belly benefits, you could throw them in the refrigerator to make potato salad.
Why refrigerate? Well, the cooling process crystallizes the tubers into resistant starch that takes longer to break down in the intestines. In the stomach, the potatoes will also produce the fat-burning component, butyrate, delaying hunger.
Taking oats for cereal will keep you fuller for longer because oats contain belly-filling insoluble fiber. Like boiled potatoes, they stimulate the production of butyrate that burns fats, while reducing inflammations in the body.
Fish have immense health benefits, and their richness in omega-3 fatty acids helps to reduce and fight inflammations in the body. Fish also allows leptin to communicate with the brain efficiently. Halibut comes highly recommended because it is the second most filling food with high levels of tryptophan which produces serotonin that curbs hunger. It also produces methionine that reverses the genes for obesity and insulin resistance.
- Rooibos Tea
This tea is derived from the red-bush plant is rich in the flavonoid aspalathin which reduces the levels of the stress hormone in the body. Cortisol, the stress hormone triggers hunger and encourages fat storage.
- Red Apples
The red apples are an excellent source of hunger-busting fiber which fills you up and keeps the cravings away. It also has the highest concentrations of antioxidant flavonoids that fight inflammations and protects the heart.
Other foods that control hunger include apple cider vinegar, oysters, hot soups, spicy foods, and drink more water.