Green vegetables beat food cravings

Tiny cellular structures in the cells of green-leaved vegetables can give people a feeling of fullness and so reduce food cravings, according to a Swedish researcher.

A spinach extract high in thylakoids, part of the chloroplasts in plant leaf cells, trigger release of satiety hormones as they extend the digestion process into the lower intestine, Lund University's Professor Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson found.

Test subjects who took a spinach extract in the morning felt less hungry, had fewer cravings during the day, higher levels of satiety hormones in their blood and more stable blood glucose levels than a control group.

However, the leaves first had to be crushed, filtered and centrifuged to free the thylakoids from the plant's cells because the body cannot extract them directly. Erlanson-Albertsson added that the effect is unlikely to be due to just one compound.


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