Do you get to work in the morning and feel hungry before you even start your day—even though you just ate breakfast before you left. Many clients ask me what are some of the best foods to help reduce hunger and make you feel more satisfied.
A recent study in the journal, Appetite, suggests that one of the best breakfast foods is spinach! Popeye was onto something! In their study, researchers gave participants a drink of spinach water in the morning (specifically, thylakoids, found in spinach which is the green-plant membranes) or a placebo (no spinach). This thylakoid substance in spinach is reported to release the satiety hormone GLP-1. In other words, it slows down digestion, which helps you to feel fuller longer.
The results? Amazing! Those who had the spinach compound before breakfast experienced a reduction of hunger and increased satiety over the whole day. The participants experienced feeling more satiated 60 minutes after breakfast and less hungry 180 minutes later. Also, during the day, they wanted sweets less and ate fewer tasty foods.
In addition, one cup of spinach contains an amazing amount of benefits including protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, and folate and is only 27 calories. Magnesium helps lower blood pressure which makes it a great food for buffering stress.
The take home message: If you struggle with hunger in the morning and craving sweets, consider starting your day off with a spinach smoothie (see links here for recipes). Blending up the spinach helps to release the compound. You can also sneak some spinach into your eggs or a breakfast sandwich to also help keep your hunger in check during the day.
For more tips on soothing yourself without food, see 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food
Stenblom EL1, Egecioglu E1, Erlanson-Albertsson C2. Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract reduces hunger, increases satiety and reduces cravings for palatable food in overweight women. Appetite. 2015 Apr 17. pii: S0195-6663(15)00197-X. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.04.051.