The quickest way to sabotage your diet, health, or weight loss journey is munching on junk food between meals.
For many of us, processed foods digest so quickly that they don’t keep us full for very long, which then creates more hunger signals, which then results in more cravings.
These signals start in our gut and send strong messages to our brains.
However, Swedish scientists may have discovered a new way to block these signals—and without artificial chemicals.
According to their research, spinach extract decreases cravings for junk foods and can make one feel full for up to eight hours.
When overweight women consumed just 5 grams of spinach extract per day, cravings for unhealthy foods dropped by 95%!
For those who have been trying to control their cravings, this may work. Even better, there are no known side effects for most people.
However, researchers do state that spinach extract causes a slight increase in blood sugar and has some effect on insulin levels, so caution should be taken by those with Type 2 diabetes.
The effect of mindlessly grazing on junk food wreaks havoc on our health.
In many ways, high calorie junk food creates an addictive cycle. A piece of candy gives us a pleasure rush, but then is quickly digested—thus causing a crash. The only way to feel good again is more candy. And so the vicious cycle begins.
That’s why using spinach extract could be a great alternative to protect you from your cravings.
It’s recommended that about 4-5 grams should be taken with a meal. The biggest weight loss benefits were noted after the supplement was used for over a month.
The longest trial was conducted over 90 days.
At the end of 90 days, the women’s waists were smaller and their cholesterol had lowered. All obesity risk factors went down.
So just how big a reduction in cravings can you expect? Cravings for snacks dropped 36%. Hunger dropped 21%.
So how does it work?
The secret is inside the spinach itself—literally.
A compound known as thylakoids are found in green leafy vegetables, but these compounds reside in the non-digestible cell walls of the raw vegetable. And when these veggies are cooked, the compound is usually damaged.
Swedish researchers were able to unlock this compound and retain its benefits by way of spinach extract.
When you feel fuller and have fewer cravings, you eventually lose weight, as the study has shown.
This same research has now been conducted in two other studies with similar results.
And in all three studies, no negative side effects were reported.
The three trials all showed:
- A 25% reduction in hunger
- A 35% reduction in thought cravings
- Increased fullness
- Increased level of the appetite-suppressing hormone CCK
The dangers of uncontrolled snacking and obesity are undeniable.
Obesity is probably second to smoking when it comes to causing the most health problems for Americans.
According to the US Center for Disease Control, here are the top symptoms of obesity:
- All-causes of death (mortality)
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
- Sleep apnea and breathing problems
- Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
- Low quality of life
- Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning
Spinach extract is surprisingly inexpensive and available at major online retailers, which may be why it is not yet widely advertised.
If drug companies were able to patent spinach extract and make money on these supplements, we’d hear a lot more about it.
Nevertheless, if unhealthy habits and cravings can be stopped with an affordable—and safe—alternative like spinach extract, it’s definitely worth giving a try.