Hormones that impact your diet

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

When your stomach feels empty and hunger strikes, you eat, and when it feels full, you stop eating. Two hormones - ghrelin and leptin - play very pivotal roles in coordinating your body’s energy needs with food intake.

How Ghrelin and leptin influence your food intake

Ghrelin – the “I am hungry” hormone tells you that it’s time to eat. Special cells in the stomach manufacture ghrelin, when the hormone is released, it travels via the blood to the brain where it triggers hunger. After the meal, the stomach distends and the release of ghrelin reduces. Research indicates that obese individuals have a low level of ghrelin, whilst lean individuals have high levels. Ghrelin facilitates long-term weight maintenance and tries to adjust the body to an optimal weight.

Leptin is an appetite suppressor that is manufactured by fat cells in the body, which when released tells the brain about the body’s energy stores and when to stop eating. Leptin indicates a feeling of satiety and signals the brain to stop eating. Leptin also signals to your body to burn more calories.

Navigating ghrelin and leptin

You cannot control your hormones. When you’re hungry, you have to eat – no matter how much you may not want to. On the other hand, you sure can go on a hormone balancing diet – by learning how the hormones function, you will better understand what strategy you need to follow to successfully manage your weight.

Levels of ghrelin increase about 4 hours after eating. Thus, eating 4 to 6 wholesome meals per day promise to keep ghrelin and leptin levels stable. Steer clear of crash dieting and severe calorie restriction; this causes ghrelin levels to shoot up and you tend to make poor food choices.

3 super foods that reduce hunger

These super foods switch off your hunger button, manage your appetite and whittle down your belly.

  1. Beans: Beans are jam-packed with quality protein; a protein-loaded meal sets the pace for fat-torching for the whole day. Clinical trials reveal that a bean-eating group had a lower response to ghrelin, they were less hungry 3 hours after the meal and ate fewer calories in the entire day. So, make sure that you get adequate amounts of protein per day as it slows down gastric emptying and helps you stay fuller for longer by enhancing leptin sensitivity. Amp up on lentils, beans and legumes and incorporate plenty of these in to your daily line-up of foods. Tata Sampann beans are sourced from organic farms and are processed and packaged in a scientific and hygienic manner, providing you with the very best.
  2. Apples: Apples are chockfull of hunger-fighting fibre, which promise to curb your appetite and slice away belly fat. The high fibre in apples bring down ghrelin levels – making them a mega hormone balancing food.

 

  1. Nuts: Almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios give you the ideal combination of protein, fibre and healthy fat which keeps you full and gratified. Nuts boost leptin levels and keep ghrelin in check. They are easy to add to almost any meal such as salads, starters, mains and even dessert or simply eaten on their own as a snack.

 

Incorporate these three foods in to your daily diet; these foods switch off your hunger not only as a quick-fix, but for the long haul as well. They whittle your middle, manage your appetite, curb cravings, facilitate good weight management and ward off a multitude of lifestyle diseases.

 

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