A latest study shows that a compound found in spinach can help reduce weight.
Thylakoid, the compound found in spinach helps in controlling weight. Researchers at the Lund University, Sweden, said that the compound slows down food digestion and generates satiety hormones in the intestine.
Among the green leafy vegetables, spinach has the highest level of thylakoid.
The researchers, however, explained that eating just spinach might not help in reducing weight. This is because the body cannot break down the compound from fresh spinach. They said that the leafy vegetable has to be crushed and filtered to release the thylakoids for absorption.
Previous studies show that thylakoids slow down fat digestion by providing lot of time for the whole intestine to get involved. The researchers said that satiety hormones are released once food enters the distal intestine and a massage is transmitted to the brain indicating that the body is full.
Researchers said that processed foods tend to only utilize the upper intestine so satiety hormones are not released. "I like to say our intestines are unemployed," researcher Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, a professor at Lund University, said in a news release.
The study researchers gave a shot of spinach extract to participants. They found that participants felt less hungry and had fewer cravings throughout the day.
The researchers said that the participants did not have more than three meals a day compared to those in the control group who were given a shot without the compound.
The study authors explained that thylakoids are made up of many substances and cannot be traced to just one active ingredient.
"It contains hundreds of substances - galactolipids, proteins, vitamin A, E, K, antioxidants, beta-carotene, lutein, and so on," she explained.