No matter how much you love food, there are times when you’d rather not eat. For example, maybe you’re trying to lose weight or just want to feel full longer (say, during a long journey). In that case, you need the opposite of an appetite. You need something that will make your stomach say “no thanks” when you see food. Luckily, some foods suppress appetite without sacrificing nutritional value. Let’s look at some of the best foods that help reduce hunger.
Eggs are a reliable source of protein and other nutrients that help you feel full and satisfied. Studies show that eating eggs for breakfast can reduce hunger levels throughout the day, leading to fewer cravings and a lower calorie intake.
Why are eggs so filling and satisfying? Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, and eggs are one of the highest-quality sources of protein. Plus, eggs are low in calories and contain healthy fats that make for a wholesome and filling meal.
Research also shows eggs help regulate blood sugar levels, which further contributes to improved appetite control. The combination of protein, healthy fats, and low-calorie content makes eggs an ideal food when you’re looking to keep your appetite in check.
These benefits may help explain why so many people say they lose weight when they add eggs to their diet (although it’s important to note that not all studies support this claim). So next time something sweet or salty tempts you before bedtime, try cracking open an egg instead–you’ll be glad you did!
Coffee, with its caffeine content, may temporarily suppress appetite. However, the effect of caffeine on appetite is short-lived and may not be as pronounced if you’re a regular coffee drinker. Still, caffeine can suppress appetite for a period. The downside is coffee has no nutritional value. So, don’t use it as a substitute for eating a healthy meal. The best way to manage appetite is to practice mindful eating and enjoy a balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods.
Beans are another satiating option that helps reduce appetite. Legumes in colors red, black, and white are packed with fiber and protein, which can help you feel full longer. Beans are also high in vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron. Plus, they’re low in fat and calories.
Beans also contain resistant starch, which is a type of carbohydrate that your gut doesn’t easily break down or absorb. Bacteria turn resistant starch into short-chain fatty acids that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the lining of your colon. Research suggests beans can also help regulate blood sugar levels, which can support weight management and reduce cravings for unhealthy foods.
Need ideas for enjoying beans? Add them to soups and stews as a hearty, flavorful ingredient. Another way to get the benefits that beans offer is to puree them into dips and spreads to create hummus or bean dips. You can also add beans to a variety of recipes, such as chili, tacos, burritos, and fajitas. Grilling or roasting beans can bring out their flavor and add texture to salads and grain bowls.
Do you enjoy a fragrant cup of green tea? Some studies suggest green tea can reduce calorie intake and suppress appetite. Research suggests green tea works by increasing levels of the hormone CCK, which helps reduce appetite. Additionally, some studies suggest that green tea increases feelings of fullness and lowers levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. While green tea is not a miracle weight loss solution, it may be an effective tool for helping manage cravings and support healthy weight management.
The spicy heat of chili peppers comes from capsaicin, a compound with anti-inflammatory activity. One study conducted on 24 regular chili consumers revealed that taking capsaicin before a meal was associated with reduced calorie intake. You can get capsaicin by adding chili peppers to your recipes.
Chili peppers are also a source of vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps keep your immune system healthy by fighting free radicals. Its functions include helping your body absorb iron (a mineral found in chili peppers) from foods like spinach or whole grains. So, add a little spice to your next meal with chili peppers.
Oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber, which can help keep you full longer. It’s also a good source of B vitamins, which are involved in energy metabolism. The combination of fiber and B vitamins makes oatmeal a low-calorie food that can help you feel full longer.
A randomized, controlled trial in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that oatmeal boosted fullness and suppressed the desire to eat. People who ate an oatmeal breakfast consumed less food at lunch. The healthiest type of oatmeal is the least processed (steel-cut oats), as it has the least effect on blood glucose levels. It takes longer to cook, but you can speed up the process by preparing it in a slow cooker overnight.
Avocado helps reduces appetite due to its high fiber and protein content. Several studies demonstrate that eating avocado can lead to a more satisfying feeling of fullness after meals and a decrease in hunger.
Avocado is also high in monounsaturated fat, which is linked to improved satiety and reduced food intake. Additionally, the fatty acids in avocado may help regulate hormones associated with appetite, such as ghrelin, known to increase hunger. These combined effects make avocado an excellent choice for appetite control.
And there’s more good news. A study published in the FASEB Journal found that consuming avocado elevated levels of two key satiety hormones (PYY and GLP-1) that boost satiety. So, enjoy this creamy fruit and feel more satiated.
So, there you have it, seven foods that suppress appetite. These foods are not “miracles” for appetite and weight control, but they may help you feel fuller. Most importantly, make sure you’re eating a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed foods.
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