Did you know that a hormone produced in the fat cells, actually stimulates your metabolism and tells the brain when you have had enough? Well, as incredible as it may sound, ‘leptin’ does just that. It is important to the body and you can augment leptin levels in your body as it is an essential compound that provides many health benefits.
Would you like to know more? Read on!
What Is Leptin?
Leptin is a hormone that is produced by the fat cells. It is responsible for many actions; it signals to the brain that your body is full and stimulates your metabolic activity (1).
Typically, when fat cells are full of food, leptin is secreted and it enters the brain to curb your appetite, which makes you feel full and satisfied. If you have a leptin level that is too low, chances are you have little body fat or are malnourished (2).
Scientists suggest that more leptin can stimulate fat burning, but studies have concluded something entirely different. Overweight people tend to produce an excess of leptin and usually face elevated leptin levels. Elevated leptin levels also translate to high sugar and insulin levels.
Too much leptin can lead to decreased leptin sensitivity, which in turn leads to hunger and cravings and eventually even obesity.
[ Read: Copper Rich Foods ]
Can Foods Provide Leptin?
Although there are certain foods that do contain leptin, consuming such foods won’t help as leptin cannot be absorbed by your intestines. Most foods that are usually referred to as leptin rich foods actually increase leptin sensitivity and don’t contain much leptin themselves.
Thus, the most effective way to increase the amount of leptin in your body is by having foods that increase your body’s leptin sensitivity. Consuming such foods rich in leptin will not only increase your leptin sensitivity, but will also help stimulate better metabolic activity. This results in lesser cravings and a controlled body weight.
Maintaining Healthy Leptin Levels:
Leptin is crucial for your body and performs many functions. Leptin helps regulate your appetite by restricting the overproduction of hormones that increase your appetite, thereby acting as an appetite suppressor. Leptin works along with Adiponectin to combat metabolic syndrome.
You already know that leptin cannot be absorbed directly from food. So, let’s look at how to increase your leptin sensitivity and ensure that you maintain healthy leptin levels.
Top 4 Leptin Rich Foods:
This is one of the best foods to increase your leptin sensitivity. Protein helps energize your body and increases your leptin levels. This keeps you feeling fuller for long (3).
[ Read: Protein Rich Foods ]
2. Fatty Fish:
Fatty fish is crammed with many essential vitamins and is known to contain rich amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These help increase your body’s sensitivity to leptin and you will be able to keep your weight under check. This results in a healthy heart and regulated cholesterol levels (4).
Many studies have shown that people with leptin deficiencies usually have zinc deficiency, and it has been found that most obese people seem to suffer from zinc deficiency. The best way to boost your leptin sensitivity and increase the amount of zinc you consume is by including beef, cocoa, nuts, seafood and pumpkin in your diet (5).
4. Leafy Greens:
Leafy greens contain most of the needed nutrients without adding unwanted fat to your body. Vegetables like kale, broccoli and spinach are especially good for your body as they are also rich in fiber. Fiber has been known to boost leptin levels and reduce LDL cholesterol.
[ Read: Hemoglobin Rich Foods ]
Foods That Decrease Leptin Sensitivity:
We have looked at foods that increase leptin sensitivity and help promote healthy leptin levels in your body. There are certain foods that decrease leptin sensitivity as well.
Usually, foods like processed carbs and pre-packaged meals negatively affect your leptin sensitivity and decrease it. This can lead to many complications.
Here ends the leptin rich foods list. So, now that you know how important leptin is and how to increase your leptin sensitivity, begin consuming the required foods and bring your weight under control again. To tell us about your experiences, leave a comment below.
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