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Spinach extract, flaxseed, green tea and more – foods that could help you lose weight

A natural compound hidden away in spinach has been shown to reduce food cravings between meals and could help prevent obesity, a Swedish scientist said on Monday. Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, a professor of appetite regulation at Lund University, found the compound, known as thylakoid, while looking for ways to slow digestion and alleviate hunger pangs. The compound functions differently to processed foods, which tend to be digested only in the upper intestine. This prevents key hormones that make us feel full from being released to the brain, according to a statement from the university. (Read: Ditch these 5 food habits to keep obesity away)

‘I like to say our intestines are unemployed,’ Erlanson-Albertsson said. A test group of 15 people who took the compound every morning reported that it had become easier to resist the temptation to eat between meals. Erlanson-Albertsson discovered the compound after speaking to her husband, a scientist researching photosynthesis. He steered her in the direction of thylakoids, a compound in green leaves believed to slow down fat digestion, meaning the whole intestine has time to get involved, the university said. But eating spinach itself is not enough. It has to be crushed, filtrated and passed through a centrifuge, freeing the thylakoids from the plant’s cells. ‘Our bodies can’t break it down from fresh spinach directly,’ the university said. (Read: Exercises for the really obese)

There are various herbs foods and compounds that could help people lose weight. These include:

Flaxseed (alsi)

Called alsi in Hindi, the seed comes out with an outer coating which makes you feel fuller than normal and hence curbs your tendency to eat. Read about the health benefits of flaxseeds. 

Green Tea

Green tea has gained immense popularity as tool to facilitate weight loss and millions are switching from coffee to green tea because of its high antioxidant capacity. Read about the health benefits of green tea. 


The herb that makes things ‘Christmassy’ helps activate insulin receptors and enzyme systems involved in carbohydrate metabolism. Read about the health benefits of cinnamon or dalchini! 

Black Pepper

Hot things usually help you lose weight and black pepper is no different. The piperine in it acts as a digestive while it also helps prevent the formation of fat. Read about the health benefits of black pepper. 


Studies have shown that it helps metabolise fat and also reduces the risk of developing diabetes.  The great thing about turmeric is that it’s already part of our eating habits and can be added to veggies, rice, curries, dals, etc. Read turmerics or haldi - health benefits of galore. 


Another herb which can help because of its digestive properties is ginger which is thermogenic. This basically means that it helps raise the body’s temperature by burning fat which makes it perfect for people looking to lose weight. Read about the health benefits of ginger.

Track calories in Indian food items using Healthifyme calorie counter

 Also read:

  • Top 10 health benefits of ajwain
  • 15 health benefits of methi
  • 15 health benefits of garlic
  • Amazing health benefits of beetroot
  • Health benefits of amla

 Diet for weight loss:

  •  Weight loss diet by expert dietician
  • Fad is bad: Say no to diets which promise speedy weight loss
  • 6 diet tips to lose belly fat
  • Tasty recipes for weight loss
  • Eat and lose weight: 10 food items for weight loss!
  • Why drinking is bad for your weight loss regime
  • 10 superfoods for weight loss

For more weight loss tips check out our weight loss section. 

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