Leptin is a hormone that controls the appetite by sending signals to the brain and telling it when to stop. This hormone also regulates the body’s energy throughout the day. It is released from the fat cells in adipose tissues and signals to the hypothalamus in the brain.
Leptin is directly linked to the fat in the body. The leptin levels in the body are determined by the amount of body fat. Leptin levels tend to increase if body fat increases and they decrease if the percentage of body fat decreases.
Leptin is often called the satiety hormone or the hormone of energy expenditure as it is responsible for signaling the brain when to stop eating. It also regulates the energy levels of the body by inhibiting hunger. It is kind of a natural personal trainer of the body. Leptin helps inhibits hunger and does not let the body trigger hunger responses thus allowing the body to use stored fat in the body.
Obesity results in higher levels of leptin in the blood which can cause a lack of sensitivity to leptin. This condition is called leptin resistance because the fat cells produce more leptin to send satiety signals. Low levels of leptin are rare and in some patients, the body stops releasing leptin and results in a condition called congenital leptin deficiency.
This can lead to severe childhood obesity and delayed puberty because the body’s low leptin levels do not let it send satiety signals to the hypothalamus, the brain thinks that there is an extreme fat deficit in the body, thus signals uncontrolled hunger and intense cravings for food. Leptin injections are the solution to leptin deficiency.
Foods That Increase Leptin Sensitivity
Certain foods can affect the leptin levels in the blood. They can help fight leptin resistance in overweight people who have increased levels of leptin but their bodies lack sensitivity to the hormone. Choosing and including leptin foods in your diets may help kick start the metabolism and encourage more energy expenditure. Some of these leptin foods include:
Apple contains a lot of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. This fruit is known to provide various health benefits and prevention against several diseases. One of the substances found in apples is pectin. Researches and studies show that pectin is effective in increasing leptin sensitivity, therefore, it helps to fight against leptin resistance.
Oatmeal is enriched with fiber which plays a vital role in making you feel full and satiated. It also helps in decreasing insulin levels in the blood.
Vegetables are low-density food with high water and fiber content. They are also high in volume which provides several nutrients and has low-calorie count. All leafy green vegetables are leptin friendly.
Lean proteins like fish, seafood, turkey, meat, and chicken are recommended to help fight against leptin resistance. Taking a high protein diet helps control hunger and enhances metabolism.
Green tea has a lot of health benefits, it is loaded with antioxidants. It is widely known to reduce weight. Taking two to three cups of green tea daily might help curb hunger and keep the cravings at bay. It also helps boost the metabolism rate.
Almonds are packed with many essential nutrients that are beneficial for your body. A handful of almonds make up for a great snack when you are feeling hungry and you are trying to lose weight. Almonds contain healthy fats, fiber, protein and fatty acids that help increase the metabolism rate and decrease leptin resistance.
Eggs contain vitamin B12 and protein. They help increase the leptin sensitivity in the body.
Broccoli is a rich source of calcium and vitamin C, this vegetable might also help with the leptin levels.
Whole grains, grapefruits, watermelon, lettuce, carrots, pears, and low-fat dairy products like skim milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese are foods that make the list of leptin foods.