Leptin is at work when we don’t want to eat the last bite on our plate. The brain conveys the message of satiety once it receives leptin produced by the fat cells. Leptin also tells the brain to use stored fat as a source of energy, rather than eat more food. Foods we eat influence the function of leptin. Processed foods generally interfere with the brain’s ability to recognize the message of satiety conveyed by leptin, while natural foods boost it.
Eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as halibut, herring, mackerel, sardines, salmon and tuna. Omega-3 fatty acids improve function and sensitivity of leptin. Omega-3 fatty acids control hunger by decreasing levels of leptin in blood, thereby increasing its signal quality.
Nuts and Oils
Nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and work like fish and seafood. Raw almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts are some nuts that can be eaten frequently as snacks. Other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are omega-3-rich eggs and oils such as almond, avocado and olive.
A diet rich in fiber and low in carbohydrates maintains and balances leptin levels. Vegetables should be eaten raw, steamed or sautéed. Okra, peppers, spinach, celery, asparagus, beans, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, pumpkin, onions, beets, mushrooms, turnips and zucchini are just a few vegetables that can be eaten.
Fresh fruits such as blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, apples, oranges, strawberries, plums, honeydew, grapefruit, pears and peaches are beneficial in balancing leptin levels. It is best to limit amounts of very sweet or starchy fruits like bananas, grapes or pineapple.
Foods to Avoid
Foods containing sugars, artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup top this category. Avoid soda, fried foods, hydrogenated fats, cheese, potatoes, breads and other baked products made from white flour. Opt for small portions of whole grain products. Fiber-rich foods allow the efficient working of leptin and slow the emptying of food from the stomach.