Hunger pangs and food cravings can overcome even the best diet intentions. Good news then that researchers have found the best foods to help you feel fuller for longer, by communicating directly with the appetite centre of your brain.
Researchers from the University of Warwick found that foods that contain the amino acids arginine and lysine are the best foods to eat to make your hunger pangs disappear. These amino acids communicate with a newly discovered brain cell called tanycytes, which work to control appetite.
“Amino acid levels in your blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” said Nicholas Dale, the Ted Pridgeon Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Warwick.
“Finding that tanycytes, located at the centre of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
The 15 foods highest in arginine and lysine are:
- Turkey meat
- Pork shoulder
- Cheese, especially parmesan
- Sesame seeds
Interestingly, it’s not the process of digestion that has the tanycytes reacting to the amino acids, but taste. The tanycytes are triggered by the amino acids hitting the umami taste receptors on your tongue, which may also indicate that damage to your tongue or tastebuds can contribute to feeling hungrier.
And hey, notice the amount of nuts in the list above? This backs previous studies showing that people who eat plenty of nuts in their diet are more likely to be healthier and of a normal weight range. Go nuts!