Ghrelin – The Appetite Stimulator

Ghrelin – The Appetite Stimulator

Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones that have been recognized to have a major influence on energy balance and weight. 

Today, we are going to focus on ghrelin, and you can read about the King of Hormones… Leptin… in my next post.

The discovery of ghrelin in 1999 is a major breakthrough in understanding the critical biologic function of regulating energy homeostasis. Future research will certainly be exciting for the possibility of developing new avenues to energy balance and diseases of impaired growth.
Ghrelin is a fast-acting hormone secreted by the stomach that makes you hungry. It also plays a significant role in how quickly your hunger starts tugging at you again. Ghrelin also has an effect on the gastrointestinal tract, immune cell activation and inflammation.
The ghrelin hormone not only stimulates the brain giving rise to an increase in appetite, but also favours the accumulation of lipids in visceral fatty tissue, located in the abdominal zone and considered to be the most harmful. This is the conclusion of research undertaken at Metabolic Research Laboratory of the University Hospital of Navarra, published recently in the International Journal of Obesity.

Ghrelin, Junk Food and High Calorie Snacks

Studies indicate that having high levels of ghrelin can make junk-food and high calorie snacks seem more appealing. This may be why we choose chocolate or sweets over fruits and vegetables, more so when we are hungrier. The effect of this hormone is so profound that it mimics a fasting state within the body.

The brain responds with a mild panic response, causing it to target high-energy foods. These are normally the food types which provide more energy than be readily used by the body, and are quickly stored as fat.

This is why there is an increased appetite for high-calorie foods and not low calorie items. Studies show that the brain reward system became more active in patients who were administered ghrelin as compared to those who were not.

 How To Tame Your Ghrelin Levels

The best way to be proactive with your hunger is to eat small, protein rich meals throughout the day. If you are having something every 2 to 3 hours, you won’t have a chance to become ravenous. By keeping your body eating on a regular basis, the ghrelin levels will not take over and make you want to consume too much food. Consuming some protein with every meal will enable you to stay satisfied longer and greatly assist with weight control.

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Chew Your Way To Wellness!

Chew Your Way To Wellness!

When you become more mindful of eating clean and healthy food, it is important to start focusing on how you eat.  Most people eat unconsciously and rarely take time to chew their food properly which can lead to numerous health issues.

Learning to take your time to chew slowly is one of the most important things you can do.  Chewing more increases saliva which improves digestion. Digestion is the process of breaking down substances the body can use for energy, tissue growth and repair.

You should chew your food until you can no longer feel the texture of the food in your mouth.  This will create more saliva to moisten your food for ease of swallowing, improve your immune system and it may also help with your waistline.

Focusing on chewing your food properly can help with the overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut that may lead to cramping, bloating, constipation, gas, diarrhea,  and other digestive problems.  If you want stronger teeth, less plague buildup and less tooth decay, then learn to chew your food!


Digestion Begins In The Mouth – When you make this small change and start thoroughly chewing your food, you will begin to celebrate the beauty and healing nature of your food. 

With better digestion, you will absorb more nutrients which in turn will improve your immune system.

Have you heard the saying, “You Are What You Eat”?  Let’s take this a few steps further… 

You are what you eat, what you assimilate and what you eliminate.

“Eating Slowly and Mindfully May Shrink Your Waistline The research is clear: slowing down your meals does all sorts of good things for your body, including causing you to eat less. Eating slowly creates actual biochemical changes that make you less inclined to overeat. Even if you aren’t a research buff, I think you will appreciate the underlying message that comes through loud and clear from these studies.” You can read Dr. Mercola’s full post here.

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