When you get the urge for a snack, you might not think that a slice of turkey can have the same lip-smacking effect as a handful of chips.
But scientists have known for some time that protein is the most efficient nutrient for not only quickly satisfying hunger, but also for keeping you feeling satisfied longer than other foods.
Part of the explanation is the longer time it takes to digest protein and its ability to keep your blood sugar level steady.
This, in turn, prevents the kind of cravings that seem to kick in soon after you finish, say, a jelly doughnut.
Brain a key player
Recent research done at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom has found that there’s even more to this than we thought. Apart from your digestive system, the brain is also a key player in why protein is so satisfying.
Receptors in the area of your brain that controls weight quickly respond to the amino acids in certain high-protein foods and send out the message that your hunger has been satisfied.
It’s all part of a chain reaction that starts when certain taste buds are activated by protein’s savory flavour, often referred to as umami – the so-called fifth taste after salty, sour, sweet and bitter. Two amino acids, in particular, elicit the fast response – arginine, which is not one of the nine essential amino acids, and lysine, which is one because your body can’t make it on its own.
We’ve long heard that it takes 20 minutes from the time you start eating to get the message that you’re full, but almost from the moment you take your first protein bite, the brain cells in question, called tanycytes, start to react.
And turkey’s not your only choice. According to the US Department of Agriculture, foods with the highest amounts of both arginine and lysine include many cuts of beef, chicken, fish, pork loin, edamame, beans, and lentils.
In other news – J’Something remembers the late Hugh Masekela
J’Something has paid tribute to Hugh Masekela, thanking the late trumpeter and musician for the impact he had on his life. Bra Hugh died late last year after a battle with prostate cancer at the age of 78. Before Bra Hugh’s death, J’ collaborated with him on the track Heaven in You.
“Working with Hugh Masekela is something that you dream of. I spent six days and the priceless thing that I got out of this is that we made a really hot song. The best thing was getting to spend more time with him”, J told Top Billing. continue reading