Squash those crazy cravings in their tracks with these superfoods.
If you find yourself hunting the back corners of your pantry for a cookie around 10:00 p.m., it's probably not your belly that's sending you there: It's your brain. Like a three-year-old that won't get off the swing set, your brain wants a rush—a sugar rush, that is—and it will put up a fuss until it gets it. This is why having a few fat-burning foods in your arsenal that you can turn to will be helpful to stop cravings for good.
In fact, it's insulin—the hormone responsible for sweeping sugar out of the blood (and, often, storing it as fat)—that your brain wants to generate, according to recent studies. Sugary foods spike insulin; researchers at New York University reported that when insulin spikes, it triggers the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that controls the brain's reward and pleasure centers. The more insulin that's in play, the more dopamine that's released, according to 2015 animal studies reported in the journal Nature Communications.
But there are ways to raise dopamine levels and prevent those sugar cravings. In particular,the amino acid tyrosine (a building block of protein) has been shown to encourage the brain to release dopamine and another neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. So instead of turning to those sugary foods when you're craving something, here are the best sources of tyrosine to turn to instead that will squashlate-night cravings. And for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Making an omelet? Forget separating the white from the yolk and embrace the whole egg! The healthy fats within the yolks can help you feel fuller longer and curb cravings, explains Kayleen St. John, MS, RD. Not to mention, choline—a belly fat-blasting nutrient—is only present in the orange part of the egg, rather than the whites. Next time you're whipping up a scramble, crack the egg yolk and all into the pan.
Here are 71+ Best Healthy Egg Recipes for Weight Loss to get you started.
This protein-packed blue-green alga is brimming with energizing thiamine (vitamin B1), as well as calcium and iron. Add it to your morning smoothies for a free radical-fighting antioxidant boost.
Read more: What Is Spirulina, and Should You Try It?