Eat well, sleep well, lose unwanted pounds. It’s that simple, say the researchers who have proven the hormone melatonin can fight weight gain.
Many people already take melatonin supplements to help them sleep. But they probably never knew how the hormone helps them burn fat while visiting Dreamland.
How does melatonin help burn fat while you sleep?
People can get melatonin’s fat-fighting benefits without expensive supplements, for example researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. All they have to do is eat large portions of melatonin-rich foods and sleep in the dark, say American scientists who conducted the study with biochemists in Spain and Grenada.
Melatonin stimulates the production of what scientists call “beige fat” or “good fat.” “Beige fat tends to burn calories, as opposed to bad fat, also known as ‘white fat,’ which stores calories. So the more beige fat people have, the more weight they lose. The effect is magnified by sleeping in the dark because our bodies are pre-programmed to produce more melatonin in pitch darkness.
What foods contain melatonin?
To boost your body’s supply of melatonin, consume foods and beverages that contain high levels of the hormone, including:
rice corn peanuts walnuts tomatoes asparagus oatmeal pie cherries cherry juice.
And there are other vegetables that can boost beige fat production, including mustard greens, goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, the spice cardamom, and the herbs fennel and coriander.
The study will strengthen previous research linking melatonin and beige fat to the prevention or control of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hyperlipidemiawhich means abnormally high levels of fat in the blood.
Melatonin capsules or tablets are available at the supermarket, pharmacy or health food store. Your doctor can also prescribe it and give you advice on its use.