Many natural foods are rich in antioxidants. Eating more of these foods can help improve your body’s ability to resist oxidation while effectively fighting against and remove free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases.
In fact, these antioxidant-rich foods not only have anti-inflammatory effects but also help you to lose weight.
New Findings In Worms
In a recent study, researchers discovered a new gene called SKN-1B in Caenorhabditis Elegans worm. This gene helps the worm’s brain cells to detect when the worm eats and also sends a signal to tell the worm it’s had enough food when it’s full.
Researchers have pointed out that if this type of gene control exists in worms, it is likely to also play a role in the human body.
This reminded them of a transcription factor called Nrf2.
Nrf2 is a key protein of the human body’s endogenous antioxidant defense system. It plays an important role in fighting insulin resistance and preventing obesity.[*]
When Nrf2 is activated, it can exert its anti-inflammatory activity by directly inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory molecules, thereby reducing oxidative stress, helping to avoid cell damage.
This sounds cool, right? But how is the anti-inflammatory effect of Nrf2 related to appetite and weight?
How Your Brain Controls Appetite
The area of your brain that controls hunger is mainly located in the hypothalamus. This area is also called the appetite control center, which records the feeling of fullness and sends you a signal to stop eating.
After every meal, your stomach releases a protein called GLP-1. This protein can stimulate insulin secretion to control blood sugar levels.
Afterward, your fat tissue sends a signal to the hypothalamus through a protein called leptin. The role of leptin is to inform the hypothalamus that you have eaten enough food and have enough energy for daily activity.
Leptin also activates an enzyme called AMPK, which promotes the transport of glucose in the blood to the cells, thereby reducing the sugar content in your blood.
Once AMPK is activated, your body will begin to burn stored fat and increase cell energy, thereby promoting health and delaying aging.
Inflammation Affects Your Brain’s Control of Appetite.
Chronic inflammation in your body can promote oxidative stress in the hypothalamus. When inflammation happens, it can interfere with the transmission of all signals, including your feeling of fullness.
The result is that leptin does not reach a normal level, so the cells cannot absorb the glucose in your blood. Over time, this situation can cause high blood sugar and insulin resistance, eventually leading to weight gain and other health problems.
Fortunately, your body also has an antioxidant defense system called Nrf2.
Nrf2 can reduce the oxidative stress of the hypothalamus, thereby restoring the ability of leptin to normally transmit satiety signals.
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The Anti-inflammatory Effect of Nrf2 Helps Fight Obesity
Obesity is a metabolic disorder characterized by excessive accumulation of adipose tissue. It has become an increasingly common condition worldwide.
Excessive adipose tissue is the basis of systemic low-grade chronic inflammation.
As the number and size of adipocytes continue to increase, they cannot get enough oxygen from the blood. As a result, this eventuality promotes the production of chronic inflammation.
This oxygen shortage and the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines not only enhance your body’s inflammatory state but also increase systemic oxidative stress.
To make matters worse, free radicals promote the growth and number of fat cells, further aggravating inflammation and obesity.
This study found that Nrf2 can not only fight insulin resistance but also help to detoxify your body by reducing oxidative stress and neutralizing free radicals, which play a role in the treatment of obesity.
Foods Rich In Antioxidants Can Help Your Body Detoxify And Lose Weight
After understanding the benefits of Nrf2, the question is: How can I activate Nrf2?
In fact, the method is very simple. Just eat more cruciferous vegetables and vitamin D-rich foods, to activate Nrf2.
Cruciferous plants produce an antioxidant called sulforaphane, which can induce Nrf2.
These kinds of vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale and radishes.
Vitamin D can maintain DNA stability by activating Nrf2. The main food sources of vitamin D include salmon, rainbow trout, tuna, mushrooms, whole milk and high-fat cheese.
In summary, eating more foods rich in antioxidants can increase the Nrf2 activity in your body. This not only protects your body from oxidative damage and inflammation caused by free radicals but also helps you to burn fat and lose weight.