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What foods increase leptin levels?

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Quick Answer

Taking high-calorie diets roughly once a week boosts leptin levels in the body, explains Nutrition Wonderland. Kale, flax seeds, walnuts, sardines, mackerel and other foods rich in omega-3 also boost leptin levels, notes Health Ambition.

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Full Answer

Leptin is a protein that helps regulate how the body uses and stores energy, explains WebMD. The protein, produced by adipose tissue, signals the brain when the body has adequate fat stored and leads to appetite suppression. If levels of the hormone fall below a certain level, the brain initiates a process that eventually leads to increased food intake.

The levels and operation of leptin in the body are influenced by several factors, notes Nutrition Wonderland. Regular intake of foods rich in omega-3, periodic ingestion of carbohydrates and sleeping for at least six hours every night boosts levels of leptin. Omega-3 also makes the body more sensitive to the protein. In contrast, high levels of sugar, a primary component of many processed foods, monosodium glutamate and diets rich in fructose mute the body's sensitivity to leptin. Elevated levels of triglyceride impede movement of the protein to the brain, indirectly causing leptin insensitivity.

Taking leptin supplements does not boost levels of the protein in the body, warns WebMD. Leptin is a protein; if ingested, it is digested in a similar way to any other protein.

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