Healthy Eating

The Top 10 Hunger-Fighting Ingredients

Here’s how to boost your intake of satiety-supporting foods.

By: Lexy Parsons

No matter if you’re more of a sweet or savory snacker, we all experience food cravings from time to time. Often instigated by stress, boredom, or lack of adequate nutrients, hunger pains, and not-so-healthy cravings can come on strong and be tough to navigate. However, there’s good news. With a little mindfulness and a few minor dietary and lifestyle adjustments, you can manage hunger effectively and support your healthy eating goals. The trick to staying nourished, satiated, and satisfied? It’s all about prioritizing a healthy and balanced diet. 

Ahead, the top hunger-fighting ingredients that will help you feel full and fulfilled!

The Top 10 Satiating Ingredients to Fight Food Cravings 

The research is clear — opting for nutrient-dense ingredients with hunger-fighting properties is one of the best ways to maintain satiety, improve overall health, and support your health and weight loss goals. Here are the top filling foods, according to science!

#1 Avocado

With close to 20 different nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, potassium, vitamins A, C, E, K, and a variety of B vitamins, avocados are one of the healthiest (and tastiest) foods on the planet. Thanks to their rich levels of monounsaturated fats and fiber, they’ve been shown to regulate blood sugar, increase satiety, and reduce hunger cravings. In fact, there’s research to suggest that including a mere half an avocado in your meal can suppress appetite for up to five hours! 

To rejoice in their creamy goodness, wait until they’re ripe to enjoy. Then, add them to sandwiches and toast, blend them into filling desserts like pudding or ice cream, or use them in place of mayo or butter in baked goods and savory meals. 

#2 Oats

Rich in beta-glucan, a type of dietary fiber particularly beneficial for heart health and cholesterol, oats are one of the best hunger-fighting foods to consider. With their high fiber content, oats have been shown to regulate blood sugar, increase satiety, and even reduce hunger pains and food cravings throughout the day. Plus, by regulating hunger and satiety hormones and reducing inflammation, oats help suppress hunger in an all-natural way. 

Enjoy them in the form of overnight oats or oat milk, grind them into a powder, and use them as an alternative to processed flours, or even add them to your smoothies.

#3 Legumes

As a top food in some of the healthiest diets, including the Mediterranean and Blue Zones diets, beans and legumes are finally getting the attention they deserve. They’re jam-packed with plant-based protein and fiber, about 8 grams per ½ cup, and have been shown to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As a hunger-fighting ingredient, they’re great for aiding weight management and supporting digestion, with research linking increased legume consumption to weight loss and fat loss.

To optimize the benefits of beans and legumes, aim to incorporate a variety of different types in your diet, such as lentils, chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans. Blend them into healthy homemade dips or spreads, sprinkle them into salads, or even sneak them into baked goods like black bean brownies and chickpea cookie dough!

RELATED: 5 Essential Lifestyle Habits to Reverse Prediabetes 

#4 Seafood

Salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout are among the healthiest seafood sources that help fight hunger pains and support digestion. Rich in healthy fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), and a great source of protein, fish and seafood are particularly powerful in promoting satiety and reducing appetite. According to research, regular fish consumption can help balance metabolism and support endocrine health, two systems crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and regulating hunger signals.

Incorporate seafood into your weekly menu by grilling or baking your favorite filets, adding canned sardines or tuna to salads, or enjoying smoked salmon with mashed avocado on top of sourdough toast or paleo crackers.

#5 Nuts & Seeds

From almonds and walnuts to pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds, nuts, and seeds are some of the best satiating sources to help manage hunger cravings and boost overall health. Don’t be fooled by their size — these tiny powerhouses are jam-packed with some of the best hunger-fighting nutrients, such as plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats. The best part? A little goes a long way. Including a mere handful in your diet can help control appetite without leading to weight gain!

Blend them into a homemade nut and seed milk or butter, incorporate them into a DIY trail mix, or munch on them plain, as a healthy and filling snack!

RELATED: The 4 Healthiest Nuts to Eat According to Experts

#6 Berries

If you’re not considering berries when it comes to the top hunger-fighting foods, you’ll want to start! Despite their small size, berries pack a punch in the nutrient department, particularly when it comes to reducing inflammation, supporting weight loss, and regulating hunger and satiety hormones. Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are packed with fiber and antioxidants, helping to slow digestion and promote feelings of fullness. And because they’re rich in water and fiber yet low in calories, you can enjoy a satisfying portion without harming your weight loss or fitness goals.

Add fresh or frozen berries to your morning bowl of oats, blend them into smoothies and yogurt bowls, mix them into chia pudding or cottage cheese, or simply enjoy them as a low-sugar sweet snack.

RELATED: The Healthiest Low-Sugar Fruits to Add to Your Diet

#7 Okra

If you’re new to okra, preparing it may seem intimidating. However, considering its numerous health benefits, it’s worth the kitchen experimentation! Plus, incorporating it into your diet is easier than you think. Not only is okra exceptionally low in calories (with just 33 calories per cup), but it’s also high in fiber and nutrients such as antioxidants, helping to aid digestion, regulate blood sugar, and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Try it sautéed, grilled, roasted, and even air-fried along with your favorite spices and marinades. Or, consider adding it to soups, stews, or stir-fries!

#8 Greek Yogurt

High in protein and lower in calories, creamy Greek yogurt is a tasty hunger-fighting ingredient to consider adding to your meal plan. Regular consumption of high-protein varieties is linked to reduced hunger cravings and lower calorie consumption throughout the day, plus it’s also associated with lower body weight and body fat. 

The best part? It’s incredibly versatile, and can be used in a variety of both sweet and savory recipes! Enjoy it in high-protein yogurt bowls, use it as the base for frozen sweet treats, and even use it as a high-protein topping on tacos, nourish bowls, and savory breakfast plates in place of sour cream or cream cheese.

RELATED: Not All Yogurt is Created Equal: These Are The Healthiest Options

#9 Chia Seeds

With nearly 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon, chia seeds are one of the most effective hunger-fighting ingredients you can add to your diet. When mixed with any liquid, these tiny seeds expand into a gel-like mixture (absorbing up to 12 times their weight in water), helping you feel full and satiated for hours. Aside from aiding digestion, balancing blood sugar, and reducing cravings, chia seeds are also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, plant-based protein, and various essential nutrients, making them a superior superfood for overall health.

Add a tablespoon to smoothies, overnight oats, and baked goods. Or, make a big batch of satiating chia seed pudding for a healthy snack or dessert!

#10 Sweet Potatoes

While simple carbs (such as white bread and refined grains) can disrupt blood sugar balance and make hunger cravings worse, sweet potatoes have the opposite effect. Rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which help to balance blood sugar and provide a slow and steady release of energy, sweet potatoes help promote satiety and keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods. This goes for other complex carbs (such as oats and legumes mentioned above), too!

Consider using toasted sweet potato in place of bread for your avocado toast, slice it up and roast it into healthy homemade fries, or bake and stuff them with savory fillings such as black beans and spices. 

The Takeaway

If you’re struggling to quell your cravings or find yourself feeling hungry soon after eating, know you’re not alone. There are many lifestyle and dietary factors that contribute to increased hunger, including stress, poor sleep, and inadequate nutrition. The good news is that there are steps you can take to manage your appetite and maintain a healthy lifestyle, including incorporating these hunger-fighting ingredients into your diet. Full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and a wide variety of nutrients, these healthy and tasty ingredients can help support your healthy eating habits in an attainable and sustainable way.