Food for a younger body
The secret of Blue Zones for SLOW AGING
Connection anti-inflammatory foods and SLOW AGING.
It was interesting to see that the diet of residents in the Blue Zones was largely plant-based and included many anti-inflammatory foods.
Several studies have shown that anti-inflammatory foods are associated with longevity, which is perfectly understandable, since excessive inflammatory processes mean that our bodies can no longer focus on essential repair processes, causing us to age faster. You can find more on this topic in our
Article “Why we age and what can we do about it ?!”
Anti-inflammatory foods are nutrient-rich foods that are high in antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. Focusing on anti-inflammatory foods – such as fruits and vegetables, beans, olive oil and fish – helps fight symptoms of chronic inflammation by neutralizing free radicals in the body. Inflammation is complex, and some is even very important to our bodies, but chronic inflammation, in turn, is what we need to avoid. Chronic inflammation can be caused (or exacerbated) by a variety of factors, from diet to negative stress and other unhealthy lifestyle factors, including allergies, toxins or lack of sleep.
In general, processed foods high in saturated fat, alcohol, and/or added sugar can exacerbate inflammation, while a plant-based diet promotes healthy aging by fighting inflammation. Research shows that high levels of antioxidant-rich plant foods also help to halt cognitive decline, prevent cancer and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Your Blue Zone For at home!
10 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Beans are one of the most recommended foods by Bütter for long life and an important building block for staying young longer, and for good reason. Beans and legumes are extremely rich in plant protein and can replace meat on the plate, as we can now taste with the rise of vegan alternatives.
Beans and legumes at the same time contain many vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that give them this anti-inflammatory effect. There is hardly any other food that is so rich in fiber, which in turn also benefits our intestinal health.
Beans, legumes and pulses are an important part of the daily diet, in all five regions of the Blue Zones. We often reduce beans to chickpeas and canned kidney beans, which are often preserved in sugar, but, there are tens of thousands of different varieties in the world.
In Sardinia, for example, white beans, chickpeas and fava beans are eaten daily. In Okinawa, edamame are often on the table, and in Nicoya, black beans are part of the daily diet for their delicious taste, rich nutritional value. Our tip, next time you’re at the health food store, take a look at the beans. Here you will find a very good selection that are perfect for dishes like a classic bean soup, but also for vegan burger patties to spread. The possibilities for eating them are as great as the variety of beans themselves.
Whole grain products, such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, oats or buckwheat, are also part of the daily menu in all Blue Zones. Whole grain products are not only rich in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, but also slowly digestible carbohydrates, which thus provide a good source of energy. The fiber and phenolic acids contained in whole grains play a major role in preventing chronic inflammation, putting them at the top of our list of anti-inflammatory foods.
Whole grains are absorbed more slowly than refined grains and therefore have a higher nutrient density.
Whole grains can be divided into two main categories: Grasses (wheat, oats and corn) and pseudocereals (amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, rice, millet). All of them belong to category anti-inflammatory foods and are rich in nutrients. We recommend focusing more on gluten-free pseudocereals, as gluten can often be pro-inflammatory in the gut, even if you don’t notice it directly.
3. sweet potatoes
We love sweet potatoes and they are also abundant in the Blue Zones, especially in Okinawa, the orange as well as purple sweet potatoes (called Imo) are common. Both are extremely rich in antioxidants. The purple sweet potato is slightly higher in health-promoting potassium, but both varieties contain high levels of anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins are a special type of antioxidant and are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, better vision and less inflammation.
So if you want to stay young longer and push back the appearances of old age a bit, sweet potatoes are delicious choices. Besides that, sweet potatoes are also rich in fiber, beta-carotene and vitamin C and are great for many dishes like sweet potato lasagna, sweet potato soup with white beans or sweet potato fries from the oven as a side dish to vegan bean burgers.
HERE YOU COME TO OUR INCOMPARABLY DELICIOUS RECIPE FOR A
” STUFFED SWEET POTATO (VEGAN) “ .
Another anti-inflammatory food that is eaten daily, especially in Okinawa, is tofu, which is made from soybeans. This may be surprising for some now, since the reputation of tofu or soy was not necessarily the best in recent times, which in turn was due to the extremely high consumption.
Of course, products like soy are only healthy as long as they are consumed in a certain measure. If you now think you have to drink half a liter of soy milk every day, eat tofu in the evening, and in between eat foods based on soy, you are not only doing yourself no good, but also the environment.
But in the right measure, soy is good for heart health and it contains a lot of vegetable protein. Soy has also been shown to protect against breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Tofu is one of the anti-inflammatory foods due to the isoflavones and lectins contained in soy. These are incredibly helpful in relieving joint pain, support healthy digestion, and contain many other anti-inflammatory compounds. The same applies to other foods made from soy, such as tempeh.
5. olive oil
Mama Mia, like all love olive oil and have often heard about its wonderful effect. Especially in Ikaria (Greece), many dishes contain the local olives and the corresponding olive oil as an ingredient. Virgin olive oil is associated with numerous heart health benefits thanks to its antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids. Studies have shown that adding olive oil to meals helps fight chronic inflammation and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
To elicit even more of its effects from this anti-inflammatory food, you can enrich it with herbs – such as rosemary and oregano – or with garlic or onions. Just put it in the bottle and wait a few days. Garlic and onions are known as alliums, which contain compounds associated with heart health and protection against cancer, making them also among the most important anti-inflammatory foods and keeping us younger longer.
Tomatoes are now as much a part of our cuisine as coffee is in the morning. They are an integral part of the menu, especially in Icarian and Sardinian cuisine. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially the antioxidant lycopene.
When you combine both anti-inflammatory foods tomatoes with olive oil, you benefit from even more anti-inflammatory properties of both.
There is a term for such a combination, the so-called food synergy. This is the interaction between nutrients in foods that lead to even more health benefits when eaten in combination.
7. fresh fruit
In the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, native fruits such as papayas, bananas, guavas, maranon, chico, zapote, Inca berries and jobo are an important part of the daily menu. These tropical fruits (like all fruits, by the way) have a high content of antioxidants.
However, from an ecological point of view alone, it does not make sense for us to include all these fruits in our daily menu. But we have at least as great alternatives. For example, berries are particularly rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, contain anthocyanins compounds that have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. They have multiple health benefits for the brain, heart health and can help ward off and alleviate chronic diseases.
9. leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables
Green vegetables – especially leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts contain sulfur compounds that have been linked to protection against cancer. They also contain important compounds that have a strong anti-inflammatory effect on our body and promote intestinal health.
10. nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are consumed daily in many Blue Zones, especially in Loma Linda. They provide healthy fats that have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. All nuts are nutrient-dense, but there are some superstars among them. Walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids, almonds for healthy fats and fiber, and pistachios for protein and healthy fats.
But others like Brazil nuts, with their high selenium content, should also be in the snack box on a regular basis.
Of course, your diet shouldn’t be based on these 10 food areas alone right now, but they are a good start and guide for expanding your menu with these anti-inflammatory foods and thus getting closer to your goal of staying younger longer .