What Does an Anti-Inflammation Diet Have to do With Longevity?

So many people are looking for that special diet that will change everything about the way they look and feel, but I’ve started to notice that most of the diets out there are more like programs rather than lifestyle changes, focusing on a quick fix, and not long-term health.

However, in the search for a comprehensively anti-aging lifestyle, I’m hearing more and more people talking about the role of an anti-inflammation diet. I found it a little odd that there were no really concrete rules or regimens, such as a gluten-free diet or a açai super-fruit diet, so I asked myself what, exactly, does “anti-inflammation” mean when it comes to our food and the way that it interacts with our body?

As it turns out, all food can be divided into three categories based on how they affect us on a cellular level: pro-inflammatory, neutral, or anti-inflammatory. By choosing an anti-inflammatory diet, not only can we slow down the affects of aging on our cells, but also fight against heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

The good news is that anti-inflammatory foods are easy to find and delicious to use.  For example, whole grains, all kinds of beans, and nuts and seeds are all great anti-inflammatory foods. Even better news? Natural dark chocolate and red wine are also anti-inflammatory, and high in antioxidants, and can slow down the affects of aging.

Another really important thing to include in your anti-aging diet is a variety of richly colored fruits and veggies, especially cabbage, onions, and garlic.

Doctor Andrew Weil, creator of the Anti-Inflammatory food pyramid (http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02995/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid.html), says, “Following an anti-inflammatory diet can help counteract the chronic inflammation that is a root cause of many serious diseases, including those that become more frequent as people age. It is a way of selecting and preparing foods based on science that can help people achieve and maintain optimum health over their lifetime.” With that in mind, here are a few recipes that are high in anti-inflammatory foods, not to mention really tasty.

Recipes from: The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book by Jessica K Black, N.D.

Five Minute Breakfast (can’t beat that, and it’s a warm breakfast too)

1 cup leftover cooked brown rice

¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/8 cup raisins

¼ cup chopped walnuts

¼ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup rice milk or almond milk or other milk alternative

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan on the stove. Add milk to cover the rice for a cereal consistency. Warm over moderate heat to desired temperature and serve.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information:

370.5 calories~11 g protien~40.7g Carb~5.2 g fiber~20.4 g total fat-This recipe is chock full of nutritional value, Omega 3’s, folate, and remember cinnamon is great for regulating blood sugar.

Dianne’s Personal note:

I started doing this with my leftover brown rice years ago and found it such a great alternative to oatmeal. (I still love oatmeal, but great for a change)

Substitutions:

Any nuts and seeds you like and you have on hand. I also really like dried cranberries instead of raisins..

Quinoa Vegetable Salad (this can be for lunch or dinner)

2 cups leftover cooked boneless, skinless chicken, cubed

1 cup cooked quinoa or 1/3 cup dried quinoa

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, shredded

¼ cup walnuts

1/3-cup raisins

1 ½ tablespoons organic mayonnaise (w/ no preservatives or hydrogenated oils)

4 large lettuce leaves (for serving)

If dried, cook quinoa according to directions

Toss all ingredients together, and serve chilled over lettuce leaves.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information:

284 calories~20.8 g protien~31g carbs~3.7g fiber~9.4 total fat

Quinoa is a high-energy grain and a complete protein. It contains more calcium than milk.

Substitutions:

You can substitute many different kinds of chopped fruits, nuts or raw vegetable. You can use cooked or canned salmon in place of chicken, or just completely leave meat out.

Dianne’s Personal Note:

I would add scallions, zucchini, avocado and I would prefer to leave out the mayo and add olive oil and lime juice. Just my personal preference.

I hope that you gained a little insight about how an Anti-Inflammation Diet can affect the aging process… Please leave a comment and let me know.

“This entry has been posted as part of Prevention Not Prescriptions Tuesday hosted by The Kathleen Show”  Please check it out here!

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