Inflammation and aging go hand in hand as inflammation markers – especially theESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) – slowly increase with each decade. Many age-related diseases have inflammation as their common denominator and this is partially modulated by diet, so here are 10 easy tips to avoid the buildup of damaging inflammation products as much as possible:
- Skip the sugar. Diabetes is the classical model of accelerated aging and sugar is made of empty calories anyway. The drive to consume glucose is innate, I know, but choose fresh fruit salads instead. You will get your sugar fix and some nutrients on the side.
- The sweet tooth is the part most people find difficult about leading a healthy lifestyle and most traditional sweets are made of eggs, milk, butter and flour which are baked in the oven. That is the perfect recipe for advanced glycation end-products: you have proteins, sugar and high temperatures. The result is the Maillard reaction. We already ‘bake’ from within as time passes by, so why add more glycation? You could try raw vegan desserts in exchange. These are made with nuts, seeds and fruits and don’t involve any heating or baking, hence they are faster to make as well. Lately, raw vegan cake shops have started to spring up everywhere. If there is no such place where you live, search online for raw vegan dessert recipes, especially if you have a weakness for sweets.
- Don’t let a day pass without eating a salad and add as many different fresh ingredients to it as possible.
- Avoid smoked meat and cheese. Same for grilled meats. In both cases you have the unhappy mix of high temperatures and proteins which easily get denatured. The consumption of these types of products is linked to digestive cancers in populations where they are consumed in high quantity. There are better ways to prepare animal products, so why risk it? You could try marinated fish or non-smoked fermented cheese. Eat as few animal products as possible – once per week should be enough.
- Use the lowest possible temperatures when cooking. If you are baking peppers, you could use a lower temperature and a longer time than if you would bake meat. Of course, you don’t want to eat raw meats and get infections. Just use your best judgment when cooking.
- Use high moisture levels when cooking. It’s much better to boil and broil than to roast or fry ingredients. If you are a fan of crispy food, that would be difficult to implement. On the other hand, there are many fresh vegetables and fruits that are naturally crispy if you feel the need for it – peppers anyone?
- You don’t need oil to cook. A ceramic pan/pot and a little bit of water will do and food will not stick. Cleaning is a breeze afterwards.
- Avoid heating up fats. You can always add cheese, avocado, nuts and seeds in your recipes later on. Don’t bake, fry or roast these. Cheese will melt anyway if you place it over steamy fresh potatoes and the end result will be just as delicious.
- Water should be your default beverage. Everything else – soups, teas, etc – is a bonus and they will never replace water, even if the human body will work with what is available and it will extract water from them. People get more dehydrated with age anyway and many substances precipitate if you don’t drink enough water, so why speed things up when water is so freely available and cheap? I guess if you are able to read this post, then access to clean water is not an issue. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everybody.
- Eat as fresh as possible. If you want to eat meat or seafood, get it fresh and only use frozen ingredients if nothing else is available. Don’t cook more food than you eat in one sitting. Heated food is not as fresh or delicious as readily prepared one. Too busy for that? I totally get it, that’s why fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts were invented in the first place! You could add some quality yogurt and other healthy snacks when you don’t have time to cook.
Are any of these 10 tips difficult to implement? I think not. If you have found any use in them or if you have any more tips, comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you!
Anca Ioviţă is the author of Eat Less Live Longer: Your Practical Guide to Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition ,The Aging Gap Between Species and What Is Your Legacy?
Source – Longevityletter