Whether you want to increase your immunity or slow down the ageing of your brain, skin and joints you can always use food as medicine.
The easiest way is to always follow by proven example, so we should look to the habits of communities who are living the longest around the world aka ‘The Blue Zones’. Blue Zones is a concept used to identify a geographic area of the world where people live measurably longer lives. The locations currently include: Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Loma Linda in California, Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica and Ikaria in Greece.
So, what are they doing right? They eat abundant plant-based foods, practice eighty percent full, daily walking, daily napping, strong community presence, drink red wine in moderation and you can bet they probably don’t scroll through Instagram all evening! Here are some more simple daily nutritional adjustments that can be implemented into a modern Australian lifestyle to support slowing down the clock.
Eat Mediterranean Style.
Ever wondered why the locals on your favourite holiday destinations have that healthy glow? Well you can bet it’s got a lot to do with what they choose to put in their mouth. The Mediterranean diet is all about plants first and meats second – love it. An eating philosophy that is rich in abundant healthy oils like olive oil, oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, olives to feed skin, hair and joints. But they are not Saints and believe in healthy balance. An occasional glass of wine and dark chocolate is welcomed to make sure they get their daily fix of potent antioxidants!
Eat more plant based foods.
This doesn’t have to mean going Vegan, but choosing to whip up a vegetarian meal a few more times a week will do your body wonders due to the chance you will probably then consume far more fibre and antioxidants in a week. You can easily begin to integrate this eating philosophy into your life by starting ‘Meat Free Monday’. Some key plant based foods that can be great switches for meat eaters are mushrooms, eggplant, edamame, beans and lentils.
Free radicals play a role in many diseases and general ill health. So, when the body cells get damaged through food, exercise, pollution or ther lifestyle factors we need to be fuelling our bodies with naturally occurring antioxidants to counteract any damage. Foods rich in antioxidants include fruit, vegetables, red wine, dark chocolate and green tea.
Eat gut food.
As Hippocrates once (probably more) famously said “All Disease Begins in The Gut”. The gut contains so many strains of bacteria integral for our overall vitality, so let’s nourish it with digestive system supporting foods like wholegrains, apple cider vinegar, miso, broth, yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha.
Eat super seasonings.
A simple and inexpensive way to turn a plain meal into a nutrient power house. From a sprinkling of turmeric, to a drizzle of manuka honey or simply a fresh cut of herbs.
Our largest organ is our skin, it can also be our most noticeable marker of ageing, so it seems only kind to give it what it needs.