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Last Updated on May 8, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the globe, people are looking for ways to improve their health. There are plenty of ways to extend longevity and boost your immune system, and one of the most surprising ways is through food.
What we eat plays a significant role in our health and well-being. By adjusting your diet, you minimize the harmful effects of bad foods on your body. By changing what you eat, you increase longevity. Let’s unpack some nutritional strategies to achieve a long, healthy, and happy life.
The Digestive System and Systemic Inflammation
Before we start, it’s essential to understand the role of food and inflammation in the body. The digestive tract experiences the inflammation of the intestinal wall when we consume refined carbohydrates, such as sugar and white flour. The permeable intestinal wall allows for inflammatory particles to leave the digestive system and enter the bloodstream, spreading throughout every biological system in your body.
As a result, you might start to feel tired, your joint might feel sore, and you begin to develop a headache. Many people attribute these symptoms to being run down after a long day at the office.
However, the reality is that your diet is probably a significant contributing factor to why you feel sick. Drinking too much coffee with creamer and sugar, eating bread and other refined carbs will all result in increased levels of digestive and systemic inflammation.
Inflammatory cytokines and the accumulation of free radicals in the bloodstream result in oxidative stress on cells in the body. As a result, people that don’t eat well end up developing the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, faster than those people that eat a nutritious, balanced diet.
Focus on Healthy Fats
To reduce digestive inflammation, focus on getting most of your calories from healthy sources of fat. If you think fat is unhealthy for you – think again. Recent nutritional science shows that healthy fats such as poly-unsaturated, monounsaturated, and essential-fatty-acids, are all beneficial for your body.
Fats contain 9-calories per gram, making them more nutritionally dense than carbs or proteins, which have 4-calories per gram. Healthy fat sources include avocados, free-range eggs, wild-caught salmon, cultured dairy products, and high-quality oils like cod liver oil, and extra-virgin olive oil.
By relying on fat for energy instead of carbohydrate, you won’t get the same energy crash in the afternoons that you get from eating that Reuben sandwich at lunch.
Drink More Water and Sip on Green Tea
Water is essential for life. Without water, you won’t survive in the sun for more than a day or so. However, many people decide that they would rather drink fruit mixes, cordials, and squash with their water. It’s like the taste of clean, clear water isn’t good enough, so we must poison it with sugar products to make it taste better.
The reality is that freshwater is a limited and scarce resource on this planet. Increasing your water intake has plenty of health benefits. Drinking eight 8-oz glasses of water every day helps to improve circulation and enhance cognitive function. That’s a vital point for seniors that want to avoid the development of dementia and other cognitive conditions that affect people in their senior years.
If you need a change from water, relax with a cup of green tea. Green tea contains polyphenol antioxidant compounds known as “catechins.” These polyphenols help to reduce inflammation in the digestive system. Drinking green tea with your meals helps to improve digestion and limit GI inflammation.
Build Your Immune System
As we age, we start to lose our efficiency at synthesizing protein. As a result of the diminishment in this biological process, we begin to notice the signs of aging occur. The most noticeable area of the body is the skin and the face. We start to see lines come in around our eyes, and the skin begins to lose its elasticity.
Another critical issue with the drop in protein synthesis due to aging is its effect on the immune system. More than 65% of the immune system resides in the GI tract. As a result, when we eat bad foods, we increase systemic inflammation, interfering with the efficiency of the immune response.
A poor diet in your senior years can dramatically increase your response to exposures to pathogens and the development of disease within the body. People that eat a nutritious diet of whole foods eliminating junk foods and refined carbs from their diet, experience better digestive health, and improved immune response.
In Closing – Discover the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting (IF), is the practice of only eating for a specified window period during the day, and then fasting for the rest. For instance, you might wake up in the morning, skip breakfast, and eat nothing during the day.
At 4 pm, you have your first meal, and you eat over the next 6 to 8-hours before going to bed at midnight. Your body stays in a fasted state for 16 to 18-hours per day using this strategy.
As a result, your blood sugar stabilizes, your blood pressure drops to health levels, and you’ll lose any excess weight hanging around your midsection. Give it a shot and note your progress – but remember to drink plenty of water during the day!