Do You Need To Supplement The Sirtfood Diet?

Do You Need To Supplement The Sirtfood Diet?

supplementUnless specifically prescribed for you by a medical or another health-care professional, a wide use of nutritional supplements is not recommended. With the Sirtfood Diet you would be ingesting a vast and synergistic array of natural-plant compounds that provide the benefits. You cannot replicate these benefits with supplements and in fact, some in high doses may interfere with the beneficial effects of the Sirtfoods.

But are there any nutrients that fall short in the Sirtfood Diet that may need topping up?  Whenever possible it is more advantageous to get the nutrients you need from eating a balanced diet rich in Sirtfoods, rather than in pill form. However,it is very difficult to get every single nutrient you need in optimum amounts, no matter how hard you try. The two nutrients you are likely to fall short of are Vitamin D (through the winter months) and selenium. Vegans will also have special nutritional considerations and these will be the subject of a later article.

Selenium-Supplement

  • What is it? Selenium is a trace mineral found in plants as well as some meat and seafood. The amount of selenium in foods is affected by how much selenium was in the soil they were grown in and how much the food has been processed.
  • Why do I need it? Selenium is essential for ridding the body of free radicals linked to premature ageing and the development of chronic disease. In fact, recent research suggests that selenium deficiency may be a major factor in the rise of heart disease and cancer over the last few decades. Although we only need a small amount of selenium to be healthy, deficiencies in it are becoming more common, due to poor soil conditions and increased reliance on processed foods.
  • How do I get it? Good sources of selenium are brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, eggs, alfalfa, mackerel, tuna, garlic, oysters, wholegrain cereals and yeast.
  • The best way to supplement is in the form of selenium yeast and 50 to 100 mcg a day is recommended.

A range of selenium products is available. Information is shown here at the end of the page.

Vitamin D-Supplement

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that has a key role in helping calcium be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract to support the growth and maintenance of our bones, as well as controlling calcium levels in the blood.

The signs for low vitamin D levels include low mood, feelings of fatigue, joint and muscle pain and muscle weakness.

Low vitamin D levels has also been linked to a number of other health issues including neurological dysfunction, heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancers although research into these associated disease states is in its early stages.

The biggest issue with low levels of vitamin D over time is that it puts our bone health at considerable risk. Low vitamin D results in high bone turnover, reduced bone density and an increased risk of fractures over time, especially in older people.While we can get vitamin D from a few specific foods including egg yolks, oily fish including sardines and salmon, fortified milks and some types of mushrooms, the amounts of vitamin D we get from food is relatively small, estimated at just 5-10 per cent of the total amount we require.

For this reason, sunshine is the primary source of vitamin D for most people. Vitamin D is produced in the body when our skin cells are exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) light that we get from the sun.

And you don’t need to sit in the sun for hours to get the amounts of vitamin D you need.

The average person will need between 5-10 minutes of sunlight exposure in Summer, versus up to 30 minutes in Winter, while darker skin types may require more. While we often expose our arms, larger parts of our body such as our chest, tummy or back will benefit from sun exposure thanks to their larger surface areas.

You cannot diagnose your own vitamin D deficiency. Rather you will need a blood test from your GP who will determine what your vitamin D levels are. Low levels of vitamin D can easily be fixed via an oral supplements which is best taken at night. It is important to know that there are two types of vitamin D, Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is produced by the human body in response to sunlight compared to vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) which is not produced in the human body, but is created by exposing certain plant-derived materials to ultraviolet light and is not as well absorbed in the body as Vitamin D3. So make sure you purchase Vitamin D3 if you do need a supplement.

Vitamin D deficiency is therefore a major concern, on a global scale, with research suggesting that nearly half the world’s population may have less of this nutrient than they need.

Safe sun during the summer and a daily supplement of 1,000IU in the winter months will provide your vitamin needs.

See product availability information below.


 


Extra Virgin Olive Oil 10 Benefits You May Not Know

Extra Virgin Olive Oil 10 Benefits You May Not Know

extra virgin olive oilExtra Virgin Olive Oil contains the major sirtuin-activating nutrients Oleuropein and Hydroxytyrosol.

There is far more to extra virgin olive oil than meets the eyes and your taste buds. Stick to two tablespoons a day to get the antioxidants your body needs without overdoing it on the calorie front.

Traditionally boasting low cholesterol, fewer instances of heart disease and very little obesity, the Mediterranean diet has always been defined by the liberal use of extra virgin olive oil. The average Greek consumes 20 litres a year, compared with just 2 litres per person in most other Western countries , so what other secrets does this  top-20 Sirtfood contain?

1. It’s good for your sex life

No wonder the greatest lover in history was Italian: extra virgin olive oil may even improve your sex life. Casanova must have had excellent circulation for all those conquests; olive oil boosts circulation to all areas of the body, including those hard to reach erogenous zones.

2. Weight loss secret weapon

Twenty litres of extra virgin olive oil every year and most Mediterraneans still aren’t fat. According to Leandro Ravetti, Chief Oil Maker of the award-winning Cobram Extra Virgin Olive Oils, a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil can deliver greater and longer lasting weight loss results than a low-fat diet.

3. Diabetes deterrent

Eating extra virgin olive oil as part of a balanced diet can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Ravetti says extra virgin helps “regulate and balance our insulin levels, so you’re not really having those spikes.”

4. Pain relief

Extra virgin olive oil also contains a substance called oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory agents, meaning olive oil is like a natural Ibuprofen. Research increasingly suggests inflammation impacts a number of chronic diseases, so olive oil’s anti-inflammatory properties grow more compelling all the time.

5. Skin saviour

Extra virgin olive oil helps with anti-aging, osteoporosis and skin damage. “One that’s proven is that it adds a protective coating on the skin, both through consumption and application,” says Ravetti.

6. Mental agility

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, which research suggests helps prevent or slow down the cognitive decline associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s.

7. It strengthens your immune system

Loaded with antioxidants – vital for strengthening and protecting your immune system – extra virgin olive oil may help you become more resistant to infection. This wide range of important antioxidants isn’t found in other oils.

8. It keeps your body running smoothly

It’s not just vehicles that benefit from a regular oil change; extra virgin olive oil contributes to the operational health of such vital areas as the stomach, pancreas and intestines.

9. Pregnancy aid

Not only can olive oil application assist in avoiding stretch marks, consuming extra virgin olive oil while pregnant may improve your child’s psychomotor reflexes and more.

10. Longevity

Since extra virgin olive oil assists in the prevention and/or reduced impact of so many diseases – including certain cancers – it’s no exaggeration to say it may even help you live longer. Not bad for something that’s also delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Good Reasons To Drink Red Wine

3 Good Reasons To Drink Red Wine

red wineRed wine contains the major sirtuin-activating  nutrients Resveratrol and Piceatannol. As many of us enjoy a good drop of red wine the fact that it can help stave off serious health issues is an added bonus.

Here are three reasons to say cheers to good health.

Drinking a glass or two of red wine with a meal could decrease a person’s chances of having a stroke, heart attack, bowel and aero-digestive cancer as well as other diseases; it might also be good for the brain and quite probably increases longevity, say experts.

Red Wine And Heart health

Canadian and US analysts recently reviewed 84 alcohol studies to come to the conclusion that drinking a small amount of alcohol reduces the overall risk of death from cardiovascular causes by 15 to 25 per cent.

Creina Stockley, Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) manager health and regulatory information, says drinking red wine in moderation has even greater benefits.

“People that drink a moderate amount of wine regularly, particularly with food, have a 30 per cent reduced risk of heart diseases.

“Red wine is good for you in moderation – with one- to two-glasses a day there is a reduced risk of heart disease. When you drink more than that, the risk of heart disease increases,” she adds.

Red Wine And Cancer

Stockley, a clinical pharmacologist with 20 years experience at the AWRI, says drinking red wine has also been proven to reduce the risk of several types of cancer.

“Alcohol is a risk factor for certain cancers, but we also know wine reduces the risk of other cancers like bowel and lung cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

Studies have shown drinking red wine in moderation can reduce risks of aero-digestive tract, lung cancers and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by 20-40 per cent as well as bowel cancer by around 20 per cent, says Stockley.

“Phenolic compounds [found heavily in red wine] work by preventing the initiation, progression and growth of cancer cells,” she says.

Red Wine As An Elixir of Life

Having a drink doesn’t necessarily spell killed brain cells, if drunk in moderation, red wine can actually improve cognitive function say the experts.

“Drinking red wine appears to reduce or prevent the decrease in your ability to think, reason and remember,” she adds.

“It may also reduce your risk of developing certain dementias such as Alzheimer’s.”

David Sinclair, professor and co-director of the Glenn Labs for Molecular Biological Aging at Harvard Medical School agrees: “We believe resveratrol [found heavily in red wine] protects from aging and disease.”

Not all grapes are created equal. White wine contains resveratrol but not as much as red and scientists believe Pinot Noir grapes have the highest concentration of the compound.

 

 

What’s So Good About Matcha Tea?

What’s So Good About Matcha Tea?
What Unique Properties of Matcha Tea Support Weight Loss?        matcha tea
Already nearly calorie free, matcha is a great addition to a weight loss program by tackling the problem from both sides. It boosts metabolism and burns fat. One recent study even suggested that matcha may help burn calories by four times. At the same time, matcha does not put any stress on the body. It doesn’t raise blood pressure or heart rate, making it a safe alternative to questionable quick fixes or pharmaceuticals ridden with side effects.
A study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body’s own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expenditure.
 
How Does Matcha Tea Give Me Energy Without The Jitters?
One of the most unexpected health benefits of matcha tea, is that drinkers experience a boost of energy throughout the day. In one study, researchers had thought that this was from the caffeine in matcha, but they found that it was actually the combination of matcha’s natural properties. Another recent study found that matcha even improved physical endurance by 24%.
 
What are the Health Benefits of Matcha Tea?
# One serving of matcha tea is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea.
# When you drink matcha you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of the nutrients of the leaf.
# Matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea. 
 
Amongst its Many Health Benefits, Matcha Tea…
Is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCG(the sirtuin-activator nutrient)
Boosts metabolism and burns calories
Detoxifies effectively and naturally
Calms the mind and relaxes the body
Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
Enhances mood and aids in concentration
Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
Prevents disease
Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
Matcha tea is an easy and simple way to add powerful health benefits to your everyday diet and it is an important component of the Sirtfood Diet.  

An excellent, well-researched and authoritative article entitled the ‘Top 15 Matcha Tea Health Benefits.A drink towards a better you!’ can be found right here. The website has a number of informative posts on health topics.

Sirtfood Pizza-Always A Favourite

Sirtfood Pizza-Always A Favourite

sirtfood pizzaSirtfood Pizza is the favourite Sirtfood receipe for many!

Makes 2 x 30cm pizzas

For the pizza base

1 x 7g packet of dried yeast

1 tsp brown sugar

300ml lukewarm water

200g buckwheat flour

200g strong white flour or pasta flour plus a little extra for rolling out

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for greasing

For the tomato sauce

½ red onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tbsp white wine

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Pinch of brown sugar

5g basil leaves

Some favorite toppings for your Sirtfood Pizza

  • Rocket, red onion and grilled aubergine – buy it from a deli, or griddle 3-5mm slices of aubergine brushed with a little extra virgin olive oil until it has black grill marks on either side and is soft.
  • Chilli flakes, cherry tomato, goat’s cheese and rocket
  • Cooked chicken, rocket, red onion and olives
  • Cooked chorizo, red onion and steamed kale

For the dough, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water. Cover with clingfilm and leave for 10-15 minutes.

Sift the flours into a bowl. If you have a stand mixer, fit it with the dough hook and sift the flours into the mixer bowl. Add the yeast mixture and oil to the flour and mix together to form a dough.

Knead until smooth and springy, then transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a clean damp tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft, then add the dried oregano and wine and bubble to reduce it by half.

Add the tomatoes and sugar, bring back to the boil and cook for 30 minutes until thick. Remove from the heat. Knead the dough again to remove the air. Heat the oven to 230C/gas 8. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Cut the dough in half and roll out each piece to your required thickness and place on a pizza stone or oiled non-stick baking tray.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the dough (you will only need about half the sauce for this quantity of dough but can freeze any left over), leaving a gap around the edge for the crust. Add the rest of your ingredients – if you’re using rocket and chilli flakes, add them after you’ve baked your pizza.

Set aside for 15-20 minutes before baking, the dough will start to rise again, giving a lighter base.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy your Sirtfood Pizza!

Coffee Boosts Weight Loss?

Coffee Boosts Weight Loss?

Coffee as one of the top 20 Sirtfoods continues to receive attention with new research into its health benefits.

coffee

Coffee will boost your weight loss, according to a new diet book that reveals how to harness the joys of coffee to shed pounds. Dr. Bob Arnot, author of The Coffee Lover’s Diet: Change Your Coffee, Change Your Life, claims that the simple act of drinking a cup of coffee can improve your overall health as well as whittle your waistline. His recommendations about coffee are backed up by recent studies showing the benefits of drinking that morning cup of coffee.

Dr. Arnot described a cup of coffee as “the easiest way to change your health.” And for those who want to focus on weight loss, the physician emphasized the benefits.

“When you drink a cup of hot coffee, you are burning another hundred calories a day and that’s significant.”

As for how coffee helps the body to burn fat faster, it stimulates the nervous system. In turn, that system signals the fat cells to break down fat. Beyond helping the body to burn fat, coffee can lower the perception of muscle pain from exercise.

Adding exercise to the weight loss equation can help, according to Dr. Arnot. He recommends sipping coffee one hour before working out as a way to improve your exercise regimen.

The coffee gives you the motivation to exercise. It also gives you the fuel and the power,” explained the diet expert. “It feels easier to exercise, you can go longer, harder and you are going to be taking that weight off.”

How much coffee should you drink daily for the maximum rewards? Dr. Arnot suggests sipping four to six cups of coffee a day.

Beyond weight loss, the physician noted that coffee has been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes as well as prevent heart disease and even depression.  The driving force behind depression and heart disease and so many diseases is inflammation, and coffee is a powerful ultimate anti-inflammatory drink.

You can read a preview and summary of the book by clicking on this book link below.

Chicory Is A Potent Sirtfood

Chicory Is A Potent Sirtfood

chicoryRed chicory is a top 20 Sirtfood. As with the Sirtfood onion, red is best but the yellow variety of chicory is also a Sirtfood.

The red variety can be harder to find but yellow is a perfectly suitable alternative. If you are wondering how to add chicory to your diet, you can add its leaves to a salad where the tart flavour adds crunch to an extra virgin olive oil-based dressing.

Chicory does belong to the Asteraceae family with sunflowers and dandelions and has been used throughout Europe for millennia as both a food and a medicine. Although chicory contains no huge amounts of any one nutrient, it can claim small amounts of the whole spectrum of vitamins and minerals, the most prominent being vitamins C and A, selenium, manganese, fiber, potassium, and phosphorus, as well as the sirtuin-activating nutrient Luteolin.

Chicory can be eaten raw or cooked. Although called chicory in the UK, it is more commonly known as Chicon or Witloof (meaning white leaf) in Belgium and is called Endive in the US.

Chicory is a woody, herbaceous plant that has a wealth of researched health benefits.They include the ability to ease digestive problems, prevent heartburn, reduce arthritic pains, detoxify the liver and gallbladder, prevent bacterial infections, boost the immune system, and reduce the chance of heart disease. It is also a natural sedative and can protect against kidney stones, and benefit attempts to lose weight. All in all, this small plant is a powerful addition to any diet.

Chicory is probably better known to many people for its roots which can be roasted, ground and used as a coffee substitute.  Chicory is native to France, where it has long been loved for culinary reasons so it’s only natural that’s where it originated.

It’s interesting that a large range of Chicory coffees are available.


Cocoa and Dark Chocolate

Cocoa and Dark Chocolate

cocoaDark Chocolate along with Red Wine has captured the most attention amongst the top-20 Sirtfoods. In fact, it is really Cocoa that is rich in a specific group of polyphenols called flavanols, especially epicatechin that is the actual Sirtfood.

In clinical studies flavanol-rich cocoa has shown impressive health benefits spanning many of the major afflictions of modern times. This is especially so in relation to heart health, where cocoa has shown promise in lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the heart, preventing blood clots, and reducing inflammation. Benefits may also extend to aiding in the prevention of diseases such as diabetes and cancer and enhancing memory performance.

So what chocolate exactly are we talking about here? Alas, the bulk of confectionary chocolate won’t deliver these profound benefits. Those products tend to be more sugar and milk than anything else.  As a consequence, the prevailing wisdom dictates that the darker the chocolate, the high the level of beneficial cocoa flavanols will be.

To be counted as a Sirtfood we are talking about chocolate with 85 percent cocoa solids. But in reality, that is a gross over-simplification. Much of the dark chocolate that we turn to as a ‘healthy treat’ has undergone a form of processing known as alkalizing (or ‘dutching’), which greatly diminishes the flavanol content, and thus the health benefits.

While in the USA these products are clearly labelled ‘processed with alkali’, unfortunately in the UK and in many other countries no such labelling requirements exist. This makes it difficult to know which brand to choose to reap the true benefits of the Sirtfood cocoa.

After investigation we have confirmed that the Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa bar has not undergone Dutch processing and is, therefore our recommendation.

Just as a guide there is a huge range online at Amazon.


Strawberries An Amazing Rich Sirtfood

Strawberries An Amazing Rich Sirtfood

strawberriesStrawberries have a very low sugar content. They contain just one teaspoon of sugar per 100 kg. In addition, they have pronounced effects on improving how the body handles sugary carbohydrates. What researchers have found is that if we add strawberries to sugary carbs it has the effect of reducing insulin demand. This has the effect of turning strawberries into a sustained energy releaser. Strawberries are therefore a significant Sirtfood for weight loss and a healthy long-term diet.

Strawberries are included in the top Sirtfoods as they are a notable source of the sirtuin activator fisetin.

Strawberries offer an astonishing 129 percent of the daily requirements of vitamin C, a known infection fighter. They are also packed with manganese and folate, as well as potassium with its co-factoring enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Low in calories and fats, strawberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, ellagitannins, flavonols, terpenoids, and phenolic and ellagic acids, all phytonutrients which together multiply anti-inflammatory potential. Minerals like copper for the healthy development of red blood cells are in abundance, as are fluoride, iron, and iodine.

Besides being anti-cancer, strawberries also contain potential neurological disease-fighting and anti-aging compounds. What’s more, the free radical-zapping antioxidant activity is outstanding in strawberries, as are their blood glucose-leveling abilities.

However, consume strawberries in moderation because they still contain fructose, which may be harmful to your health in excessive amounts.

Strawberries are one of those unique fruits requiring no embellishment to make them one of the world’s most sought-after plant-based foods and one of the top-20 Sirtfoods.

You will find many of the nutritious strawberries recipes included in our New Sirtfood recipes and Best Sirtfood Recipes pages.

Black Coffee in the Morning and Green Tea in the Afternoon

As well as the recommended daily servings of green juices, you can consume other fluids freely throught all phases of the Sirtfood diet. These should include non-caloric drinks, preferably plain water, black coffee and green tea. Both coffee and green tea are Sirtfoods and there is now considerable research now that drinking both is linked with numerous health benefits.

We recommend that coffee be drunk black, without adding milk as some researchers have found that the milk can reduce the absorption of the beneficial sirtuin-activating nutrients. The same has been found for green tea although adding some lemon juice actually increases the assimilation of the sirtuin-activators.

  • Mounting research suggests coffee may offer protection against a number of health concerns, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson’s. It also has athletic performance-enhancing benefits
  • Green tea has also been shown to improve heart, bone and vision health, and may protect against type 2 diabetes and cancer. Long-term consumption may also promote weight loss
  • Quality is paramount for both coffee and tea. The healthiest coffee is organic dark roast, ground from fresh whole coffee beans, consumed “black.” Also look for organic tea grown in a pristine environment.

coffee

While the research suggests you can have upwards of five cups of coffee per day without adverse effects, we believe this may be too much for many, especially with adrenal fatigue being so common. One way to balance the risks and benefits would be to limit your coffee consumption to one or two cups in the morning, and drinking green tea in the afternoon. Also remember that to achieve therapeutic benefits from coffee, it needs to be:

  • Organic: Most coffee produced today is heavily contaminated with pesticides. It’s actually one of the most heavily sprayed crops grown. So, any coffee you consume should be organic, pesticide-free coffee.
  • Fresh whole bean: You’ll want to purchase coffee in whole bean form and then grind it yourself to prevent rancidity. Pre-ground coffee may be rancid by the time you drink it.
  • Properly dried and roasted: The coffee should smell and taste fresh, not stale. If your coffee does not have a pleasant aroma, it is likely rancid and poor quality. Darker roasts may provide greater health benefits and be easier on your stomach than light roasts.
  • Black: Drink your coffee black, without sugar or cream. Add sugar and you’ll certainly ruin any of the benefits discussed above by spiking your insulin levels and causing insulin resistance.

coffee

Tea also has its issues. Green tea plants are known to be especially effective at absorbing lead from the soil, which is then taken up into the plants’ leaves.

Areas with excessive industrial pollution, such as China (where nearly 90 percent of the world’s green tea is produced), may contain substantial amounts of lead.

While the lead in the tea leaves is not thought to leach very effectively into the tea, if you’re consuming Matcha green tea (which contains the entire ground tea leaf), it’s especially important that it comes from Japan instead of China.

Both black and green teas are also naturally high in fluoride, even if organically grown without pesticides. This is because the plant readily absorbs fluoride thorough its root system, including naturally occurring fluoride in the soil.

So, as with coffee, when selecting tea, opt for organic (to avoid pesticides), grown in a pristine environment (to avoid fluoride, heavy metals, and other toxins from contaminated soil and water). A clean growing environment is essential to producing a pure, high-quality tea.