Sirtfood Snacks

Are there any worthwhile Sirtfood snacks ?  Snacking feels like a word loaded with negative connotations, conjuring images of sugar-loaded confectionary or salt-laden savoury products. The food industry knows only too well our weakness for all things sweet, salty and high in fat, and conspires to ensure they are never far from eyeshot as we go about our daily lives, an ever-present temptation.

Even if you’re up for making a healthier choice, it’s far from clear-cut, when snacks marketed as ‘all natural’ or with ‘no added sugar’ can sometimes be as high in sugars as their junk food counterparts. The only difference being that the sugars occur within the naturally sweet ingredients they use rather than the act of adding sugar itself. Take a look at the label and you’ll soon see that there can be spectacular amounts of sugar hidden away in so-called healthy snacks in the form of honey, maple syrup, agave, dried fruits (but read on for more about dates later), and so on. The upshot is the same – it’s still a high sugar snack, just a whole lot more expensive.

As a result, snacks can often end up detracting from the nutritional quality of the diet, when they could actually be a chance to positively enhance it. So what should we be snacking on? Are they any Sirtfood snacks? There are a number of the top 20 Sirtfoods that can be used as the basis for healthy Sirtfood snacks.

Nuts have to be the archetypal nutritious snack food, loaded with ‘good’ unsaturated fats, plant protein, fibre, and a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. With credentials like that it’s no wonder that regularly eating nuts slashes the risk of heart disease. And in complete contrast to other high fat snacks, regularly eating nuts is linked to having a slimmer waistline, likely due to their powerful satiating effect. Walnuts, in particular are a powerful sirtuin-activating food and a nice Sirtfood snack.   Best of all nuts are handbag and office desk friendly.

Next in the snacking stakes, and the perfect partner to nuts, is dark chocolate (ideally with an 80-85% cocoa content). This is another top-20 Sirtfood. Cocoa contains powerful naturally occurring plant compounds, known as flavanols, which are now the subject of intensive scientific research for their health benefits, especially for cardiovascular health. In fact, combine a few squares of dark chocolate with a small handful of nuts and you have just about the most cardio-protective snack going. And just like nuts, this is a snack that will comfortably slot in a handbag or tuck

As part of the Sirtfood Diet these Dark Chocolate Bites are a firm family favourite as one of the nicest Sirtfood snacks. It combines a host of health promoting polyphenols into an indulgent treat. Whilst Medjool dates are naturally very high in sugar (a staggering 66%!), eaten in moderation they actually have no noticeable blood sugar raising effects and are actually linked to having less diabetes and heart disease, thanks to their exceptional polyphenol content. This makes them one of the healthiest options for conjuring up a sweet treat.

Dark Chocolate Bits Recipe-Sirtfood Snack

Makes 15–20 bites sirtfood snacks

120g walnuts

30g dark chocolate (85 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces; or cocoa nibs

250g Medjool dates, pitted

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

the scraped seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1–2 tbsp water

Place the walnuts and chocolate in a food processor and process until you have a fine powder.

Add all the other ingredients except the water and blend until the mixture forms a ball. You may or may not have to add the water depending on the consistency of the mixture – you don’t want it to be too sticky.

Using your hands, form the mixture into bite-sized balls and refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 1 hour before eating them. You could roll some of the balls in some more cocoa or desiccated coconut to achieve a different finish if you like. They will keep for up to 1 week in your fridge.

Cinnamon-Another Powerful Sirtfood

Cinnamon-Another Powerful Sirtfood

cinnamon

Cinnamon can activate your sirtuin genes.

Cinnamon appears in the Sirtfood Diet as a top 40 Sirtfood, with the most unequivocal research showing maximum benefit comes from combining Sirtfoods together. Sirtfoods are so named because they contain substances that activate Sirtuin or ‘skinny’ genes, the same genes as exercise and fasting.

While always known that cinnamon lowers blood sugar we didn’t for sure know why. Now brand new research presented just this month at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology showed it is by activating Sirt-1.
And with it acting at a genetic level researchers say benefits go beyond blood sugar making it a metabolic powerhouse with anti-aging properties.

Scientists have long suspected that cinnamon can help prevent blood-sugar spikes and protect against insulin resistance, a risk factor for diabetes. But how, exactly, has remained a mystery—and while some studies have suggested a strong effect, others have been inconclusive.

Amy Stockert, associate professor of biochemistry at Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy, has been studying cinnamon for years. In 2015, her research showed that type 2 diabetics who took daily cinnamon supplements saw greater reductions in blood sugar than those who took a placebo.

Some of these effects lasted even after participants stopped taking the supplements, says Stockert, which suggested that lasting changes had been triggered at the cellular level. “We started to suspect that one of the proteins involved in gene expression was being influenced by cinnamon,” she says.

Her new research focuses on Sirtuin-1 (also called Sirt-1)—a protein that’s active in insulin regulation. “We know that Sirt-1 acts on another protein that affects how glucose is transported,” says, “so it made sense that it might be the key player.”

Scientists know that Sirt-1 is activated by resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine that’s been touted for its anti-aging and cholesterol-lowering properties. Cinnamon contains similar compounds, known as phenols, which Stockert thought might also bind to Sirt-1 molecules in the same way. She and her colleagues used a computer model to test this hypothesis and discovered that the cinnamon phenols had similar, sometimes even stronger interactions with the protein.

This suggests that the phenols in cinnamon also activate Sirt-1, providing a possible explanation for their beneficial properties. “If that’s true, it means cinnamon is doing more than just lowering blood sugar,” says Stockert. “It’s acting on a protein that affects lipid metabolism, cell growth changes, and the expression of a variety of genes.”

Stockert’s previous research found that people who consumed 1 gram a day of cinnamon saw blood sugar reductions comparable to what would be expected from prescription drugs. But she believes that even smaller quantities—like those used in cooking and seasoning—could also have benefits.

“If cinnamon interacts with this enzyme in the way our model suggests, it could possibly be linked to anti-aging, antioxidant control, a lot of really important health benefits,” she says. “And it shouldn’t take one gram a day to see those effects.”

Stockert recommends buying cinnamon—whole or ground—from reputable spice companies. Her team is now studying the effects of cinnamon on fat cells and hope to expand their research to muscle and liver cells, as well.

You can add cinnamon to oatmeal, toast, butternut squash, chili and more. It is also recommended that it be added to other Sirtfood-based meals.

This isn’t the first time cinnamon’s been touted for its health benefits beyond blood sugar control—and it’s certainly not the final word. But given the low risk and reported benefits, it seems a worthwhile addition to your diet, if you like the taste.


Lovage -A Sirtfood With Benefits

Lovage -A Sirtfood With Benefits

lovageLovage, a member of the parsley family, is a widely-used herb in parts of Europe and southwest Asia. It’s an extremely versatile plant possessing flavors of both celery and parsley but much stronger. Lovage is delicious and also extremely high in the sirtuin-activating compound quercetin and is one of the main ingredients of the Sirtfood Green Juice.  Lovage offers a number of health benefits, including supporting kidney health, fighting harmful organisms and supporting joint health.

Here are some of the well-researched benefits of Lovage.

1. Lovage Fights the Risk of Kidney Stones

Lovage is an aquaretic or a type of diuretic that encourages urination without electrolyte loss. The increased urination flushes the urinary tract to potentially help avoid kidney stones.

2. Lung Support

Traditional herbal medicine uses lovage to loosen phlegm in the lungs, which in turn improves airflow, breathing, and oxygen intake. In one trial eucalyptol, the active chemical compound in lovage that reduces lung irritation, produced significant, positive results within four days

3. Soothes Rough Spots

It turns out lovage is loaded with compounds that may soothe rough patches in the body. Compounds in lovage that provide this benefit include limonene, eugenol, and quercetin. Studies involving limonene have shown it provides soothing effects throughout the body, although it has been especially noted to help reduce issues associated with colitis.

4. Promotes Healthy Skin

Lovage is recommended as a natural way to fight skin conditions like dermatitis and acne. The exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, but traditional skin care approaches include lovage in their routines.

5. Fights Harmful Organisms

Scientists have found lovage to be one of the most potent extracts against organisms like E. coli, Salmonella, H. pylori, and H. influenzae.

6. Eases Digestion and Relieves Gas

The soothing benefits of lovage are very effective and it’s even a great remedy to soothe the digestive tract, reduce bloating and relieve gas.

7. Supports Joint Health

The herb is considered a natural remedy for joint discomfort associated with gout and rheumatic swelling of the joints. In addition, it doesn’t cause any terrible side effects.

8. Natural Allergy Support

The soothing effects of lovage naturally help fight the symptoms of allergies. But when it comes to allergies, lovage goes a bit farther. Quercetin, a compound present in lovage, inhibits histamine release and alleviates skin irritation typically caused by sensitivity to environmental irritants.

9. Menstrual Support

Among its many traditional uses, lovage is reported to provide relief from menstrual discomfort. Its high nutrient density combined with its powerful soothing benefits may explain why adding lovage to the diet prior to the beginning of a menstrual cycle may support well-being.

10. Excellent for Recipes

Lovage is a wonderful addition to your favorite recipes, adding taste and increasing your meal’s nutrient value. It’s often used as a replacement for celery, although it’s more pungent so most recipes recommend using about half the amount of the celery called for. The leaves make an excellent salad, and the seeds are used as a spice and often sprinkled over salads and soups. Lovage can even be brewed as an herbal tea. It’s rich in B-complex vitamins, essential for energy, and vitamin C which supports skin and immune system health.

Lovage is safe, natural and can easily be found as a food or herbal supplement!

Red Onions A Powerful Sirtfood

Red Onions A Powerful Sirtfood

red onionsOnions are one of the most popular vegetables worldwide.  While most children dislike their pungent and bitey flavor, most adults embrace and use them regularly.   Red onions contain twice as many antioxidants as any other form of onion making them a powerful part of an anti-inflammatory diet and Sirtfood lifestyle. Red onions are one of the top 20 Sirtfoods.

Red onions are also a rich source of the flavonoid antioxidant and major sirtuin-activating nutrient quercetin and the polyphenol antioxidant anthocyanin.  These antioxidants prevent the oxidation of dietary and cellular fatty acids.  They are very powerful free radical scavengers that neutralize cancer cell growth and dramatically reduce whole body inflammation.

The anti-oxidant flavonoids are extremely rich in the outer layers of the onion.  Many people will peel off the first few layers and lose much of these critical nutrients.  Be sure to utilize the outer, fleshy edible portions as much as possible.

How Many Red Onions to Eat?

Simmering onions in a soup or broth will damage some of the anthocyanins but not the sirtuin-activating quercetin.  The quercetin moves into the soup or broth.  The lower the heat the more nutrients will be contained in the soup or broth.  Studies have shown that 4-7 servings of red onions each week (equivalent to about 2-3 onions) have been associated with the greatest benefit in reducing colorectal, oral, laryngeal, esophageal & ovarian cancer.

Red onions should be stored in a cool, dry area with good airflow.  Until they are opened they should not be stored in a refrigerator or plastic bag as both of these have been shown to speed up spoilage.  Once opened, it is best to store in refrigeration.  Avoid any onions that are wet, soft, bruised or have dark spots or mold on them.

Frequently Asked Questions With Red Onions

1.  Do I Need to Purchase Organic Onions?  

Because onions are covered in a thin skin and are very sharp and pungent they repel pests.  They are not highly sprayed with toxic herbicides and pesticides and therefore can be purchased non-organic without significant risk from toxic chemical exposure.

2.  How Do I Reduce the Effect Onions Have on My Breath?

You can reduce the negative effects onions and other sulfur-rich foods (garlic, shallots, radishes) have on your breath by consuming green veggies, bitter herbs such as dandelion, parsley or cilantro and herbs such as rosemary, fennel and peppermint.

We often advise people to consume another Sirtfood, parsley or make a green Sirtfood juice on days when you are consuming a lot of raw onion.

3.  Do I Get the Same Benefits from Cooked Onions as I Do with Raw Onions?

No, you will certainly lose much of the nutrient content but you will still get some of the benefits so it is better to consume cooked onions than no onions at all.

 

Sirtfood Spices-Chilli And Turmeric

Sirtfood Spices-Chilli And Turmeric

Sirtfood spices chilli and turmeric are amongst the top 20 most effective sirtuin activators.sirtfood spices

Whilst there is a major focus on the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, don’t let that divert focus from other elements of our diet that are as good. None more so than the culinary Sirtfood spices, which contain similar health-enhancing plant compounds (aka phytonutrients) as fruits and vegetables but often in much more effective amounts, which means a little spice can go a long way to boosting health.

Turmeric

Turmeric boasts a long history of use in Asia for both its culinary and medicinal uses. Its use as a staple ingredient in traditional Indian cooking is thought to be one reason for the significantly lower cancer rates in India compared with Western countries. Amongst its numerous active ingredients, it is the curcumin content that is believed to explain many of turmeric’s health benefits, which in addition to anti-cancer properties, include anti-inflammatory effects, and even benefits for preventing weight gain and obesity.

Turmeric advice: Curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body, but there are ways to improve this. Using turmeric in cooking, especially with fat, helps improve its absorption, as does the addition of black pepper.

Chillisirtfood spices

The heat in chilli comes from a substance called capsaicin, and the more capsaicin in a chilli, the hotter it is. And recent research suggests that spicing up our food with chilli could be a life saver, concluding that eating hot spicy foods three or more times a week is associated with a 14 percent lower death rate compared to eating them less than once a week.

Chilli advice: As a general rule of thumb, the hotter the better – but don’t exceed what is comfortably tolerable.

 

 

10 Reasons To Include Buckwheat In Your Diet

buckwheatBuckwheat is one of the recommended Sirtfoods.

The name buckwheat is misleading because it isn’t related to wheat at all. In fact, buckwheat isn’t a true grain, but rather the fruit of a leafy plant belonging to the same family as sorrel and rhubarb. It is often referred to as a pseudo-cereal since the grain is used in ways similar to cereal grains. Its name comes from a Dutch word that translates as “beechwheat,” most likely a reference to the plant’s triangular fruits, which resemble beechnuts. Most of us are most familiar with buckwheat flour used to make the pancakes, crepes or noodles (Japanese Soba).

Here are 10 well-researched reasons why you should give the Sirtfood buckwheat a try:

  1. Buckwheat is high in fiber; good for those with constipation.
  2. The protein in buckwheat has all 9 essential amino acids (that the body cannot manufacture), making it closer to being a “complete” protein.
  3. It is high in the amino acid lysine, which is used for tissue growth and repair.
  4. Buckwheat is gluten-free so this makes it suitable for those with wheat allergies.
  5. It is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin E, and B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper.
  6. The magnesium in buckwheat helps relaxes blood vessels; helps improve circulation, decrease blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
  7. Buckwheat helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Due to the slower breakdown and absorption of the carbohydrates in buckwheat, this helps to raise our blood sugar levels more evenly. This especially good for those suffering with diabetes by helping to control their blood sugar levels.
  8. It’s also low in calories, which is good in helping to reduce fat accumulation.
  9. Buckwheat contains rutin, a chemical that strengthens capillary walls.
  10. This Sirtfood being high in insoluble fiber, can help women avoid gallstones.

A range of buckwheat products is available online.

Try Sirtfoods Just To Start

try sirtfoodsYou may be reluctant to jump right in with the Sirtfood Diet. You can just try sirtfoods as a sampling process to start with and gradually ease into the plan.

The benefits of a Sirtfood diet can be observed by looking at communities around the world who already adopt diets rich in Sirtfoods. On the San Blas islands of Panama, live the Kuna American Indians. Amongst these indigenous people there are incredibly low rates of cancer, diabetes and obesity. There’s also a very low incidence of high blood pressure, and early death. And the Kuna’s secret to their blessed existence? A diet high in the Sirtfood cocoa. Similarly, India, which has significantly lower cancer rates to Western populations, have a diet rich in the Sirtfood Turmeric and Japan, whose inhabitants consume high levels of the Sirtfood green tea boast one of the lowest rates of cardiovascular and lung cancer in the world.

If you’re keen to try Sirtfoods then here are some simple ways that you can introduce  Sirtfoods into your diet:

  • Parsley is high in sirtuin-activating nutrients Apigenin and Myricetin but it’s often dismissed as a slightly old-fashioned garnish. Promote this herb to the status it deserves by adding leaves of flat-leaf parsley to a herby green salad, new potatoes or a green juice.
  • Give your tea a Sirt-over. Swap your usual brew for Matcha green tea. Matcha differs from regular green tea in that it is mostly grown in the shade (regular green tea is grown in sunlight) and is finely ground so it can be dissolved in water and drunk (rather than simply infusing the water). Matcha tea is a great source of the sirt-activating compound EGCG.
  • Berries – especially strawberries – are high in sirtuin-activating nutrients. Throw some of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries into your smoothie maker, or use the sweet red fruit as a filling for Sirtfood friendly buckwheat pancakes.
  • Replace your usual salad dressing with extra virgin olive oil. The ‘extra virgin’ part is important- it’s unrefined and richer in sirtuin stimulating nutrients Oleuropein and Hydroxytyrosol than other varieties.
  • Dark Chocolate. Studies have shown that cocoa could have links to cardiovascular disease, and dark chocolate is better for you than other types because it generally lower in sugar and fat. But remember that eating too much can contribute to weight gain, which is risky in itself.
  • Apples. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away… As well as being classed as a Sirtfood, studies have shown that the fruit helps lower cholesterol, and is a good source of fibre – meaning it keeps you fuller for longer, the Huffington Post reported.

Turmeric-Should You Add To And Take A Supplement?

Turmeric-Should You Add To And Take A Supplement?

turmeric

Turmeric, Curcuma longa or “Indian saffron” has been a part of the healthy dieting trend for quite some time and it isn’t without good reason. Traditionally Asian, the plant belongs to the ginger family and it gives curry its yellowish color and warm, bitter taste. With an amazing array of health benefits it offers, it is no wonder that it has been quickly adopted by the health conscious eaters around the world and forms part of the recommended Sirtfood Diet.

We are advocates for eating a lot of this versatile sirtfood spice. But for turmeric to really boost your health, you may want to add a supplement, too.

The main health-giving part of this plant is the chemical curcumin. More than 7,000 studies have examined its effects in helping prevent cancer, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Its anti-inflammatory properties are what make it such a Swiss Army knife of nutrients. “Since chronic inflammation all over the body is the root cause of many illnesses, taking curcumin supplements is an easy and potentially effective way to prevent diseases,” says Ajay Goel, Ph.D. who researches curcumin and cancer at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

A teaspoon of turmeric contains only about 100 mg of the active ingredient. You need anywhere from two to 10 times that to get the biggest benefits. For supplements, Goel recommends taking ones that contain 250 or 500 mg once or twice a day.

There is a wide range of turmeric supplements available at Amazon’s online store.


Walnuts And Fat Loss Link

walnutsWalnuts , one of the top 20 Sirtfoods actually help you shed weight according to a new study.

Eating too many nuts is often noted as one of the mistakes people make that stop them losing weight. However, a new study suggests that walnuts may actually help you shed fat.

The study’s lead scientist, Dr. Cheryl Rock of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine compared various diets and was surprised to find, ‘that even though walnuts are higher in fat and calories, the walnut-rich diet was associated with the same degree of weight loss as a lower fat diet.’

The research looked at 245 overweight women giving them one of three diets: A lower fat and higher carb diet, a lower carb and higher fat diet and finally a walnut-rich, higher fat and lower carb diet.

Not only did the walnut-rich group see good weight loss, they also saw a decrease in bad cholesterol and an increase in the good stuff!

Dr. Rock also explained: ‘In addition to these findings, we hope to explore the effect of walnuts on satiety, as we believe satiety is a critical factor for maintaining weight loss.’

The Benefits Of Walnuts

Walnuts are naturally low in sugars, sodium, and packed with nutrients: healthy fats (plant omega-3 ALA), protein, fiber, antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals – folate, thiamin, magnesium, potassium, manganese and copper.

Enjoying a handful of nuts (35g) as part of a healthy diet every day will contribute:

  • Protein – needed for growth and repair of tissues such as bones, muscles and skin as well as being a plant protein source for vegetarians

  • Fiber – keeping you regular and helping control appetite

  • Plant omega 3s called Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA) – just four or five walnuts a day can provide 100 percent of daily adult ALA needs

  • Antioxidants – which protect cells against free radical damage (polyphenols, copper, manganese)

  • Nutrients for energy production – thiamin, copper, manganese, magnesium

  • Nutrients for brain and neurological function – magnesium, copper, folate, thiamin

  • Folate – needed during pregnancy and for blood formation

  • Arginine an amino acid and polyphenol antioxidants – both help keep blood vessels elastic.

A healthy diet low in sodium, but with a variety of foods such as walnuts, can help reduce blood pressure and contribute to heart health.

Further information on walnut products is available from the following links.


Sirtfood Science

sirtfood scienceLooking At Sirtfood Science

Consuming foods rich in “sirtuin activators” — including red wine, kale, arugula, buckwheat, apples, blueberries, capers, red onions, walnuts, strawberries, extra virgin olive oil, parsley, dark chocolate, green tea, and coffee among others — will upregulate the expression of SIRT genes, increasing the producing sirtuin proteins that will retard the accumulation of fat. You’ve likely heard of the most famous of the sirtuin activators: Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine.

In 2003, David A. Sinclair, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, published the results of the first study to suggest that resveratrol slows aging in a way similar to calorie restriction — that is, by stimulating the SIRT2 gene, which promotes DNA stability, increases the production of the body’s own antioxidants, and puts the brakes on fat production. Since then, many more sirtuin activators (and the foods in which they’re found) have been identified in sirtfood science studies, and the list of potential benefits from consuming them keeps growing.

Potential Benefits of the Sirtfood Diet

Sirtuins have also been linked to the functioning of the nervous, cardiovascular, and immune systems, as well as liver, bone, muscle, stem cell, and tissue regeneration, according to 2014 article “The Controversial World of Sirtuins” published in the journal Drug Discovery Today: Technologies. Sirtuins have also been credited with helping to fight many age-related diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and arthritis.

Sirtfood science studies have also revealed that sirtuins can reduce inflammation, hypoxic stress (as might be caused by poor circulation), heat shock, and genotoxic (DNA damaging) stress, according to 2011 article “Sirtuins at a Glance” in the Journal of Cell Science, which notes that inflammation is a major cause of aging and aging-related diseases.

If this all sounds confusing, you can download the “Official Sirtfood Diet Planner” app from Google Play. The app kicks off your “Sirtification” with a “7-Day Sirtfood Challenge,” and includes a customizable shopping list, a weight loss tracker, a daily meal planner, and recipes that incorporate the top 20 sirtfoods. Participates who complete the challenge can move on to the 14-day maintenance phase.

Does the Sirtfood Diet Work?

So far, the diet has received ringing endorsements from many celebrities, most of whom are British, including (reportedly) Grammy-winning music artist Adele, model Jodie Kidd, TV cook Lorraine Pascale, boxers David Haye and Anthony Ogogo, Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie, and rugby player James Haskell.