How long you live depends not on the genes you inherited from mom and dad, but on the tiny guests that make up yours bacterial flora: billions of ferments that, like so many tenants, live for rent in the same condominium, yours intestine. The American doctor Steven Gundry, 68, a world-famous heart surgeon, whose book The Anti-Aging Diet has just come out in the country, is absolutely convinced of this.
"For many years I was as obese as my father, I suffered from the same migraines he had every day, and I suffered from arthritis so severe that I had to wear knee braces to run," he says. “I did 40km a week, went to the gym for an hour a day, and ate in a way that I thought was healthy. This is why I thought that my ailments and premature aging were due to my DNA ». Instead...
It is the gut that makes you age
At that time, Dr. Gundry was working at Loma Linda University, in California, one of the "Blue Zones", where life expectancy is considerably higher than the planet's average. Here he had met several centenarians in excellent health and, studying their lifestyle, he had come to a conclusion as simple as it was unexpected: "I discovered that my father and I shared those problems not because we had the same genetic heritage, but because we had identical habits and lived in similar environments, which had shaped our microbiome in incredibly similar ways ”.
Since then, and almost 20 years have passed, the American doctor has taken care of himself and his patients, combining the diet with traditional medical therapies. "The results have been incredible," he enthuses. "When you start taking care of the bacterial flora, the lifespan increases dramatically. And the beauty is that it doesn't matter how old you are, how old you feel and what your health is. If you host only the good tenants in your condominium and throw out the unwanted ones, the benefits will not be long in coming: you will have more energy, you will regain your weight and a fresher skin and you will erase many of the typical ailments of aging ».
The microorganisms living in the intestine, with the help of gastric juices and various digestive enzymes, transform what you eat into amino acids (from proteins), fatty acids (from lipids), sugars (from carbohydrates), which then pass through the wall intestinal under the strict control of white blood cells (60% are concentrated right here) to pass into the blood or lymphatic system.
But if there are gaps between the cells that line the intestine, the enemies of your health can enter and exit freely. "The immune system tries to run for cover by releasing cytokines, substances with an inflammatory action which, if forced to intervene every day, end up causing fires and stimulate the development of various diseases: from autoimmune diseases of the intestine to diabetes, from cardiovascular disorders to tumors, from Parkinson's to cognitive impairment ”, explains Dr. Gundry.
The pillars of the anti-aging diet
However, keeping the intestinal wall intact is not difficult. Enough stay away from some enemies. «First of all the lectins: a type of protein that plants produce to defend themselves », warns the American doctor. «The best known is the gluten, which in genetically predisposed people triggers celiac disease. But there is another far more harmful one to keep under control, the agglutinin of wheat germ: being very small, it manages to pass through the intestinal wall even when it is intact, triggering an inflammatory reaction. Sugar should also be avoided, because it is the favorite food of the bad enzymes present in the bacterial flora, e reduced animal protein intake which, requiring a lot of energy to digest, prevent the metabolism from taking a break. Finally, no to cow's milk because, unlike that of goat, it contains casein A1, which can trigger an immune reaction ».
What, on the other hand, is it good to include in the anti-aging menu? "Certainly the foods rich in prebiotic fiber which, as the name implies, help good bacteria to grow and multiply, ”Gundry advises. "They are present in many vegetables, from artichokes to cabbage and leeks. They are also good for the bacterial flora polyamines (in squid, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, tea, nuts and pistachios, lentils), i polyphenols (a family of antioxidants to which the resveratrol of red wine also belongs), the resistant starches (in sweet potatoes and underripe bananas and pears), i Omega 3 fats of salmon, blue fish and linseed and the monounsaturated ones of olive oil and avocado, which quench inflammation ».
THE ANTI-AGING DIET PROGRAM
Below the entire program of the dieta antiage: it is spread over 4 weeks. And alternate days of free diet with others of calorie restriction which, as has now been demonstrated, extends life by reducing inflammation and promoting intestinal wall repair.
5 DAYS MIMING-FASTING TO 900 CALORIES AND THEN ...
Steven Gundry's diet takes into account the most important scientific research on longevity.
"The calorie restriction it is one of the main conditions to be respected in order to live well and for a long time », says the doctor. "But it is not necessary to stay stint all year round: as a study by the Davis School of Gerontology in Los Angeles has shown, 5 days a month of mime-fasting guarantees the same benefits as a 4-week low-calorie diet".
Here you will find the menu of the initial phase of the anti-aging diet: a small sacrifice for your future health.
For 5 days
Smoothie based on lettuce, spinach, mint, lemon, avocado
Snack and snack
Romaine lettuce boats stuffed with guacamole
Rocket salad with hemp tofu or cauliflower "steak" dressed with lemon juice
Black cabbage sauté with tempeh and avocado
Roman salad with avocado, coriander pesto and walnuts
Lentil cream (cooked in a pressure cooker); Brussels sprouts with lemon
Leek and cauliflower soup with extra virgin olive oil
Salad of beans (cooked in the pressure cooker), onions and rocket
Seaweed roll with hemp tofu; rocket and avocado with coriander sauce
Baked broccoli with cauliflower and sauteed onions
Artichoke and mushroom salad dressed with lemon juice
Creamy cauliflower soup; pressure cooker cooked chickpeas
FREE DIET ON THE WEEKEND
You can eat the foods preferred by the "good" enzymes of the intestinal flora in quantities, while you have to stay away from those that feed the "bad" microorganisms.
White goat yogurt with blueberries
Gluten free pasta with extra virgin olive oil and aromas, 125 g of salmon, mixed green salad, pears cooked in red wine
Gluten-free pasta soup and beans cooked in a pressure cooker, 30 g of Parmesan cheese, walnuts, black chocolate
Snack and snack
1/2 avocado with sesame seeds, raspberries
Millet porridge, 1/2 avocado, green tea or coffee
Gluten free tagliatelle with mushrooms, 125 g of chicken breast with sautéed artichokes, 1/2 glass of red wine
Lentil curry (cooked in a pressure cooker) and broccoli, goat cheese, blackberries
Snacks and snacks
Pistachios, black chocolate (70% cocoa)
SECOND, THIRD AND FOURTH WEEK
Monday and Wednesday
Calorie restriction 600 calories
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
You can eat as much as you like of the foods favored by the intestinal flora.
The menu is free, but you don't have to eat anything after 16pm.
Gluten free pasta and vegetables
Bring to the table every day chicory, radicchio, artichokes, Belgian endive, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and in general all vegetables except those indicated below; gluten-free pasta and millet; lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas (cooked in a pressure cooker!); goat milk, yogurt and cheese; mini portions of parmesan (30 g), fish and chicken (125 g); raspberries, blackberries, bananas and unripe pears; extra virgin olive oil, coffee, green tea, red wine (150 ml), black chocolate.
I CIBI NO
Avoid or limit a lot
Sweeteners (including artificial ones); cucumbers, courgettes, pumpkins, eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes; foods based on refined flours; cow's milk and its derivatives; red meat (only 125 g per week); grapes, mangoes, pineapples, bananas and ripe pears; cashews and espagnolette; corn oils, peanuts, sunflower seeds.
- Pears cooked in red wine
Ingredients for 4 servings: 2 cups of red wine, 2 cups of coconut milk, 2/3 cup of erythritol powder (natural sweetener), 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, the peel of 1 orange, 2 nails of carnation, 2 half-ripe pears.
In a saucepan, heat the wine, coconut milk, erythritol powder, anise, cinnamon, orange peel and cloves, stirring often until the mixture begins to simmer. Add the peeled pears and cook covered over medium-low heat so that they become soft; then remove them from the container with a slotted spoon, divide them in half and arrange them in 4 bowls. Remove the spices and orange peel from the pan, raise the heat and let the liquid thicken. When it is syrupy, pour it over the half pears and serve.