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The Anti Aging Diet - Raw Fruits and Vegetables 

The anti aging diet is not a mix of expensive supplements and vitamins pills, but simply the food humanity was meant to eat - raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Eating these foods - and the exclusion of the harmful ones that age the body- will keep you young, vibrant, and free of disease for years to come.

The scientific evidence for this simple concept is overwhelming, and in this article I'll guide you through it and help you move toward healthy eating.

The Anti Aging Diet - What is Aging?

When we think of aging, we tend to concentrate on its exterior manifestations - the symptoms that pile up on us year after year, robbing us of vitality and leaving us with an ever-thinner margin of possibility in life.

The wrinkles that line our face, increased susceptibility to colds, decreased athletic performance, and longer periods needed to recover from soreness or injury close in on us as the years go by, leading so many to complain as they get out of bed with creaky joints - 'ugg, I'm getting old!'

Some types of aging - such as whether or not a man will lose his hair as he gets older - seem to be mostly outside of our control. Other aspects, however, such as whether or not a person develops arthritis, dementia, heart disease, or has enough energy to play with their grandchildren, are up to them.

Anti Aging Diet Progression

The scientific definition of aging is far more ambiguous than our own symptom-based one, and there are many theories about why and how we go through the aging process. Some point to free radicals while others blame degraded telomeres, the segments of DNA which bookend our chromosomes.

But most scientists now agree that aging is, at least in part, the result of ever-accumulating damage to the proteins, lipids, DNA, and RNA that make up our cells

If enough of these molecules are damaged, cells stop functioning at full capacity, which leads to our muscles, brain, skin, organs and other tissue deteriorating. As our body functions at an ever-lower level, the physical and mental tasks we once carried out with ease become more challenging and less efficient.

The Anti Aging Diet - So How Do We Prevent Cellular Aging?

The important question, then, is where does this damage come from and how can we prevent it.

The damage originates from many sources, both external and internal. Some of them can be controlled through a healthy lifestyle, with things like getting enough sleep being critical. These are outside the scope of this article, however.

From a dietary perspective, there are two things we can do to prevent aging. The first is to stop consuming the foods that age us, and the second is to eat foods that prevent or even reverse aging.
Anti Aging Diet BlueberriesYou might consider living the greatest number of years possible to be the end goal of a well-managed aging process.

Or perhaps you think total years lived is less important than possessing the utmost vitality and a disease-free body during the time you have.

I can happily tell you that no matter which of these goals you have in mind, a low fat raw vegan diet can help you out.

Decades of studies have shown us that one of the most effective ways to increase lifespan -sometimes by as much as 30 percent - is caloric restriction, but who wants to go through life fighting constant hunger?

Luckily, more recent research has shown us there's a better way. When we eat a low protein, low methionine, low fat, high carbohydrate diet, the end result seems to be extended lifespan in a similar range to the calorie restriction diets. Recent animal studies have demonstrated the much-touted benefits of dietary restriction are primarily from reducing intake of fats and proteins rather than simply restricting food and calories (1).

One group of humans placed on this type of low protein diet (technically a calorie restricted diet) for six years had hearts estimated to be 15 years younger than the control group (2). 

Now to some extent they were merely sidestepping the damage they would have received eating animal products, but at least to some extent their hearts seemed to actually get younger on this regime, a truly remarkable achievement.

The Anti Aging Diet - Animal Protein Is Killing Us

Animal proteins - meat, dairy, and eggs - have been sending us to early graves for a long time, and it's clear that one thing we can do to increase the length and freedom of our time on this earth is to stop eating it.

Even when animal protein intake is extremely low (the equivlent of three chicken nugets a day), a person's risk of cancer, heart disease, a host of other diseases, and early death is considerably higher than when a person eats less meat (3).

Numerous studies have linked animal protein consumtion and early death.

One study of Seventh Day Adventists who follow vegetarian diets found men living an average of 83.3 years and women 85.7 years. That's 9.5 and 6.1 years longer than the average Californian lives, respectively. Even those adventists who ate meat just once a week lived shorter lives than those who ate it once a month (4).

Another studied the meat intake of half a million Americans and found the Anti Aging Diet Sausage Hangprevalence of cardiovascular diseases and cancer decreased with declining meat consumption while age at death increased (5).

The Anti Aging Diet - The Problem With Methionine

Although animal protein is the most agregious killer, high protein foods in general tend to cause us problems.

Numerous animal studies have linked early death and high intake of the amino acid methionine, which is abundant in animal protein, present in high-protein vegetable foods like nuts and seeds, to a lesser degree, and found in most raw fruits and leafy green vegetables at much lower levels.

In studies of rats, one group of researchers allowed the animals to eat as much food as they pleased, but cut their methionine intake by 80 percent by using plant foods.

The rats fed this low-methionine diet lived 40 percent longer than the control group, another indication that caloric restriction isn't the only way to extend lifespan (6, 7).

Beyond rats, there's a lot of science supporting the idea that vegan diets have the potential to greatly increase human lifespan, at least partially because of the lowered intake of methionine (8).

A healthy raw vegan diet, with its concentration on low-methionine fruits and leafy greens, would likely do even better. Check out the chart below to see how these foods rank.

Methionine Content in 100 Grams of:
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

  1. Parmesan Cheese: 1043 mg
  2. Beef: 941 mg
  3. Brazil Nuts: 1008 mg  
  4. Kidney Beans 200 mg
  5. Wheat Bread: 89 mg
  6. Lentils: 77 mg
  7. Broccoli 34.6 mg
  8. Valencia Orange: 22 mg
  9. Medjool Date: 17 mg
  10. Green Leaf Lettuce: 16 mg
  11. Cavendish Banana: 8 mg

The Anti Aging Diet - Poor Diets Are Giving Us Arthritis

If moving hurts, aging seems like a lost cause. Although millions of Americans suffer from severe joint pain, they don't have to.

Some researchers believe arthritis did not exist among human populations before 1800 (9), a testament to how modern eating and exercise habits are destroying out bodies.

Luckily, by maintaining a healthy weight, eliminating animal protein, exercising, and eating whole foods, arthritis ceases to be a problem.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that patients that eliminate animal protein have their arthritis recede, only to have it return again when they return to a standard American diet. One conducted in 1998 using a raw vegan diet (based on sprouted and soaked food, not the recommendation here) was noted as being particularly successful (10).

The Anti Aging Diet - The Problem With Fat

The high-fat American diet as well the high-fat raw diets now seen as healthy are also a problem.

High fat diets bring on type two diabetes, inhibit the movement of blood sugar, and cause numerous other problem, as explained in this article

In animal studies, high fat diets seem to increase hormone production, speed up reproductive readiness and other indicators of aging, and promotes the growth of tumors. Low fat diets have been shown to increase lifespan (11).

The Anti Aging Diet - It's Never Enough To Cut Out Harmful Foods. We Need Fruit

Once you've eliminated the foods that ages you, it's time to concentrate on eating the food that keeps you young and healthy - fruits and vegetables.

Better than anything medical science can bring to bear, the beneficial compounds found in raw fruits and vegetables inhibit cellular aging, fuel cellular repair, induce the detoxification enzymes that keep us clean and healthy, and bind the carcinogens which lead to cancer (12). In short, these foods keep us young.

Anti Aging Diet Strawberries

The fruit that is the cornerstone of a healthy anti aging diet has a host of unique effects that prevent aging and the deterioration of the brain (13).

More than any other food, studies continue to show us that fruit consumption is associated with lowered mortality from all cancers combined (14).

Most doctors and medical organizations have taken this information and suggested a modest increase in fruit consumption, but they miss the point.

Fruit is our main food, as it is for our closest genetic relatives, the bonobos and chimps. Fruit is our staple, not a snack or a dessert.

This type of fruit-centered diet is high in carbohydrates, which may concern some, but there's no reason to worry. Studies have shown that the higher the percentage of your calories that come from carbohydrates, the better off you'll be (15).

The Anti Aging Diet - The Importance of Leafy Greens

Although fruit is surely the staple, easy to digest leafy greens also play an important role.

Among normal Americans, the increased intake of leafy green vegetables -lettuces, spinach, Swiss chard, etc - in salads  was associated with the greatest increase in longevity (16).

Leafy greens are the most nutrient-dense of all foods. They are low in calories but rich in disease-fighting phytonutrients that protect us from a variety of ills.

Anti Aging Diet LettuceIn a review of 206 studies on humans, raw vegetable consumption showed the strongest protective effect against cancer of any food (17).

Yet only one in a hundred Americans eats enough leafy greens to receive maximum protection. With consumption so low, is there any reason to wonder why so many people have health and aging problems?

Attempts to pack these nutrients into powders and pills has largely failed. You need to eat whole foods.

The Anti Aging Diet - Following Up

Remaining physiologically young and vibrant is not luck or genetics. Health must be earned!

If you want a young, disease free body, you must buy it one bite of healthy food at a time. Every time you bite into something cooked, denatured, processed, or animal based, you're essentially selling off a little piece of that youthful you.

Learn the ins and outs of switching to an anti aging diet of raw fruits and vegetables here.

Learn about our true protein requirements.

Anti Aging Diet - Sources

1) Mair W, Piper MD, Partridge L.  Calories do not explain extension of life span by dietary restriction in Drosophila.  PLoS Biol. 2005 Jul;3(7):e223. Epub 2005 May 31.
2) Younger hearts with calorie restriction:  http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-01/wuso-cra011206.php
3) Campbell, T. Colin. The China Study.  Dallas: Benbella Books, 2004. Pg 80.
4) Fraser G.  Ten years of life.  Is it a matter of chance?  Arch Intern Med 161:1645-52, 2001.
5) Rashmi Sinha, PhD; Amanda J. Cross, PhD; Bary I. Graubard, PhD; Michael F. Leitzmann, MD, DrPH; Arthur Scatzkin, MD. Meat Intake and Mortality. A prospective Study of Over Half A Million People. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(6):562-571.
6) Orentreich N, Matias JR, DeFelice A, Zimmerman JA. Low methionine ingestion by rats extends life span. J Nutr 1993;123:269–74.
7) Richie Jr JP, Leutzinger Y, Parthasarathy S, Malloy V, Orentreich N, Zimmerman JA. Methionine restriction increases blood glutathione and longevity in F344 rats. FASEB J 1994;8:1302–7.
8) McCarty MF et al., The low-methionine content of vegan diets may make methionine restriction ..., Med Hypotheses (2008), doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2008.07.044
9) Arthritis Rheum 34:248, 1991
10) Nenonen, M.T. et al. Uncooked Lactobacilli-Rich Vegan Food and Rheumatoid Arthritis. British Journal of Rheumatology 1998;37:274–281
11) Carroll, K.K. 1975. Experimental evidence of dietary factors and hormone-dependent cancers. Cancer Research 35:3374-83.
12) Steinmetz, K.A., and J.D. Potter. 1991. Vegetables, fruit and cancer. II Mechanisms. Cancer Causes Control 2 (6): 427-42
13) Joseph, J.A., B. Shukitt-Hale, N.A. Denisova, et al. 1999. Reversal of age-related declines in neuronal signal transduction , cognitive and motor behavioral deficits with blueberry, spinach or strawberry dietary supplementation . J. Neurosci. 19 (18): 8114-21
14) Hertog, M.G., H.B. Bueno-de-Mesquita, and A.M. Fehily. 1996. Fruit and vegetable consumption and cancer mortality in Caerphilly Study. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 5 (9): 673-77.
15) Trichopoulou A, Psaltopoulou T, Orfanos P, Hsieh CC, Trichopoulos D. Low-carbohydrate-high-protein diet and long-term survival in a general population cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;61(5):575-81.
16) Kahn, H.A., R.L. Phillips, D.A. Snowdon, and W. Choi. 1984. Association between reported diet and all-cause mortality. Am. J. Epid. 119 (5): 775-87
17) Steinmetz, K.A., and J.D. Potter. 1996. Vegetables, fruit and cancer prevention: a review. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 96: 1027-39

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