The Smart Food Diet: A Bestselling Book That is Changing The Views of Italians on Nutrition
A new book on nutrition written by the Italian journalist Eliana Liotta in collaboration with the head of research of the IEO (European Oncology Institute), Pier Giuseppe Pellicci, and the nutritionist who coordinates the Smart Food project at the same institute, Lucilla Titta, has become increasingly popular in the last few months.
This book, the first to be approved by the European Oncology Institute, is a breath of fresh air amidst the heavy fog of diet books in circulation, focusing on foods that will help you to live longer and those that protect the body from illness.
The aim of the diet is to keep people healthy into old age, through two groups of food, the former simulating fasting and triggering longevity genes, and the latter offering a protective shield against toxins and harmful substances.
Sound familiar? The foods included in the Smart Food diet are very similar to those cited in the much praised Mediterranean diet but others have been added which come from further afield.
What are Smart Foods?
Smart Foods have been studied in nutrigenomics research for many years now and it has been discovered that some can interact with specific genes, that in turn control lifespan.
How Do These Foods Work?
The research around these foods has highlighted that the active substances present in them act directly on the nucleus of the cells by either triggering longevity genes or by blocking those that cause ageing. The book explains in detail how these foods tend to simulate fasting which means that by eating them the process that they activate is similar to that that is caused by not eating. Basically, the body stops accumulating fats and uses the energy that is already stored in it to keep the bodily functions going.
Smart Foods are divided into two categories: longevity promoters and protectors. The first category regards the connection between foods and genes which we have already mentioned, while the other does not have direct contact with genes but acts as a protection from possible illnesses and help to reduce the excessive accumulation of saturated fats in the body.
Twenty of the 32 are Longevity Smart Foods and include blood oranges, asparagus, capers, red cabbage, cherries, dark chocolate, onions, curcuma, strawberries, forest fruits, lettuce, aubergines, apples, chillies, turmeric, purple potatoes, black plums, radish, green tea and grapes. They contain specific substances with strange names such as anthocyanins, quercitin and resveratrol which all help to activate the longevity of cells.
The other 10 are called Protective Smart Foods and help to fight off obesity and protect from many chronic illnesses, these are garlic, wholegrain cereals, herbs, fresh fruit, nuts, legumes, extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed seed oils, oily seeds and vegetables.
How The Smart Food Diet Will Better Our Lives
This relatively new and original diet will help our bodies in many ways. First of all, the foods that simulate fasting will help the organism stay healthy and fit, helping to keep our cells youthful and functioning well.
Furthermore, the protective foods will balance the levels of cholesterol in our blood and they will help us live better and longer lives, with a longevity perspective that could easily go way over 120/130 years of age. By converting to a diet which integrates these foods, and by lowering the consumption of red meat, the benefits could be enormous. A healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity will complete the picture and will make the ageing process much more pleasant and free from invalidating illnesses which have a deep connection with nutrition.
Why not take a look through our blog for some interesting recipes containing some of the Smart Foods on the list for a healthy and rejuvenating meal.