Diet wisdom from 100-year-olds

By Dr Al Sears

The people on the Japanese island of Okinawa live a long time.

They’ve done a famous study on it, called the Okinawa Centenarian Study. Okinawa has a higher percentage of 100-year-olds than almost anywhere on earth.

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We have no way of knowing for sure why they live so long.  They don’t get overweight. And they socialize constantly, which we know is one way they live longer and stay healthier.1 For instance, people come from all over Okinawa to be a part of the world’s largest tug of war every year. And it’s been going on since the 1600s!

But one thing we can make a pretty good guess at is why they stay remarkably healthy their whole lives.

Most of their diet is anti-inflammatory. They eat fish, edible marine plants and vegetables. Foods high in omega-3, minerals and vitamins that help them fight the silent killer behind every disease we have: inflammation.

Okinawans have almost no chronic diseases to speak of.

Meanwhile in America, chronic disease is rampant, and we’re all inflamed, almost right from the womb because of our unnatural environment, and the unnatural diet we’re fed right from birth.

So what can you do to fix this problem?

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Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby, PhD, author of the bestselling book Diet Wise, has outlined a strategy that can help you avoid becoming inflamed by the Western diet.

Start by avoiding foods that inflame you. Everyone is different, so different foods are going to inflame different people.

For instance, I had a member of my staff a few years ago, K.B., who would get a headache and knee pain every afternoon at about 3 p.m. She came to me and told me about it because her headaches were serious, and I was concerned.

At my wellness center, we run a series of metal toxicity and food allergy screenings for patients like K.B., and what we found shocked her, but didn’t surprise me…

K.B. loved to eat strawberries. She ate them every day at around 2 o’clock for a healthy snack … except it turns out that for K.B. strawberries are inflammatory. So whenever she ate them, an hour later, she’s have a headache and inflammation in her knees.

I’ll explain how you can get more information on how to avoid this kind of “hidden” inflammation in a second. But I have one more point to show how important anti-inflammatory foods can be.

A few months ago, I was reading my new issue of Nutrition Journal when I came across an interesting case study. Researchers looked at a group of people who were so inflamed they had inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD.

All of them were taking medication, and doctors at the UMass School of Medicine offered to put them on an anti-inflammatory diet to see if it would reduce the symptoms.

The researchers were shocked when, after only 4 weeks, ALL of the people were able to discontinue their IBD medication.2

Every person who ate an anti-inflammatory diet had reduced symptoms to the point where there was almost no discomfort at all on any of the test scales they used for measurement.

Turmeric Roots

One of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods is the turmeric root. I became an even bigger fan of this healing herb during my trips to Bali.

My friend Westi grows a lot of turmeric in his garden, and it has remarkable properties. These roots smell great even though they look like paper-wrapped ugly brown carrots. But the flesh is a bright orange, and helps squelch inflammation anywhere in your body.

I usually eat the root because it’s delicious in stir-fry. But you can also get the ground root as a powder… just make sure it’s pure turmeric and not mostly curry.

If you can’t get turmeric fresh or ground, look for a “curcumin” supplement – that’s turmeric’s  main beneficial component. Look for at least 90% or greater curcuminoids, whichever formula you use.

That’s not to say foods are going to solve every problem.

But foods are the easiest and best place to start because you don’t need medical training to eat.

All you need is a little knowledge of what’s inflammatory, and some application. Then once you know what to do, you’ll have it sorted in no time. And that’s what Dr. Scott-Mumby’s book can help you with.

So click here to get his book and start your journey towards a long life of health and vitality – free of inflammation!

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
Al Sears, MD

1. Goto A, Yasumura S, Nishise Y, Sakihara S. “Association of health behavior and social role with total mortality among Japanese elders in Okinawa, Japan.” Aging Clin Exp Res. 2003;15(6):443-50.
2. Olendzki B, Silverstein T, Persuitte G, Ma Y, Baldwin K, Cave D. “An anti-inflammatory diet as treatment for inflammatory bowel disease: a case series report.” Nutr J. 2014;13:5.