Not too long ago, at the annual Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Canada, Fauja Singh completed the race in 8 hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds. Not a very remarkable time when you consider that the winner finished more than 6 hours earlier. However, his race time was incredibly remarkable and inspiring because Mr. Singh was 100 years old.
At first I thought it must have been a typo… is it really possible for anyone at the age of 100 to run an entire marathon? After seeing Mr. Singh’s stats, not only is it possible, but considering that several people half his age finished behind him makes his race time that much more impressive. Not only that, but as I dug deeper into Fauja Singh’s story I learned that he is an avid runner, having completed dozens of other races. Not bad for a guy who didn’t run his first marathon until he was 89 years old…
Born in India, Mr. Singh moved to London many years ago, making this British Centenarian not only a world record holder for his age group, but an excellent case study of sorts for anti-aging. My first inclination was to find out: what was this man’s secret? What did he eat, what did he do differently to allow him to perform at such an elite athletic level?
What Are The Secrets Of Mr. Singh’s Longevity?
When asked, he attributed his success to drinking tea, eating ginger, curry – and to being happy! I can certainly understand the obvious advantages of living a stress-free, happy life… and for the emotional well-being crowd, I’m sure they’re giving that a big thumbs up. But it was the curry, ginger and tea part of his secret recipe that caught my attention because of the anti-inflammatory benefits these foods are known to have.
For years, anti-aging experts have known that inflammation within our body has been a major contributor to the aging process. It makes perfect sense that if you can reduce inflammation, then by default you can slow down the natural wear and tear that occurs at the cellular level. Studies have shown that this is true for our skin, internal organs, soft tissue (like tendons and ligaments), and even our bones.
The Inflammation And Aging Connection
Studies have also shown that certain foods contain anti-inflammatory properties way beyond normal food sources, with some links being made to longevity within ethnic and cultural groups that eat more of these foods in their daily diet. In fairness, most studies have shown that large quantities of these foods probably need to be consumed to rival a pharmaceutical alternative, but hey… in a world where egg yolks are bad for you today and good for you tomorrow, I think that any edge we can give ourselves nutritionally is not a bad thing.
In addition to ginger, curry and tea, listed below are 5 foods that have superior anti-inflammatory benefits:
- Shitake Mushrooms: If you go the raw or stir-fried route, shitake mushrooms are highly nutritious, boasting increased immunity as well as antioxidants.
- Cold Watered Salmon: Rich in omega fatty acids, salmon, flax-seed oil, anchovies, sardines and mackerel are all excellent choices for reducing inflammation.
- Olive Oil: This heart-friendly oil consumed heavily throughout the Mediterranean has long been considered a Greek secret to living a long and healthy life.
- Papaya: Often overlooked, this is a real superfood loaded with a natural digestive enzyme called papain, plus vitamin C and vitamin E. Papayas are also known for their burn healing abilities, making this a must-have food to eat.
- Blueberries: These berries provide anti-inflammation benefits more from their nutrient-dense antioxidant profile. But make no mistake, you want these in your arsenal to fight the inflammatory effects that can cause cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
Other foods to place on your list should be sweet potatoes, green tea, avocados, walnuts, and turmeric. Understanding the anti-aging benefits from reducing inflammation is a great start to developing your own grocery list of anti-inflammatory foods.
Even though we may not all be able to follow Mr. Singh’s impressive act, we should at the very least take note of what has worked for him… and give ourselves a fighting chance.
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