The Downlow on the SIRT Diet, SIRT Foods & Sirtuins February 10, 2016
The SIRT Diet is one of 2016’s big food trends. You may have heard whispers of words like sirtuins, SIRT foods and the like, but not been quite up to date on what it’s all about.
Who started this?
Have you heard of Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten? They’re health consultants who have been highly critical of the weight-loss supplement industry. They wrote the book The Health Delusion and and now their SIRT Food Diet book focuses on healthy eating rather than pure weight loss that puts pressure on your body, restricts proper nutrition and inevitably isn’t sustainable as part of a healthy lifestyle. Hear, hear!
The SIRT Food: A Biography
SIRT foods are gaining a lot of praise in the world of nutrition. They boost the activity of a protein called sirtuin in our bodies, which in turn eases our bodies’ ability to protect cells from aging, damage or even cell death. In addition to this, research has shown that sirtuins also work against inflammation, which is a leading cause of illness.
A 2012 study from Bar-Ilan University showed that sirtuin (sirt6) lengthened the lifespan of male mice and had therapeutic implications for age related diseases.
So, don’t let the word diet put you off. Incorporating more SIRT foods into your daily nutrition isn’t about weight loss, it’s about supporting healthy bodily functions. In addition, there are many parrallels between the effects of sirt foods and those of fasting and exercise. Many researchers have concluded that sirt foods improve your metabolism, increase muscle and burn fat. All in all, weight loss could also be a biproduct here, but being skinny is not the goal, being healthy is.
Which foods are SIRT Foods?
Don’t worry – SIRT foods are not extraordinarily unknown foods with names you will never have heard of. You’re probably eating a lot of these foods already – especially with your HelloFresh box. People are pretty hyped about the fact that chocolate and wine are on the list – but hold your horses. The chocolate should be over 85% cocoa and the red wine should be of a certain type – pinot noir is highly recommended. Basically, don’t run out to the shops and buy a bar of milky bar and a bottle of pinot grigio and then down it in front of the television… this doesn’t exactly count. But including sirt foods in your daily routin, should be very very easy.
To name a few SIRT foods: rocket, omega 3 fish oil, borecole, pinot noir red wine, soy, chilli, kale, buckwheat, red onion, extra virgin olive oil, capers, apples, dark chocolate (85% cocoa at least), apples, turmeric, blueberries, parsley, walnuts, green tea, celery.
Top tips from Aidan & Glen:
They recommend drinking 3 green SIRT juices a day – that’s a lot! What kind of things goes into one of these juices? Kale, rocket, parsley, green apple, lemon, matcha powder.
A word from Victoria, our nutritionist chef
If you haven’t met Victoria yet, she’s our wonderful hollistic chef and integrated nutritionist. She trained in the USA, Costa Rica and Japan. Fish is her favourite dish because it reminds her of her childhood on the West Coast of Scotland and fishing when she was a wee lass.
We asked Victoria what she thinks of the SIRT Food trend. This is what she said:
I am on the fence with this one. I suspect SIRT is getting lots of press attention at the moment because it advocates eating dark chocolate and wine – something that everyone wants to hear, including me. It claims to work by activating proteins in the body called sirtuins, thus stimulating your sirtuin genes and boosting the body’s ability to burn fat.
There is still insignificant scientific evidence either way as to whether this is actually true but the nature of SIRT is fairly innocuous so I don’t personally feel it to be a big deal either way! SIRT followers drink two green juices and one SIRT-based meal each day for the first
three days, moving to two green juices and two SIRT-based meals for the next four days. The foods advocated under SIRT are undoubtedly healthy (e.g. blueberries, parsley, turmeric, walnuts, rocket, soy, green tea, celery, chilli, kale, olive oil, turmeric and apples) so whether these foods are good for you because of their sirtuin content (SIRT diet) or other magical factors is kind of irrelevant. For example, blueberries are packed with both antioxidants (which help bust free-radicals) and sirtuins. Either way – they are doing you good!
- Pop the oat flour in a high-speed blender and pulse for 1 minute or until an oat flour has formed. Tip: make sure your blender is very dry before doing this or else everything will become soggy!
- Now add the bananas, eggs, baking powder and salt to the blender and pulse for 2 minutes until a smooth batter forms.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the blueberries. Leave to rest for 10 mins whilst the baking powder activates.
- To make your pancakes, add a dollop of butter (this helps to make them really delicious and crispy!) to your frying pan on a medium high heat.
- Add a few spoons of the blueberry pancake mix and fry for until nicely golden on the bottom side. Toss the pancake to fry the other side.