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Dr. Sears' Blog

Breaking down the latest research on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Written By: Dr. Barry Sears, Ph. D | Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Dr. Barry Sears
on March 06, 2017

Wellness is a lifelong commitment.  It begins in the womb and goes through the continuum of life. The most important factor you have to maintain your wellness is your diet. Your success is indicated by your blood tests that tell whether or not you are in the Zone. The longer you wait to get into the Zone, the more accumulated damage you have to overcome in the future.

 There are five distinct stages of your life where being in the Zone is especially critical. Although the immediate goals at each stage may be different, they all follow the same dietary pathway: the Zone Diet.

Stage 1. Childhood Nutrition – Set Neural Connections Between the Gut and Brain from an Early Age

Much of a child’s future is set in the womb and the first two years of life. The first 1,000 days of life are critical for a child’s future. Development of the fetal brain is totally dependent on the mother having adequate levels of EPA and DHA in her diet. In the last trimester of pregnancy, the fetus is making 250,000 new brain cells per minute and requires a lot of EPA and DHA. After birth, the brain is the most rapidly growing organ in the body. Unless the child is getting adequate levels of EPA and DHA, their brain development will be compromised. The best source for both mother and child is OmegaRx 2 because of its exceptional purity compared to standard and pharmaceutical products.

The brain doesn’t stop developing until age 25. Although a child’s brain may not be growing as rapidly after the first two years of life, having adequate levels of EPA and DHA in the diet is even more critical to carry out the extensive remodeling taking place inside the brain with learning. In fact, the frontal cortex of the brain that controls behavior only finishes developing around age 25, meaning the child needs adequate levels of EPA and DHA all through this stage of life. Consider OmegaRx 2 to be brain food from age 'minus 9 months' to 25 years of age.

Hormones generated through the diet, both in the gut and the blood, can also control behavior. Behavior in children and adolescents is often a consequence of their ability to stabilize blood sugar levels through the diet. Using PastaRx as a source of protein in their Zone meals makes it easier to reach that goal.  Furthermore, using PastaRx makes it a lot easier to get kids to eat vegetables. No child (and most adults) will rarely eat enough vegetables to provide the fermentable fiber for optimal gut health. Yet, if you mix vegetables into a serving of PastaRx, the vegetables will quickly be gone.  Think of PastaRx as a “vegetable helper.”

Stage 2. Peak Performance – Identify the Need for Hormonal Control

To perform at your best requires consistent hormonal control. Hormones generated by the diet are the key to peak physical performance. In fact, to be truly successful as an athlete, you have to be even more consistent in your diet than with your training.

Surprisingly, muscle building is actually done during rest. Intense exercise causes muscle damage due to inflammatory damage. When you rest, that damage is repaired and new muscle tissue is created. That repair requires both adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and protein to stimulate muscle synthesis. Without a consistent source of protein like PastaRx throughout the day, and using the Zone Diet to stabilize insulin levels coupled with OmegaRx 2, it is difficult to rebuild damaged muscle at optimal rates.

Mental focus and reaction times can be enhanced by using high-dose fish oil. Supplementation with high-dose fish oil speeds the nerve transmission from the brain to your muscle fibers. This combination has worked for the 25 Olympic Gold Medal winners that I have personally worked with, as well as world champion teams in World Cup soccer, Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NBA.

Stage 3. Fat Loss – Use Hormone Power Instead of Willpower

Losing excess body fat is a consequence of improved hormonal control, not willpower. In particular, you have to reduce insulin resistance to reduce your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. Using PastaRx as a primary source of protein in the Zone Diet, provides “super-protein” that has been shown in clinical trials to significantly reduce insulin resistance. Increased insulin resistance is the underlying cause of the accumulation of excess body fat as well as being associated with leptin resistance which makes you constantly hungry.

The only way to reduce excess body fat is to eat fewer calories. The Zone Diet with PastaRx as a primary source of protein makes that much easier without hunger or fatigue. Also, by supplementing with MaquiRx polyphenols, you can help activate the enzyme that optimizes metabolism so you can maintain high energy levels while eating fewer calories. However, losing body fat is easier than keeping it off. That’s why the only way to keep the lost body fat from returning is to continue to follow the Zone Diet.

Diet-induced inflammation makes you fat and keeps you fat. Insulin resistance is caused by diet-induced inflammation. Inflammation is also the cause of leptin resistance. (Leptin is a hormone in fat cells that tells the brain whether you have enough energy stored to either start eating or stop eating.) Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids using OmegaRx 2 allows you to further reduce diet-induced inflammation, and that can help you keep the excess fat from coming back. Our Insulin Resistance Calculator helps determine your extent of insulin resistance, and also provides clinically-based dietary recommendations that may help reduce your levels of insulin resistance.

Stage 4. Evidence-Based Wellness – Maintain Healthy Living for as Long as Possible

Maintaining wellness requires reducing diet-induced inflammation. This is not a guessing game, but determined by standard blood tests. This is the foundation of Evidence-based Wellness. You are either well or not well; the blood will confirm. The Zone Diet is the most validated way to reduce diet-induced inflammation known as there are more than 30 clinical studies that support its ability to maintain wellness. Simply stated, the more inflamed you are, the less well you are.

Reducing diet-induced inflammation starts with adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids. OmegaRx 2 is the supplement to the Zone Diet that is most effective in reducing diet-induced inflammation. If you supplement with Zone Polyphenols, you can also improve your gut health by supporting the composition of beneficial bacteria, reducing another source of inflammation that can erode your wellness.

Your blood is the only way to predict what your future wellness may be. Those levels can be changed in 30 days following the Zone Diet, especially when adding OmegaRx 2 on a daily basis. And there’s only one way to know for sure if you are taking the right amount of fish oil. Take our easy finger-stick Cellular Inflammation Test and find out.

Stage 5. Healthy Aging – Manage Chronic Health Issues

There is a big difference between healthspan and life span. Healthspan is defined as longevity minus years of disability. Increasing your healthspan is key for achieving healthy aging. At the molecular level, increasing your healthspan means reducing diet-induced inflammation especially using OmegaRx 2.

Eating fewer calories with adequate protein is another key to healthy aging. However, calorie-restriction with adequate protein is only possible if you are never hungry or tired. PastaRx makes that feasible when you are using it as your primary source of protein in Zone meals.

Extend the quality of your years using the Zone Diet and by reducing excess free radicals. The Zone Diet supplemented with Zone Polyphenols is the last dietary key to healthy aging. These powerful gene-activating agents, found in low concentrations in fruits and vegetables, provide gene therapy by helping to activate the body’s antioxidant, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory genes.

Get Your Life on the Right Pathway in the Zone

Throughout life we move through a variety of stages. Each carries its primary concern, but they are all linked to reducing diet-induced inflammation. That is the core of Zone Living. Using the Zone Diet provides a clinically-validated way to optimize the rest of your life. Following the principles of the Zone, means extending your healthspan.New call-to-action

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