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Slim down your body, bulk up your brain with pescetarian diet

In her new book, registered dietitian and author Janis Jibrin explores why a plant-based diet rich in seafood is healthy for your body and your brain. (Courtesy John Cochran)

WASHINGTON — If you’re looking to slim down your body and bulk up your brain, D.C. resident Janis Jibrin has one word of advice: pescetarianism.

It’s a word she says is surprisingly unfamiliar, yet exceptionally healthy. And in her new book, “The Pescetarian Plan,” Jibrin offers advice on working this keyword into your lifestyle.

A pescetarian — from the root word “pesce,” which means “fish” in Italian — eats a mostly plant-based diet, with the addition of seafood.

“When you look at the research — whether you’re looking at Mediterranean countries, or Japan, or Sweden or the U.S. — people who eat a basically vegetarian diet with very little red meat and more seafood, they live longer; their hearts are in better shape; [they have] less depression, less Alzheimer’s,” says Jibrin, a registered dietitian and food writer who lives in Dupont Circle.

A lot of these healthy statistics has to do with the anti-inflammatory properties of seafood. Jibrin says inflammatory compounds in the human body are the root of aging and chronic diseases.

“[These compounds] just basically cause havoc in the body. That is not the only cause of aging, but it is really turning into a pretty major cause,” she says. Foods rich in antioxidants help fight inflammatory compounds.


Eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as dark leafy greens, helps fight inflammation. "The Pescetarian Plan" includes a recipe for <a href="http://www.thepescetarianplan.com/recipe-items/kale-salad-with-sesame-dressing/">kale salad</a>. (Courtesy Kate Headley)

“When you eat a plant-based diet, you’re getting all of those wonderful antioxidants

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