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