Striving for 100!
Immortality may still be out of reach for humans, but there is some exciting research proving that diet and lifestyle choices can slow the effects of aging. Learn more.
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Striving for 100!
Immortality may still be out of reach for humans, but there is some exciting research proving that diet and lifestyle choices can slow the effects of aging while improving and extending our quality of life. Since aging results from cellular damage, it stands to reason that proper nourishment of cells—and giving them time to repair themselves—will lead to a longer, healthier life. Making the right lifestyle and environmental choices can limit the amount of stress we put on our cells.
Since diet is the most important factor in cell health, it is important to be mindful of the quality and nutrient density of our foods. Adequate intake of vitamins and minerals provides the elements required for optimal cell function and health, while processed foods, vegetable oils and sugars can cause significant cellular damage.
I will spare you the whole “decline of our agricultural system and processed food” rant and simply state that we should make an effort to nourish, rather than just feed, ourselves.
The amount of research that has surfaced over the past year or two is staggering, and rather than getting into the specifics I figured I would condense it and provide some “best practices” for you.
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Some of the most exciting research focuses on what is referred to as Intermittent Fasting (IF). IF is when we consume all of our daily calories within a set window of time and then fast for an extended period. As an example, consume all of your calories from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with no eating outside of that period. That is a 10-hour feeding window and a 14-hour fast. For even better results, try eating all of your calories within an 8-hour window with a 16-hour fast. Do this five out of seven days, and you are bound to feel and see results. Just remember that this is not a caloric restriction, you are simply getting in all of your calories in a shorter period.
Most people are awake for at least 16 hours each day and end up grazing throughout that period. This practice denies the body an adequate amount of time to finish digesting, and then rest and repair tissues and cells. If we practice IF, we enable our metabolism, cellular functions and other aspects of our biology to thrive.
The body does not respond well to constant grazing—particularly for 10 hours or longer. When we are busy digesting and metabolizing food, we are neglecting other vital functions. Some of the most beneficial results of IF include improved insulin sensitivity, better hormone balance, stronger cellular health (DNA and mitochondrial health) and more effective metabolism.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
You can also help ensure proper cellular and biological health by adding vitamin and mineral supplements to your diet. A good-quality multi-vitamin can provide significant benefits, particularly in the long run. Just stick to a quality brand such as Garden of Life, Solgar, Thorne or PURE Encapsulations, to name a few.
Sleep is also essential for optimal health and longevity. The gold standard is to get as close to eight hours as you can. Avoid excessive electronic screen use and try not to drink alcohol less than two hours before bed. Make your room as dark as a cave—and cooler is better, so try to keep the air between 65 and 70 degrees.
To round it all off, get out and move your body. A sedentary existence is a slow grind to the grave. Go for walks daily and get regular sun exposure and fresh air. Morning sun helps set your circadian rhythm and 15-20 minutes of sunlight on your skin can help generate as much as 10,000 IU of vitamin D. Recent research shows that regular sun exposure can protect against skin cancer, rather than cause it. But avoid long, intense periods at first, so as not to get a burn.
So that’s it: nourish yourself, avoid the junk, get enough sleep and sunlight, and move your body. And, if you have any difficulties with any of this, let me know … I’m here to help.