We have all seen the news reels on centenarians I’m sure, when pressed for their secret to living a long life they say its a glass of whiskey a day, a dip in the ocean or an active sex life. Maybe there are some biological truths to these anecdotal responses but let’s make a surer bet and discuss some of the biggest drivers for longevity.
Crowd-out pro-inflammatory foods
Without getting into the weeds with nutrition, there are some broad brush strokes regarding foods that are pro-inflammatory. Foods that are highly processed and have a sugar or industrialised oil back-bone are fundamentally pernicious to our health and we would be wise to limit, such as breakfast cereals. Similarly the combination of sugar and fat is a combination that wreaks havoc with our health. Sadly the mix of fat and sugar constituents much of the packaged foods we see on shelves simply because manufactures recognise it’s alluring to our taste and mouthfeel.
Following on from the point above - AGE’s otherwise known as Advanced Glycation End Products are a compound which occurs when proteins or fats in the body combine with sugar in the blood to form a ‘sticky’ like compound. This new hybrid molecule inhibits the role of the protein or fat rendering it dysfunctional. Lowering sugar in the diet is a compelling way to lower AGE’s and the signs of cellular ageing
Yep - another acronym! ROS are Reactive Oxygen Species otherwise known as free radicals. You may have heard of free radicals in relation to antioxidants. ROS are essentially unpaired electrons which are volatile as they attempt to pair with other electrons. ROS are a natural part of metabolism but lifestyle choices and diet can increase ROS and poor cellular health and ageing. Limit industrialised oils such as canola, vegetable, bran, safflower.
As I’ve mentioned a number of times in previous blogs, not all stress is bad. A degree of stress ignites our immune system and keeps us resilient, it’s also helps us to keep ‘moving forward’ with problem solving and tasks. However, when stress levels exceed a highly individualised threshold then it can compromise our well-being. Sources of stress in emotional, financial or physical.
Supplements are the pointy end of your nutritional hierarchy, meaning that the foundation should be natural and unprocessed foods. But weaving in some additional physiological support could work wonders. Here are my shortlist of supplements for longevity:
1. Medicinal mushrooms
Mushrooms are adaptogens which have the ability to pull the body back into balance, making us more resilient to stress.
NMN stands for nicotinamide mononucleotide, a molecule naturally occurring in all life forms. NMN is the direct precursor of the essential molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide or NAD being a coenzyme used by many proteins throughout the body, such as the sirtuins, which repair damaged DNA. It is also important for mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the cell and generate the chemical energy that our bodies use.
Collagen is a cheap and widely available product which helps to support soft tissues, skin elasticity and gut health.
C60 or carbon 60 is becoming more readily available in Australia - its a potent antioxidant helping to scavenge free radicals from cells
Consistent sauna helps to improve cardiovascular health and build immune resilience.
See you all in another 50 years...Scott