Strategies to Extend Your Health Through Aging
Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday this year and we are all proud and excited to be part of the making of this history.
In honour of Canada making it through 150 years, let’s look at what it would take for a human to live to 150 years old.
N.B. This title shouldn't be taken literally. The longest human life was recorded to be 122, so consider is more as an overview of longevity and what lifestyle and supplemental strategies will help to promote life extension and support good health through a long life. Not everyone wants to live to be eleventy-one like Bilbo Baggins, but certainly we all want to be spry and functional as long as possible. What follows is a look at what's trending with anti-aging experts.
Fish Oil and Krill Oil
Consuming fish on a regular basis is a great way to get these essential omega-3 fats in your diet, but a fish or krill oil supplement may be better for seeking longevity, as a high quality supplement will limit your exposure to detrimental heavy metals that pollute our oceans where the omega-3 rich fatty fish swim and play.
Fish oil is on the short list of longevity promoting supplements for a wide range of reasons.
The anti-inflammatory effects of the omega-3s EPA and DHA in fish and krill can benefit the health of all the systems in the body.
Some of the unique benefits these healthy fats provide include boosting brain health and preventing cognitive decline through repairing brain damage and preventing atrophy. Krill oil may have an additional benefit for brain health as the phospholipid form of omega-3s found in krill oil is more bioavailable and can be better absorbed and preferentially used by the brain.
Another important factor for fish oil with life extension is that these omega-3s have been shown to prevent telomere shortening . Telomeres are repeating units at the ends of our DNA that help to mitigate damage to our genetic information as we age.
Calorie Restriction and Fasting
This one may jive with people the most but invariably seems to be the one that's seen to be ubiquitous amongst the oldest living individuals and oldest and healthiest populations on Earth. Eating more food is a stressor on many systems in the body for digesting and processing, as well as either needing to store or use excess energy. Not everyone wants to fast regularly or live off of low calories all the time, but it is tightly linked with life extension. By one means, eating less food and fasting regularly will keep insulin levels lower on average and this in turn will also lower systemic inflammation.
The physical activity component of longevity fanatics is also controversial and will be subject to compromise for many people. Avid exercisers training for a specific purpose may not be exercising in a way that is conducive to promoting longevity. Just like with consuming excess calories, intense exercise stresses many of the systems in the body. If you’re familiar with CrossFit you may have heard of rhabdomyolysis, which is a severe breakdown of muscle tissue caused by inexperienced gym-goers pushing their bodies too hard.
For optimizing life extension, exercise needs to be kept to a moderate intensity, which will reduce stress and not create an external stressor. Walking and low-impact sports or activities, as well as some resistance strength training several times per week will maintain muscle and bone strength with aging. Athletes may scoff at the idea of this, but remember there will come a point in all of our lives when training will have shift more towards longevity than performance.
The spice turmeric, along with it's component curcumin, is another potent inflammation fighting food often found in supplement form. Curcumin is effectively and safely taken long-term to counteract pain. It has also been shown to potently fight cancer and is one of the most promising natural interventions for reducing the risk for developing some cancers. You'll have noticed by now the trend with all of these longevity enhancing strategies being linked to inflammation. That's because oxidative stress which is the root cause of inflammation can be linked to just about every degenerative disorder common to aging in today's world. Antioxidants, found counteract oxidative stress and in turn inflammation. Be sure to take quality into consideration with turmeric and curcumin supplements, as it is important for efficacy.
Curcuminoids in turmeric have very poor water-solubility which means that it also has low bioavailability, meaning your body can’t use it very well . You should look for a product that is designed to counteract this low bioavailability. Typically products with improved bioavailability will add emulsifiers or piperine to their turmeric product, but this commonly causes gut health issues. Genuine Health has formulated an innovative solution for turmeric, and more information about their new product will be released soon as a new addition to their pain management line of products.
Greens and All the Colours of The Rainbow
Eating fresh veggies including plenty of greens is a staple in any anti-aging diet and is great to consume on a daily basis. Getting a taste of the whole rainbow through fruits and veggies, not sugary candy, weekly is even better than just focusing on the greens. The colour compounds in veggies are powerful antioxidants and they all provide unique benefits.
If you're a picky eater or know that you don't get enough of the fruits and veggies that you should be eating, consider a greens supplement your ally in the battle against aging. A greens supplement is just that, a power-packed concentrate of green vegetables. The very best greens supplements are not just green though. Look for products that extract the nutritional power of other colours too. A greens supplement is your one stop shop for nutritional assurance. In many ways it is better than most multivitamins, because the ingredients come from freshly picking and preserving the vegetable and fruit ingredients.
The line of greens+ supplements from Genuine Health is the best example of greens supplements done right. They take great care in picking their ingredients fresh and processing and preserving the vegetables and fruits to optimize the nutritional value offered by their products. The efficacy of their greens products is also unrivaled, as greens+ is backed by 9 clinical studies showing the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power of greens+.
Big word and it packs an even bigger punch. Isothiocyanates are present in cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, and broccoli. These compounds show potent antioxidant and anti-cancer effects and may be one of your best lines of defense in fighting cancer. 
The compound given most of the credit in studies on isothiocyanates is sulforaphane, which is high in broccoli and especially broccoli sprouts. If you haven't heard of broccoli sprouts before, it's very similar to any other sprouts grown from seeds like alfalfa. There are some sulforaphane supplements available now, but bioavailability isn't great with any of them yet and so it's best to still eat your cruciferous veggies for these critical compounds. Broccoli seeds can be purchased and grown to produce the sprouts very easily at home. To get the most nutritional benefit, consume fresh or freeze upon harvesting. Sprouts can be added to smoothies or salads, two great ways to add many of the other multi-coloured fruits and vegetables you'll want to consume on a daily basis if aiming to live as long as Canada had been around.
So now you know some more about the main dietary and lifestyle factors that are trending among avid life-extensioneers and anti-aging aficionados. If you start implementing some or all of these strategies now, science might find a solution to get you the rest of the way to 150. At the very least these interventions will have you dancing like a spring chicken well into the latter stages of life.
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