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Adopt the Anti-Aging Lifestyle
Of all the healthy lifestyle strategies I know of that can have a significant impact on your longevity, normalizing your insulin and leptin levels is probably the most important. And that means modifying your diet to avoid excessive amounts of fructose, grains and other pro-inflammatory ingredients like trans fats.
Here are the rest of my top “anti-aging” recommendations:
1.Learn how to effectively cope with stress. As discussed earlier, stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. Therefore, developing effective coping mechanisms is a great strategy for increasing your longevity.
Meditation, prayer, physical activity and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium. I also strongly believe in using energy psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to address deeper, oftentimes hidden emotional scars.
2.Eat a healthful diet based on your nutritional type. My nutrition plan should be your first step. This is so important that I now offer the full nutritional typing program for FREE (12).
3. Optimize your vitamin D levels (13) . This is another very powerful and inexpensive intervention that can have profound benefits to your health. You can either optimize your levels by carefully managed direct sun exposure, or use an oral supplement (typically 5-10,000 units of vitamin D3 for most adults).
4.Eat plenty of animal-based omega-3 fat (14) . Correcting the ratio of omega-3 to healthful omega-6 fats is a strong factor in helping people live longer. This typically means increasing your intake of animal based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, while decreasing your intake of damaged omega-6 fats (think trans fats).
I do not, however, recommend the new prescription-strength fish oil medication, sold under the name Lovaza (15) . Don’t be fooled by their “all natural” PR campaign. This is actually a drug to treat very high triglyceride levels.
As with most other drugs, Lovaza comes with potentially dangerous side effects that you would not experience with a natural fish oil or krill oil supplement. Side effects include flu-like symptoms, infections, back pain, skin rashes, upset stomach, taste changes, digestive issues, chest pain, migraines and respiratory problems.
Additionally, new research strongly suggests that 500 mg of krill oil is more potent and far less expensive.
5. Get your antioxidants from real foods. Good sources include blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries and most intensely pigmented vegetables.
6. Use coconut oil(15) . Another excellent anti-aging food is coconut oil, known to reduce your risk of heart disease and lower your cholesterol, among other things. In fact, it’s doubly beneficial because it can be both eaten and applied directly to your skin. Coconut oil can be used in place of other oils for most of your cooking needs.
7. Get your resveratrol naturally. Resveratrol is one of the forerunners in the anti-aging pill race, but more than likely, by the time they’ve manipulated it into a synthetic pill (like the fish oil discussed above), it won’t be healthy for you.
Although resveratrol is found in red wine, I can’t recommend drinking wine regularly, in the hope of extending your life because alcohol is a neurotoxin that can poison your brain and harm your body’s delicate hormonal balance. Instead, get your resveratrol from natural sources, such as whole grape skins and seeds, raspberries, and mulberries.
8. Exercise regularly, and correctly. Studies repeatedly show that regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise can help prevent or delay the onset of hypertension, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and the falls that lead to hip fractures.
Although a lifetime of regular exercise is ideal, it’s never too late to start. It’s been shown that even individuals in their 70s can substantially increase both strength and endurance with exercise.
I’m very excited about the research showing how high-intensity interval training can increase longevity as this specific style of training (Peak 8) promotes human growth hormone production–yet another aspect of the longevity puzzle.
9. Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible (17). This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
10. Avoid pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs kill thousands of people prematurely every year–they are now the largest cause of fatal drug overdoses (18). If you adhere to a healthful lifestyle, you are less likely to “need” drugs since a healthy immune system will protect you from chronic disease.
Incorporating these simple guidelines will help set you squarely on the path to optimal health and give you the best shot at living a long, happy life.
Dr. Joseph Mercola is the founder and director of Mercola.com. Become a fan of Dr. Mercola on Facebook, on Twitter, and check out Dr. Mercola’s report on sun exposure!