Live healthy ‘til 120

Neon Meow on July 29, 2014. Tags:

By Dr. Millie Lytle, ND, MPH, CNS

Every day in the United States, 15000 people are turning 65.  Baby boomers are relatively financially secure and want to enjoy their retirement. People may not mind growing old, but they dread becoming ugly and sick. The anti-aging industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Products and services including beauty creams, peels and serums, cosmetic surgery, fitness and gym memberships, spas and retreats, weight loss and detox, vitamins and dietary supplements and even functional foods all dangle their promise of age defiance and rejuvenation.

The number of centenarians in the US has doubled over the past 20 years according to the Census Bureau indicating there are approximately 72,000 Americans who have lived to see their hundredth birthday. Estimates expect from 265,000 to 4.2 million by the year 2050. I plan to be a supercentenarian and have set a personal goal of living healthy until 120 years. I believe this is possible partially due to the field of epigenetics. Though you may be born with a set of genes that cannot be changed, the expression of those genes is not automatic. Epigenetics is the field of health research that investigates how the cellular environment intervenes with one’s genetic inheritance. For example, just because my father died of brain cancer does not mean that I will, even if I carry the same gene. Research has shown that identical twins do not necessarily age the same in spite of identical genes. If one twin smokes; cancer, wrinkles, grey hair age her whereas the twin who exercises and eats lots of fruits and veggies remains young.  Though the twins were identical at 10, they are no longer identical at 60.  These facts prompt some scientists to say aging is optional while you determine your own future via your thoughts, attitudes and actions.

Join me in my goal to live healthy until 120 by following these evidence-based tips. Anti-aging starts in the mind, so plan for a healthy future and take small but brisk steps daily to prepare yourself for your next 50, 70 or 90 years of life.

1)      Engage in moderate stress-reducing exercise for at least 30 minutes 5-6 days per week.  Focus on relaxation.

2)      Beef of up on omega 3 fatty acids found in cold water fish wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, krill, chlorella, spirulina, nori, kelp and sea asparagus.

3)      Eat the reds and purples as they contain powerful protein mediators lowering insulin, blood sugar and inflammation.  They have funny names but these antioxidants are showing amazing disease preventing abilities: proanthocyandins, resveratrol, pTerostilbenes and ellagic acid.

4)      Reduce cancer-causing estrogen load with healthy phytoestrogens found in organic, non-GMO soy, flax seeds, broccoli, cabbage, and sprouts to protect estrogen-sensitive tissues from exogenous hormones, environmental toxins and xenoestrogens.

5)      Reduce caloric intake while maximizing nutrition; graze on mostly greens, berries, seeds, lentils as these vegan jewels reduce insulin-growth factor stimulated by too much meat and fat-free milk products.

6)      Consider spices as life-savers, not just flavors to savor. Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon rank among the healthiest genetic modifiers as they reduce inflammation, sugar damage and protect vital organs.

7)      Consult with a qualified alternative health practitioner to guide you through the plethora of vitamins products on the market, reducing drug-nutrient interactions and tailoring your regime to your specific needs.

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