Last week I gave you seven of my top tips for living longer (and living better!). And thanks to everyone who commented so positively on the first seven! Here are seven more of my favorites. Hope you like!
- Go wild and green
- Make berries and beans a part of your regular diet
- Take vitamin D every day!
- Develop an ikagi
- Do 4 minutes of deep breathing a day
- Weight train twice weekly
- Take 250 mg a day of trans-resveratrol
Wild as in salmon, green as in grass. Let me explain.
Wild salmon is a very different food from farm-raised. Wild salmon has higher levels of a potent antioxidant known as astaxanthin, which the salmon get from eating their natural diet of krill. Wild salmon has lower levels of inflammatory omega-6 fats– farmed salmon is loaded with omega-6’s due to their “factory farmed” diet of grain. According to studies by the Environmental Working Group, farmed salmon is highly contaminated with PCBs. Get your salmon from pristine Alaskan waters – I have it sent to me frozen from Vital Choice!
Grass-fed meat is the meat counterpart to wild salmon. All the studies showing meat associated with higher rates of cancer are talking about factory-farmed and processed meat, which is loaded with steroids, hormones and antibiotics. Grass-fed meat has omega-3 fats, a cancer-fighting fat called CLA (completely absent in feedlot farmed meat) and is virtually free of steroids, hormones and antibiotics. It’s more expensive, but worth it. I’d rather have one grass-fed burger a week than daily portions of mystery meat from the supermarket.
Berries are one of the original “Paleolithic” foods- in the human diet since forever; high fiber, low sugar and absolutely loaded with antioxidants and valuable phytochemicals. Blueberries in particular are a “memory” food, and all the berries have various plant compounds that show anti-cancer activity in the lab (like ellergic acid from raspberries). Beans are a staple in the diets of people living in the Blue Zones where folks routinely live to 100.
Right up there with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D is one of the most important supplements to take on a daily basis. Over 75% of Americans don’t get nearly enough of this super nutrient, which has been shown to increase measures of physical performance, improve mood, strengthen bones and help prevent cancer. I recommend a minimum of 2000 IUs daily which you can get from a tiny, inexpensive gel the size of a tic tac, or- my preference- from the new emulsified liquid drops which you can put into any beverage; 1 drop equals 2000 IUs!
One of the secrets of long life discovered among inhabitants of the Blue Zones was a highly developed sense of purpose that gives life meaning. In Okinawa, they call this sense of purpose an “ikagi”. Find yours- and connect with it on a daily basis.
Stress kills- or at the very least it diminishes the quality of life. The most effective stress-reducer in the world is meditation, but if you can’t do that you can still bring down stress hormones considerably by doing some deep breathing every day. Just four minutes of calm, relaxed, focused breathing a day can make a difference. Sit quietly- breath in on a count of 7, hold for a couple of seconds, and exhale out for the same count.
It’ll keep your muscles from atrophying, raise your metabolism, help fight fat and increase your energy. Train smart and you can get a lot accomplished in half an hour twice a week.
Probably no other supplement has gotten the attention in the anti-aging community that resveratrol has. This plant compound- found in red wine and the skin of dark grapes- turns on longevity genes called the SIRT genes, working much like calorie restriction does. Not all resveratrol supplements are created equal- you want to pay attention to how much trans-resveratrol is in the capsule, as that is the specific compound that has been shown in the lab to have positive effects. Taking 200 mg (or more) a day of trans-resveratrol is a smart strategy.
I’ve put everything I know about living longer and better on a 2 DVD set called “The 7 Pillars of Longevity”. There’s also a third disc which contains the mp3 (audio) portion of the 2 hour presentation so you can listen anywhere, in your car, on computer or on your iPod. And I’ve included transcripts of the presentation, complete with yellow highlighting of the important points. Check it out here!