A key factor in living a long, healthy life is optimizing your insulin, which increasing numbers of scientific studies are proving. But other factors are important as well. The following are my top anti-aging recommendations:
• Proper Food Choices. For a complete guide about which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my comprehensive guide in the Big Breakfast Debate. Generally speaking, you should focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods that come from healthy, sustainable and preferably local sources. For the highest nutritional benefit, eat a good portion of your food raw. This type of diet will naturally optimize your insulin signalling.
Most people (although there are clearly individual differences) should strive for a diet high in healthful fats (as high as 50-70 percent of the calories you eat), moderate amounts of high-quality protein, and abundant vegetables. Non-vegetable carbohydrates should be a fairly minimal part of your diet. Sugar, and fructose in particular, can act as a toxin when consumed in excess, driving multiple disease processes in your body including insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and systemic inflammation—any of which can shorten your life.
• Comprehensive Exercise Program, Including High-Intensity Exercise. Even if you're eating the best diet in the world, you still need to exercise—and exercise effectively—if you wish to optimize your health. You should include core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and the right kind of stretching, as well as high-intensity "burst" type activities. Consider combining this with intermittent fasting to supercharge your metabolism.
• Reduce Your Stress. Your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease, from heart disease to depression to cancer, and yet it's the factor most often neglected. Stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. Meditation, prayer, energy psychology tools such yoga are all viable options that can help you relieve stress and clear out hidden emotional blocks.
• Optimize Your Vitamin D. The important factor when it comes to vitamin D is your serum level, which should ideally be between 50-70 ng/ml year-round, and the only way to determine this is with a blood test. Sun exposure or a safe tanning bed is the preferred method, but a vitamin D3 supplement can be used when necessary. Most adults need about 8,000 IUs of vitamin D per day to achieve optimal serum levels.
If you take supplemental vitamin D, you also need to make sure you're getting enough vitamin K2, as discussed above. Fermented vegetables can be a great source of vitamin K2 if you ferment your own using the proper starter culture. Gouda and Edam cheese are also good sources as well as Moringa.
• Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible. This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives. Avoid prescription drugs in favor of more natural approaches, whenever possible.