The goal: to preserve the aging process so that we age with grace, vitality, energy, fitness, and strength. “We want to elongate the period of living,” says New York Times Bestselling author Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., speaking at the Naturally Informed virtual event Healthy Aging: Mastering the Market. And we can do that by following the lead of “super agers.”
Who are super agers?
“Super agers are the people who get sick at 90 years old, rather than 60,” Gittleman says. “They got their cancer, their diabetes, their hypertension at 90 rather than 60. So, they’re postponing aging by a good 30 years.”
One “to-do” on the path to being a super ager that’s easy to accomplish: “Stop saying ‘aging,’” Gittleman says. “We’re saging, not aging. I’ve been in the industry for 40 years. It’s a privilege to age. I’m pro-healthy aging until 120. We do need an attitude adjustment. What I’ve learned from all the super agers, those people who have postponed the aging process by a good 30 years…is that they can age into grace, vitality, and strength. So, it’s really taking a look at what the oldest populations of the world are doing—and it’s not just diet and exercise.”
Gittleman discussed the Top Secrets of Super Agers and more of the strategies outlined in her latest book, Radical Longevity.
5 Action Steps to Live Longer
- Create and Maintain Robust Social Relationships: “The first key is to maintain a robust social relationship, whether it’s a virtual relationship, whether it’s with family, whether it’s friends and associates…that seems to be the number one super aging trait,” Gittleman says.
- Create and Maintain a Purpose in Life: Have that drive that gives you something to look forward to each day.
- Incorporate a Diet High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: “A high omega-3 intake from a little fatty fish is so important for the microcirculation in the brain.”
- Practice Intermittent Fasting. Gittleman suggests occasional intermittent fasting. “The easy, but powerful, practice of intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, just when you eat it. Try eating all of your food for the day within an 8 to 10 hour time frame, two or three days per week.” She explains that this helps boost energy and immunity, and supports healthy weight maintenance.
- Enjoy Moderate Exercise. “Centenarians are not necessarily exercise fanatics,” according to Gittleman. “They just benefit from the natural motion of walking, climbing stairs, and staying physically active as they go about their daily lives.”
DNA Is Not Your Destiny
“Aging is 20% genetics, 80% epigenetics,” Gittleman told attendees. “So, what you think, what you do, what you spiritualize, how you’re relating to the environment—all of that is exceedingly important. It’s not just in the genes anymore. DNA is not your destiny.”
Gittleman explains how individuals can biohack their biology through lifestyle changes. She recommends eating right and taking dietary supplements in addition to implementing the five super-ager strategies. “There is a paradigm shift: Your biology is NOT your biography,” Gittleman maintains. “Having good genes gives us an unfair advantage, but you can actually biohack your biology by doing things in terms of taking the right supplements, eating the right foods, having vital social relationships, having a very good spiritual and social life, and exercising moderately. So, it’s epigenetic. It’s what you’re doing in your lifestyle that’s key. And I think that’s very important. It’s increasingly important because we have a lifestyle that’s increasingly stressful, full of diseases, and has a lot of these stealth infections that are coming up, particularly for the baby boomers.”
Ingredients for Radical Longevity
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid
- High Fiber Foods
- Fruit, Vegetables, Plant-Based Foods
- Protein (i.e.- protein powders)
- Healthy Oils (Flaxseed, Hemp, Pine Nut Oil)
“And of course there’s some top foods the super agers eat,” Gittleman adds. “They’re eating wholesome foods, plant-based foods like beans, broccoli, blueberries, and barely, and they’re eating them at a very high rate.”
Regarding diet, Gittleman adds, “We know that the super agers do not follow a Ketogenic or Paleolithic diet. That’s what’s so interesting to me.” She said keto and paleo diets did not have an effect on super agers, and that the most important thing is “local, wholesome foods.” She recommends staying fresh and in-season. A great start: “For breakfast, I’d have a smoothie, with green powder. I’ll have salmon, and greens or a salad for lunch.”
When asked what to avoid, Gittleman mentions that toxins from materials like iron or copper can offset and have the potential to cause dysregulation of vitamin levels in the body. “I like sticking with stainless steel,” and staying away from cast iron pans, she says.
Stay Naturally Informed!
You can view this session (along with the rest of the event) at www.naturallyinformed.net/healthy-aging-mastering-the-market. And join us at our next Naturally Informed virtual event, Stress & Mental Wellness: Mastering the Market. This 3-day event will take place September 20-22. Sign-up at www.naturallyinformed.net or scan to code to reserve your spot. WF