The fountain of life, unicorn blood, and intervention of the gods. Humans have always been fascinated with living forever, and for good reason! Life is as short as it is beautiful. “We can stay fully functional into our nineties, hundreds and beyond. One of the primary ways to achieve this is to exploit our body’s innate ability to regenerate itself at the cellular and organ levels.” says Valter Longo, PhD, director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California.
I’ll take his word for it– Longo was just named one of TIME’s 50 most influential people in health care for his research on Fasting Mimicking Diets (FMD) as a way to improve health and prevent disease. There are many ways to work with our bodies on a cellular level to encourage happy, well aging. Our Western diet and lifestyle has us stuck in bad habits that keep these natural healing mechanisms dormant. Lucky for us, the switch is easy to activate the healing power within us all. Here are the top four science backed tips to hack your biological age.
1. Develop a Positive Self Perception of Aging<br>
Disappointed? Most anti-aging advice involves exotic Ayurvedic herbs or impressive new exercise routine. That comes next, sit tight! According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, older individuals with a more positive view of aging lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those with a less positive self-view. This remained true even after age, gender, socioeconomic status, loneliness and health were taken into account. Use a gratitude journal to change your inner dialogue, appreciate the age you are; and all the vibrant years to come.<br><br>
2. Practice Yoga and Meditation<br>
In a study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, yoga and meditation lifestyle intervention was assigned to 96 healthy individuals. The participants’ blood cells were assessed. Specifically, cellular biomarkers in the blood that control DNA repair, oxidative stress and antioxidant capacity, cortisol and endorphins at the start and end of 12 weeks. When the 12 weeks were completed, those who participated in yoga and meditation had significant improvements in all biomarkers of cellular aging compared to their beginning measurements. So roll out that yoga mat, turn on a YouTube video on guided meditation, and inhale with ease, as you increase your years and finding inner peace at the same time!
3. Add Reishi Mushroom to Your Morning Coffee or Tea<br>
Also known as lingzhi in China, which translates to “spiritual potency” and “an essence of immortality,” this pharmaceutical mushroom has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Japanese healing for centuries. Polysaccharides found in reishi mushroom have been proven to affect a broad range of bio-activities in the body, including: anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, antiulcer, antitumorigenic, and immunostimulating effects. And this ancient secret is just hitting the mainstream health market in America. Be careful where you purchase! A new study published in Nature reported 74% of reishi products do not contain the polysaccharides and triterpenes of reishi, which is where all the vital wellness benefits come from. I recommend Real Mushrooms Reishi Extract. You can order it on Amazon, as this brand passed the test mentioned above in Nature, with all its key properties intact.<br><br>
4. Try a Fasting Mimicking Diet<br>
A study conducted by the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California found that restricting calories five days out of the month for a consecutive three months resulted in reduced body weight, total body fat; lowered blood pressure, and decreased insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Participants ate regularly 25 days of the month, but for five days, restricted their calories to between 750-1,100 per day. Sugars and protein were highly limited on fasting days. “If we created a group of people that followed all the recommendations… we are going to get closer and closer to this 110 average lifespan – for that group.” says Valter Longo, PhD, longevity scientist and author of The Longevity Diet.
There are many versions of a Fasting Mimicking Diet, including intermittent fasting, calorie restrictive diets, and more. The best type of fasting diet is the one that works with your lifestyle.<br><br>
Our bodies have the mechanisms waiting for us to activate them through healthy living habits, and science has laid out the answers. No unicorn blood required.