Although not everyone is looking to live forever, there is some exciting research proving that our lifestyle choices have a powerful impact on not only how well we age but also the ability to slow the aging process down. Since aging is the result of cellular damage that eventually leads to cell death, nourishing the cells properly and allowing them time to repair can prolong this process. The two primary factors that accelerate aging are our lifestyle and the environment in which we live. By optimizing these the best we can, we affect the amount of stress and damage that occurs in our cells.

Since the diet impacts this process the most, we should be placing emphasis on the quality and nutrient density of our food. Adequate intake of vitamins and minerals provide the elements required for optimal cell function and health. While processed foods, vegetable oils, and sugars can cause significant cellular damage.

I will spare you the whole decline of our agricultural system and processed food rant and simply state that one should make an effort to nourish rather than just feed themselves.

The amount of research that has surfaced over the past year or two is staggering, and rather than getting into the specifics I figured that I would distil it and provide some best practices for you.

Some of the most exciting research focuses on what is referred to as Intermittent Fasting (IF). IF is when we consume all of our daily calories within a set window of time and then fast for an extended period. As an example, consume all of your calories within an 8 to 10-hour window and then fast for 14 – 16 hours. Most people are awake for at least 16 hours each day and end up grazing throughout that entire period. Never giving the body an adequate amount of time to finish digesting and rest and repair tissues and cells. On the other hand, If we practice IF we enable the metabolism, cellular function and other aspects of our biological functions properly.

The truth is that the body does not respond well to constant grazing for periods greater than 10 hours. When the body is busy digesting and metabolizing food, it will neglect other vital functions. Some of the most impactful results of IF include improved insulin sensitivity, hormone balance, cellular health (DNA and mitochondrial health) and metabolism.

Other practices to help ensure proper cellular and biological health includes the addition of some vitamin and mineral supplementation. A good quality multi-vitamin can provide some significant benefits, especially in the long run. Just stick to a quality brand such as Garden of Life, Solgar, Thorne or PURE Encapsulations to name a few.

Sleep is also essential for optimal health and longevity. The gold standard is to get as close to 8 hours as you can. Avoid excessive electronic screen use and try to limit alcohol about 2 hours before bed. Make your room as dark as a cave, and cooler is better so try to keep it between 65 and 70 degrees.

And to round it all off, get out and move your body. A sedentary lifestyle is a slow grind to the grave. Go for walks daily and get regular sun exposure and fresh air. Morning sun helps set your circadian rhythm and 15-20 minutes of sunlight on your skin helps generate as much as 10,000 IU of vitamin D. A recent report showed that regular sun exposure protects you against skin cancer rather than cause it. You just want to avoid long, intense periods at first as not to get a burn.

So that’s it, nourish yourself, avoid the junk, get enough sleep, sunlight and move your body. And if you have any difficulties with any of this, let me know, I’m here to help.