In the spirit of allaying some of our society’s widespread anxiety about healthy aging (we get it, it’s rampant), we caught up with Luigi Fontana, MD, PhD, longevity expert and author of Handbook of longevity and healthy well-being. His message is simple: “I want everyone to know that the key to healthy aging is much more complex than some people claim, and that’s okay,” says Dr. Fontana. (And it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about healthy aging, given that he has over 20 years of research and clinical practice in the field.) The answer to longevity doesn’t isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal – you have to look at the big picture, not just what form of expensive supplements you’re swallowing or how often you’re going to spin class.
That said, there are several (simple! joyful!) steps you can take to unlock greater well-being and long-term longevity. More information on this.
The most common myth about healthy aging, according to a longevity expert
Simply put: According to this longevity expert, healthy aging won’t be accomplished with a quick fix. “People are fascinated by the promise of a magic bullet to affect health and cure all kinds of infirmities,” says Dr. Fontana. “Some focus their full attention on select superfoods, for example, broccoli, kale, almonds, goji berries and chia seeds – the more exotic the better.”
“People are fascinated by the promise of a magic bullet to affect health and cure all kinds of infirmities. Some focus their full attention on selected superfoods, for example, broccoli, kale, almonds, goji berries and chia seeds – the more exotic the better. – Luigi Fontana, MD, PhD
Indeed, this hype around certain superfoods isn’t always justified, especially if it’s tied to clever marketing schemes that oversell an ingredient by making big claims (and sometimes unrealistic promises). Moreover, most of these so-called “exotic” foods have been prized in other cultures for centuries; co-opting and re-packaging things like maca, matcha, turmeric, or adaptogenic herbs as something “new” and “exotically healthy” to pique the interest of consumers (white, western, probably affluent) is both problematic and racist.
Dr. Fontana’s concerns about “quick fixes” for longevity also carry over to other products, especially supplements. He notes that some people looking for healthy aging solutions might be obsessed with consuming single supplements or isolated compounds, like resveratrol, quercetin, NAD+ precursors, etc., in hopes of dramatic health benefits. “The truth is that no magic ingredient or superfood exists,” he confirms. In fact, as you’ve probably guessed: it’s probably the biggest myth hanging over the subject of longevity.
“The truth is that no magic ingredient or superfood exists,” he confirms. In fact, as you’ve probably guessed: it’s probably the biggest myth hanging over the subject of longevity.
However, that’s not to say that a combination of several of these healthy lifestyle factors won’t help increase your longevity. Like most things in life, it’s a balancing act of implementing the right things together at the same time. “Everything in nature has been optimized for maximum efficiency in the right combination and proportion. So, if we want to have a significant impact on our health, it is obvious that several factors must be addressed simultaneously, ”explains Dr. Fontana. “Different foods, as I explain in my book, should be consumed in sufficient amounts to balance calorie and protein consumption with our energy expenditure while providing all essential nutrients, fiber and phytochemicals.”
Doctor-Approved Ways to Improve Healthy Aging
According to Dr. Fontana, eating foods that support healthy aging is far from a new concept. “The power of nutrition to prevent chronic disease and maximize health and longevity has been known since ancient times,” he says. This is one of the reasons Dr. Fontana stresses the importance of eating a balanced diet made up of a variety of different foods. “It’s critical that we eat a lot more of a wide variety of low-processed, fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits.”
By doing so, you help support many factors that contribute to healthy aging and overall well-being. “These foods contain a unique blend of plant fibers, vitamins, trace minerals – pure trace minerals present in minute amounts – and phytochemicals which, after being processed by our gut microbes, release a number of metabolites essential for protection against many common diseases,” says Dr. Fontana.
Additionally, to get the most benefit from consuming these longevity-boosting foods, Dr. Fontana recommends pairing them with other key factors for healthy aging, including exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, find ways to manage stress and establish a routine. calendar to promote healthy eating habits.
An herbalist shares a brain-boosting shot for longevity you can whip up in five minutes or less: