The Anti-Aging Diet
Aging is defined as “the process of getting old” and in humans, aging represents the accumulation of changes in a human being over time. These changes encompass physical, psychological, and social changes. With human’s increased life span, it is more and more pertinent to maintain good health to ensure optimal aging.
The world is increasingly recognizing the aging process as a disease by itself. WHO has recently implemented a definition for “aging related disease”, defined as those “caused by pathological processes which persistently lead to the loss of organism’s adaptation and progress in older ages”—in the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases, code ICD-11.
Rather than calling it “anti-aging” medicine, our philosophy here at LifeClinic is based on preventative medicine to ensure optimal aging. We believe in optimizing the function of our body from the cellular and metabolic level to ensure that even during the process of aging, our cells maintain optimal energy and maintain minimal oxidative and toxic stress.
Here Are The Top 5 Components Of An Optimal-Aging Diet:
- Good clean proteins
- Healthy fats
- Good gut health
- Caloric restriction
These are powerful compounds that inhibit oxidation stress caused by free radicals in our body that can damage our cells. Foods that are high in anti-oxidants include colorful fruits and vegetables. The colorful pigments in these foods contain various flavonoids, flavones, catechins, polyphenols, and phytoestrogens so the more colours you eat, the better range of different anti-oxidant compounds. Most fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids and flavonoids, which are powerful anti-oxidants, while dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale provide polyphenols and chlorophyll. Eat lots of bright, colorful vegetables every day, like tomatoes, carrots, purple cabbage, beetroot, orange and red capsicum, purple sweet potatoes etc.
Clean, Lean Proteins
Proteins are important in the form of amino acids for important enzymatic and cellular anabolic processes in the body, hence we need sufficient proteins for muscle building and to prevent visible signs of aging. Proteins are present in plants, such as chickpeas, beans, lentils and legumes, and in meat. Choose clean lean proteins like hormone-free chicken and turkey and deep-sea fish. Avoid conventionally raised poultry or farmed fish which are loaded with antibiotics and hormones.
Eat Healthy Fats
In a study done reported in the BMJ, people with the highest blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids were 18 percent to 21 percent less likely to experience unhealthy aging. Omega 3 fatty acids are important to reduce blood pressure, cardiovascular events and inflammation which are aging-related health issues.
Fatty acids help to maintain healthy cell membranes in our organs like the brain, liver and skin to maintain a beautiful complexion. Flax seed oil is a good addition to the diet as it contains all the essential fatty acids. Other essential fatty acids rich foods include avocados, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or even cold-water fish and seafood.
Maintain Good Gut Health
A study done has found that microorganisms living in the gut may alter the aging process. Mice received transplanted gut microbes from old mice (24 months old) into young mice (6 weeks old) lacking gut microorganisms. After eight weeks, the young mice had increased intestinal growth and production of neurons in the brain, known as neurogenesis.
Maintaining good gut health can compensate and support an aging body through positive stimulation. Increase your intake of probiotics through supplementation or through fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir etc, which will help increase good bacteria in your gut. Short chain fatty acids like butyrate helps to maintain a healthy intestinal wall lining.
Caloric restriction has recently gained momentum in the anti-aging world as it has been found to stimulate genes that improve longevity. This relates to cutting off high caloric sugar laden foods and processed foods in your diet. Reducing high sugar foods and carbohydrates reduces your insulin levels and reduces glycation of your tissues, which is the usual cause of aging in the cells. Also regular intermittent fasting with caloric restriction helps our body enter into a protective and stress-resistant mode, triggering autophagy for the cleanup of old and damaged cells, and activating cellular rejuvenation and repair.
Fusco D, Colloca G, Lo Monaco MR, Cesari M. Effects of antioxidant supplementation on the aging process. Clin Interv Aging. 2007;2(3):377–387.
Volume 3, 2019, Pages 70-89
Cole GM, Ma QL, Frautschy SA. Dietary fatty acids and the aging brain. Nutr Rev. 2010;68 Suppl 2(0 2):S102–S111. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00345.x
Nagpal, Ravinder et al. “Gut microbiome and aging: Physiological and mechanistic insights.” Nutrition and healthy aging 4,4 267-285. 15 Jun. 2018, doi:10.3233/NHA-170030
Parag Kundu, Hae Ung Lee, Isabel Garcia-Perez, Emmy Xue Yun Tay, Hyejin Kim, Llanto Elma Faylon, Katherine A. Martin, Rikky Purbojati, Daniela I. Drautz-Moses, Sujoy Ghosh, Jeremy K. Nicholson, Stephan Schuster, Elaine Holmes, Sven Pettersson. Neurogenesis and prolongevity signaling in young germ-free mice transplanted with the gut microbiota of old mice. Science Translational Medicine, 2019; 11 (518)
López-Lluch, Guillermo, and Plácido Navas. “Calorie restriction as an intervention in ageing.” The Journal of physiology vol. 594,8 (2016): 2043-60. doi:10.1113/JP270543
Dr See Yunn Ho
Kenneth J. Chu is a practicing naturopathic doctor, and is also a board member of the Integrated Association of Naturopaths in Hong Kong. Ken Practices a holistic healing approach, using a combined approach of clinical nutrition, homeopathy, and herbal medicines to address the root causes of his patients’ problems. He has an interest in pediatrics, gastroenterology, and sports medicine.
After obtaining his Bachelors Degree in Biological Sciences, Ken then graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto. Ken also did further education programs in advanced clinical nutrition, and expanded his homeopathy knowledge by training with the Ullmans, Jonathan Shore, and the Rajan Sankaran and the Bombay Group of Homeopathy in India.
Ken was selected to advance his studies in the sports medicine rotation at CCNM and he treated many athletes at Canada’s largest wellness/multidiscipline clinic in Edmonton, including some of Canada’s Olympic sportspersons and also several MMA athletes.