This week we listened to the Impact Theory podcast, hosted by Tom Bilyeu. The topic was How to Stay Healthy Until You’re 105 (It’s In Your Gut) featuring Dr. Steven Gundry, who is a cardiothoracic surgeon, researcher and author who has performed over 10,000 surgeries throughout his 40-year career. He was also the president of the American Heart Association. In this episode, he discusses the impact our diets have on our health, why the gut is the source of our health, and how to stay “young” at any age.
Here are our takeaways:
The moral of the story: studies have linked healthy and diverse gut microbiomes to extreme longevity (people over 105 years old!).
There are many lifestyle factors that promote good gut health and thus, longevity. Here are the main takeaways:
Diet & Exercise are key.
Regularly consume resistant starch, through prebiotic fiber (try foods such as taro, yuca, oats; or via high-quality supplement form such as green banana powder or MSPrebiotic powder, both from previous CLEAN.FIT boxes). Healthy gut bacteria feeds off of prebiotics! Read more about how this works on our blog.
Get more mushrooms in your diet. There are compounds in them that protect against neuroinflammation, and feed friendly bacteria.
Eat more inulin-containing compounds. (examples: chicory, radicchio, endive, Jerusalem artichoke, sunchoke). They can stimulate good bacteria growth.
Enjoy LOTS of EVOO! It can improve gut health, and the polyphenols are so powerful, they can even help prevent alzheimers. Dr. Gundry says that balsamic and red wine (yes!) have similar properties as well.
Stay active! Studies have shown that exercise (including yoga) increases gut microbiome diversity. Further, studies are showing that exercise can “clean up” harmful cell build-up in the brain, even so much so that it can help recuperate brain health in alzheimer's patients!
Be aware of lectins. Simply put, lectins are a type of plant protein, believed to have evolved as a natural defense to deter animals from eating the plants. Lectins are sometimes referred to as anti-nutrients, because they can potentially reduce the body's ability to absorb nutrients and are thought to disrupt the bacterial balance in the gut, causing inflammation and even weight gain. (Dr Gundry wrote a whole book on this topic, called the Plant Paradox, that discusses "the hidden dangers in 'healthy' foods that cause disease and weight gain.")
We put "be aware of lectins" instead of "beware of lectins", because it's important to note that foods that contain lectins often also contain many great nutrients. Lectins may affect some people and not others. Generally, people that already have issues with inflammation (such as arthritis, etc) are more likely to be negatively affected than others. That said, it might be worth seeing whether reducing lectins from your diet makes a difference in how you feel. Here are some tips:
Watch out for a high intake of lectin-heavy foods, such as nightshades, legumes (including peanuts and beans), corn, and
You can reduce and even remove lectins from certain foods by cooking, fermenting, or processing them - read more here.
Have a weekly “brain wash” day. Early on your sleep cycle, your brain goes through a reset, clearing out yucky toxins and harmful proteins, that if not properly expelled can lead to neurodegenerative diseases.. This “wash cycle” process requires a lot of blood flow and energy - as does digestion. So when you eat close to bedtime, your digestion process “wins”, getting the bulk of the energy, meaning your brain doesn’t have as many resources to complete its reset process as effectively and thoroughly as it should. At least once a week, avoid eating within 3-4 hours before bedtime so your brain can truly “wash” itself.
Incorporate Vitamins C & D into your supplement regimen. When asked Dr Gundy about the ONE change people can make to promote longevity. He says that nearly all adults have a severe vitamin D deficiency, which is crucial in helping prevent gut inflammation. Further, vitamin C (which cannot be created by our bodies), is needed for gut-liver functioning and antioxidant activity - and also to help absorb collagen! He suggests taking a high-quality supplement of vitamin D a day, 5000 IUs of. He also suggest taking time-released vitamin C twice a day, or chew a 500mg 4x a day.
Another interesting fact is that vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis in your body. So for those of you (like us!) that incorporate collagen supplements into our routines, it’s important to also make sure we are getting enough vitamin C in our regimen!