Smoothies for longevity
I’ve never been a fruit fan. Unlike pretty much everyone around me, who longs to sink their teeth into fresh fruits, I consume them because I know they’re good for me. Unfortunately, this leaves me far below the “an apple a day” level.
Having quite recently gotten my genome mapped and the result analyzed by multiple services, I learnt that this is something I should pay attention to. Namely that I have an increased risk for obesity and type-2 diabetes. Here is a small excerpt from one of analysis:
The FTO gene is called fat mass and obesity-associated protein because it is the gene that is the major genetic risk factor for obesity. This particular polymorphism is one of many in this gene that influence genetic obesity risk. This genotype has an intermediate increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes due to high production of ghrelin. Higher ghrelin levels are associated with over-eating due to lack of satiation.
A possible way to bypass this defect may be to increases consumption of lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride found in coconut oil. Lauric acid has been shown to significantly decrease the production of ghrelin.
This genotype has also been associated with obesity particularly in the context of a high saturated fat and low polyunsaturated fat intake.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in foods like fatty fish such as salmon, herring and polyunsaturated fat is also found in nuts. Saturated fat is found in fatty beef, pork, butter, cheese, and other dairy products. This suggests that individuals that are at high risk of obesity due to FTO polymorphisms, such as this one, may benefit by having a higher polyunsaturated fat intake and a lower saturated fat intake.
As I aim to maintain good health until technology is available to keep extending a healthy lifespan, the above result had to be turned into actionable points for that goal.
The usual recommendation is no smoking (✔), limited alcohol (✔), exercise (✔), keeping weight in check (✔), and a fiber rich diet (!). That last one, I was seriously lacking on. I knew I wasn’t going to suddenly acquire a taste for fruits, so to make a change and make it stick, I had to make it attractive. This is where smoothies came in in a big way. I’ve always purchased smoothies and loved the combination of flavors, the occasional spiciness, sweetness, so it was time to start mixing myself. For several weeks now, I start my day with at least a hand full of fruits, some greens, nuts and seeds, and if it turns out bland, I just spice it up with some chili, ginger, or bit of dark chocolate. Mmmmhm!
Now that I should have the basics covered, I started to investigate if I can take my smoothies even further, from just avoiding potential problems, to giving me a significant boost towards longevity. I recently came across Rhonda Patrick on Tim Ferriss’ podcast, and while her level of knowledge (and speed of expressing that knowledge) were beyond me, she did leave me seriously impressed. So much so, that I took my 23andme DNA results, and uploaded them to her site, foundedmyfitness.com, for verification and further insight, and using that info started to further improve my list of ingredients.
While it’s too early to say whether the habit of a daily smoothie will be a complete success, it is without a doubt off to a good start and in doing so increasing the odds getting to bridge one of radical life extension.