Dr. Kristina Tansavatdi / May 7, 2018
How To Slow The Aging Process
Hi there, Dr. Tansavatdi here. I recorded actually two videos prior to this. I want to go back to this question that I get from a lot of my patients and that is, “what can I do about the aging process?” I had surgery, I’ve done the face lift. I look better now, but how can I prevent the aging signs from continuing? How do I stop the process or lengthen the process before I’m aging quickly here? So, I did talk about sleep and diet last time. I didn’t go into too much detail. Just kind of shallowly got into those two topics. I wanted to stress about sleep and recap that you want to have at least 7-8 hours a night and it sounds like everybody knows that.
Everybody knows that to be true, you need to get more sleep. But that common knowledge isn’t common practice. I even have trouble in my own daily life to get that 7 hours of quality sleep per night. So there are resources that can help you. One thing that I didn’t mention in my last video is a book that I’ve been reading and have really gotten a lot of good knowledge from is “Sleep Smarter”. I have no ties with the author. I am just telling you the things that have helped me. That’s hopefully helpful for you to go into this book and read the strategies that are helpful for getting your 7 hours of sleep.
That all starts from first, the mindset of “hey this is a priority for me” and making it your goal to get that 7 hours. There is a sleep journal at the end of the book that is very helpful as well. So as I mentioned before sleep is helpful for you to recover for your brain to recover for your cells in your body to repair itself and that’s where inflammation happens throughout the day from stuff that we put in our body, bad stuff, sun, radiation. And your body needs to repair so it can limit the amount of inflammation which leads to aging. The second point I talked about was diet. I talked about green leafy vegetables. Well, there is more to it than that.
I just said that green leafy vegetables have good carbohydrates for you, as well as, the nutrients and minerals that you need. In addition, carbohydrates are good, but you just want to limit the simple sugars. That means like your Coca-Cola products that has fructose, high corn syrup, all these bad products for your body you want to really look at the ingredients and look for complex sugars, complex carbohydrates that have fibers with the sugars, so that as you are breaking down the sugar it’s a slower process.
The more fiber you have, if you have equal amounts of sugar to fiber then the release of the sugar is more balanced and you don’t have a peak and a release of insulin which then leads to insulin growth factors and more inflammation in your body that can lead to more aging changes, as well as, cancer. They have already shown that to be true.
A lot of our western diet has those types of products in the diet that leads to that process. The other thing is, we already know that corn has been involved in a lot of the industry of cows beef, pork. The things that are fed to animals that we then ingest are corn products, which are not natural to them so they release a lot of byproducts that are toxic and we ingest them and we get the byproducts of that. So you think about it would you put something in your body that is toxic?
If you don’t know the source, the source from these animals they are getting products that they don’t normally eat. Would you eat stuff that is not natural to you? Well, that’s eventually getting into your system because you are eating products from beef that are fed corn or chickens that are fed grains that are not natural to them. That’s something you want to be aware of what you put in your body. Another part of your diet that people forget about is besides vegetables and meat is the fish that they get.
Getting farm raised fish is also bad. You want to look at the products you’re getting because farm raised fish, especially with salmon, actually get dyes and stuff to change the color of the fish, so the flesh looks naturally orange when they’re not actually orange in farm raised salmon. So you want to get wild caught fish which, yes it’s more expensive. All of this is more expensive because the industry that’s happened to make it more economical requires us to feed things that are cheap to the animals that we then ingest.
Think about what you put in your body. All of these are toxic byproducts that then have an affect on our cells and the inflammation that we gather in our body, which we then leads to aging. I know it’s common knowledge to say yes, yes, yes what’s so good about organic? It’s not just about organic But It’s about thinking and being more aware of what you feed your own body. Alright, I think I’ve gone a lot over the diet. There’s another part of the diet that I didn’t talk about and that’s supplements.
People ask me, do you take any vitamins? Do you supplement anything else into your diet? I’ve actually found a lot of things that in the last few years have made a difference in how I feel in my body. The energy that I have on a daily basis and how I repair after injury from let’s just say working out. So, the first supplement I wanted to talk to you about is vitamin D3 or Cholecalciferol. That is a natural vitamin that you produce if you go out into the sun. Well not all of us get enough sun everyday.
Vitamin D3 is important in regulating so many different things such as sleep and the melanin production. Sorry, the melatonin production that’s released in our system to also control our sleep. Vitamin D3 is important in our bones and it’s important in how the body repairs. That’s one key ingredient that you do need and we don’t get enough of it. A lot of people have gone to a doctor and have gotten lab tests and those tests show that they’re low in vitamin D.
If you go , one of the tests you should ask your primary care physician is to just get a vitamin D test and see what your level is. You will be surprised that you’re actually lower than you think and that’s something most of us need more of. But, besides just taking it as a supplement you have to be aware of how much sun you get. We’re in the aging business and people say decrease the amount of sun. Put sunscreen on, avoid the sun like a plague.
It’s good and bad because we are humans. The earth has light. You actually need that sun to survive. Everything on this earth survives because of the sun and because of water. So those are two ingredients you do need. Getting enough water in your daily diet, but also getting enough sun. That doesn’t sound like it’s the right thing to say. I’m a facial plastic surgeon and I’m trying to tell my patients to avoid the sun after surgery. After surgery has happened and you’ve recovered, you actually want daily sun exposure.
The best time is actually in the middle of the day. That sounds bad because the sun’s rays are at its highest. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear sunscreen. It’s also about limiting your sun exposure. So you’re not going overboard, but you want a little bit of sun because, one, it regulates your sleep and two, it also get you your vitamin D that you need. The other thing that’s great about the sun is that if you’ve looked at a study there is a nice video that came out by a dermatologist who actually advocated to have more sun.
They found that in countries that are in the northern hemisphere that weren’t getting enough sun they had higher levels of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. That’s because there’s nitric oxide in our skin. We actually have a concentration of that, that we store in our skin and it’s released when we go out in the sun. That nitric oxide helps to dilate our vessels and helps to prevent coronary artery disease or heart attacks and problems with our heart.
So, you should get some sun exposure. That being in itself is important. Some other vitamins you should know about. This is not necessarily a vitamin, but it’s a supplement that I add in my daily routine and that’s turmeric. Anything that’s going to decrease inflammation is usually what I propose to my patients. Turmeric is a natural supplement that you should use and look into. It’s activated by black pepper.
You’re going to have to find from either supplements that have black pepper or you can put it in your natural diet. If you look at some of the risks of cancer, rates for cancer in India and other countries that have a high level of curry in their diet it’s actually very low. There’s a reason why because the turmeric is acting as a natural anti inflammatory in their diet that they consume. So, that’s one supplement I add in my diet because as you already know the basis of aging and I’ve kept saying over and over is inflammation.
Anything that we can do to decrease inflammation is the goal for anything I add to my body. The other thing that you can do for an anti inflammatory is omega-3 fish oils. omega-3 fatty acids in general. You can get that from many sources. Fish is a good supplement, but if you can’t get enough fish some other options are chia seeds, hemp seeds some natural nuts have a good level of those fatty acids that you need.
Look into one other book that I wanted to talk to you about. I’m sort of half way through this, but this book called Anti-Cancer and I know it’s not related to aging, but it plays a role because diet that is discussed in this book focuses on all the products, vegetables and vitamins that are naturally anti-inflammatory that can help us in decreasing risk of cancer in this western diet.
Alright one other thing that I add in my routine is a multi-vitamin. You should have extra vitamins in your diet. You can take it through many sources, but sometimes we’re not getting enough through our diet and so I do suggest you take a daily multi-vitamin. Some people ask me, what about calcium because of osteoporosis and that’s been actually found to increase inflammation in our arteries. It can lead to more calcification.
It’s not necessarily a thing to promote these days. Actually, vitamin D is more important than the calcium. Alright, next thing I want to talk about, we’ve talked about sleep, we’ve talked about diet and in that diet we talked about supplements and vitamins. The next part of this whole thing is exercise. Again I want to stress that point that common knowledge isn’t common practice. We know we should get exercise and it’s all about taking those tiny steps towards getting our goals at least 5 days a week.
It doesn’t have to be a lot. You don’t have to be on the treadmill for 2 hours to get those calories wasted, to burn off everything that you eat. We already talked about how important diet is. We know that diet, if anything, is more important than exercise in terms of how fast we lose the weight, but after diet we do need to have daily exercise to get our body to do those actual breaking down and repairing that your body needs on a daily basis. Exercise does that.
Every time you stretch your muscles. Every time you lift weights you’re tearing the muscles apart to rebuild them actually. So those are important in how you function. It can affect other things as well such as mood and sleep. We went all the way back to sleep again. All these things play a role on each other. When get good exercise, you get better sleep and you’re able to process the diet you’ve also taken in.
All of them are important and eventually affecting your aging process and decreasing inflammation. Your body needs something to repair, to build at constantly. You want it to be building the right things. That’s what exercise is for. Next part of this, we want good sleep, diet and exercise. Before I move on, usually what my routine for exercise is, I do a little bit of stretch in the morning.
Why you might ask, why I do stretch? Because it’s been found that stretching your muscles primes your body for the day. Stretching is pulling on those muscles to get the toxins out of your muscles that you’ve built up through the night or through exercise you’ve have from the previous day. It’s really important to do the stretches. You can do the stretches after exercise, but also in the morning is very important to get your mind started, to get your body started.
Ready for the day. So I do the stretching. In terms of exercise, I do the exercise in the morning. You can do it in morning. You can do it in the afternoon. Ideally between those two times. In the middle of the day it’s not actually effective and later in the evening it’s not effective for your sleep.
Even though I stressed about exercise timing of exercise is important. If you want to lose more weight and get more burning of fat, it’s better in the morning. In the afternoon, if you really want to build your stamina and if you’re an athlete, it’s great in the afternoon. Either way, I think morning and early afternoon early evening, is great, but don’t do it after 6-7 in the evening.
Actually it ruins your sleep because your body goes through temperature cycles and after you exercise your body temperature is up, but to fall asleep your body temperature has to come down. If you exercise too late, you’re going to fall asleep later in the evening. It’s not helpful for your routine. Then, besides just talking about timing there’s also the importance of what kind of exercise you’re getting because if it’s all cardio and weight lifting.
Some people just want to lift weights because they feel better just lifting weights. Cardio is harder on your body and you actually need it. Cardio I recommend doing at least 3 days out of the week and weight lifting 2 days out of the week. Some people just love to do cardio and will just get on the treadmill and constantly run. You have to actually challenge your body on a regular basis.
Doing cardio every day gets you body so accustomed to it that it really doesn’t do what it really needs to do. You need to challenge it with breaking it up with these body building weight building because if you build muscle mass it actually helps you to burn more fuel during the day and helps you to lose weight. It helps to have a clearer mind as well.
Again, all that was important in getting to the last part, which is your mind. I talked a lot about your body, sleep, diet, exercise, but now the core of this is the mind and you’ll ask me, well, how does your mind affect inflammation? How does it affect aging? They’ve actually done studies to show how meditation can affect our mood, our activity throughout the day, our energy level.
Adding just a little bit of meditation a day; we’re not talking about an hour, just a little can actually have a lot of benefits to your health. They did a study both after surgery as well as in overall health in terms of your cardiovascular standpoint. They found that meditation increases your body’s ability to recover after surgery and improves your cardiac health overall. So you could recover quickly if you add meditation into your routine.
We don’t really know our minds have over matter and over body, but there is a play into that completely. You’ll also see that in this book when we talk about the book Anti- cancer. It talks also about the mind and how it affects our play on cancer as well. The other thing was that meditation was shown in several studies to improve cardiovascular health.
They just showed two different groups one that was given meditation and one that kept continuing their medications that they did just like they did in the other group for cardiovascular health and they found that the percentage of patients who had heart attacks were less in the group that then added meditation to their daily practice and they continued to do so because they saw the benefits. So there you have it, I’ve talked about all the different parts that were important to slowing down the aging process.
To recap we talked about sleep, we talked about getting 7 to 8 hours, and making it a consistent habit. We talked about diet. We talked about green leafy vegetables, fish in your diet, Taking animal products where you are being aware of where the source of these animal products are as what they are being fed ultimately that is what you put in your body. We talked about supplements and vitamins.
We talked about exercise and having a routine of at least 5 days per week. Mixing it with both cardio exercise such as biking, running and then combining that with some weight building exercises. Last part was the mind and the importance of meditation and being more mindful; spending the time to actually take care of your mind and not just your body. It’s a whole concept that all revolves around the same process and they each feed on each other and build up our body to be at its best.
That is at fighting inflammation and fighting the aging process. I hope that was helpful for you. I’ve really taken the time to really research a lot of this for my own health and I’ve implemented a lot of these in the last few years and I hope all of this information will help you as well.
Thank you very much!