We Are What We Eat: The Longevity Paradox
One of the many things Warren and I love about our practice is spending quality time talking with our patients each day. These moments in between treatments and appointments allow us to hear about their personal goals and discuss things that go beyond just skin health. One of the most common goals we hear – and personally share – is to maintain a healthy lifestyle that allows us to look and feel our very best. We’ve recently been sharing our new outlook on eating with patients, so I thought to write about it in hopes there’s something you can take away and apply to your own life!
During a recent visit with our dentist, Dr. Paul Koch at Koch Aesthetic Dentistry, we started discussing diet and lifestyle factors that can affect dental health. One of my favorite things about Dr. Koch – other than his state-of-the-art facility and incredible team – is our shared passion for healthy living. I told him about my personal struggles with various food allergies and chronic indigestion, and how even when I maintained a healthy diet, I still felt like something was missing. That’s when he recommended I read The Longevity Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry.
The basis of Dr. Gundry’s philosophy is that a person’s longevity is based on the health of their microbiome, which is the genetic composition of the 100+ trillion microbes that reside in our bodies. 90% of our cells are bacteria, viruses, fungi, and worms that help regulate bodily functions – especially digestion. Dr. Gundry suggests that by providing a hospitable environment for your microbiome – or “gut buddies,” as he jokingly calls them – you can better regulate your body’s natural processes and maintain an overall healthier lifestyle. As he says in his book, your microbiome “will keep the utilities running efficiently, the plumbing in tip-top shape, and even the exterior paint fresh.”
One of the biggest takeaways I gained from the book is that many of the foods I thought were healthy for me actually induced inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the root cause of most aging processes and can lead to premature fine lines and wrinkles. After a few weeks of incorporating these new eating habits into my daily diet, I was able to stop taking all of my indigestion medications – something I never imagined was possible. I no longer experience skin irritation or hives as I have in the past – plus, Warren and I even lost a few pounds! We also enjoy trying out the simple and wonderful recipes featured in Dr. Gundry’s The Plant Paradox Cookbook.
I believe that healthy living is based in how we eat, not how we diet. The very definition of the word “diet” is to restrict yourself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight. When you focus on what you provide your body rather than what you prevent it from having, maintaining a healthier lifestyle becomes easier and more enjoyable. In no way can I possibly share all of the amazing science behind the Longevity Paradox and Dr. Gundry’s philosophy in this blog post, but I can promise you it’s well worth the read!