Anti-Aging Tips For Men


anti aging tips for menClose-up shot of a handsome young man with towel in his neck admiring looking at his face in the bathroom mirror.

Traditional doctors approach aging as something that is imminent, unavoidable, and uncontrollable. Their goal is to merely treat your age-related symptoms as they pop up, like a medical version of whack-a-mole. 

But I view aging VERY differently. 

Science has shown us that there’s a lot we can do to slow, and actually reverse, the course of your aging process. That’s because healthy aging is NOT about hitting the genetic jackpot. Instead, it’s about adopting preventative strategies that slow the cellular processes associated with aging, improve your immune system, prevent disease, and ultimately boost your sense of youth and vitality.

How Inflammation Impacts Aging

There’s one factor that dramatically speeds up the process of aging – inflammation. In fact, chronic inflammation underlies nearly every disease associated with aging, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, dementia, arthritis, cancer and diabetes, just to name a few.[1]

Chronic inflammation may not directly cause aging per se. Rather, it acts like gasoline, turning the normally smoldering embers of cellular degeneration into a raging fire that causes destruction throughout the body and brain. Inflammation wreaks havoc on your immune system, your gut health, your brain health and your mental wellbeing.

Unfortunately, our modern routines are riddled with factors that increase inflammation—from highly processed diets to a sedentary lifestyle to environmental toxins. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few tweaks to your daily regimen, you can smother the flames of inflammation and be on your way to living a long, energetic, disease-free life.

How to Reduce Inflammation and Promote Healthy Aging

1. Eat for Life

If you are like most people, your major source of inflammation comes served on your dinner plate. Eating a typical American diet high in omega-6 poly-unsaturated fats (think canola oil, safflower oil, etc.) , highly-processed oils (think ‘partially hydrogenated’ anything), and refined sugars all directly promote inflammation and increases your risk of disease. Conversely, eating a healthy diet reduces inflammation, boosts your immune system, and protects you against both infectious and chronic diseases.

Let’s break down the three key pillars that form the basis of a healthy, anti-aging diet.

The first pillar involves choosing complex carbohydrates over simple ones.

Simple carbs are found in anything made with sugar, but they are also found in things we don’t consider sweet, like white bread, potatoes, pasta, white rice, pizza dough and pasta.

What makes simple (or refined) carbohydrates unique is that they’ve been stripped of all their fiber, bran, and nutrients. As a result, your body is able to quickly break them down into sugars, which sounds like a good thing but it isn’t. Eating simple carbs floods your system with sugar, resulting in body-wide inflammation

This sugar spike also triggers your pancreas to create a surge in insulin in order to clear the sugar from your bloodstream. But all that insulin makes you feel hungry again, which is why we tend to crave simple carbs rather than vegetables. 

Over time, this dramatic rise and fall in blood sugar causes you to overeat, gain weight (especially dangerous belly fat), and develop insulin resistance (i.e., type-2 diabetes). It also causes unhealthy fluctuations in your mood and energy levels. And if that isn’t bad enough, a diet high in simple carbs puts you at greater risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, depression and bipolar disorder.[2, 3]

Simple carbs are also dangerous because they produce a particularly nasty substance called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). AGEs are toxic molecules that form when protein or fat combines with the sugar in our bloodstream.[4

When AGEs accumulate, they form a sticky, inflexible substance that clogs our blood vessels and coats our major organs, sometimes resulting in organ failure. AGEs promote oxidative stress, which is a fancy way of saying they make our cells old before their time. Scientists are just starting to discover the ways in which AGEs drive age-related illnesses, but what is clear is that consuming a healthy diet is the main way to keep these toxic molecule levels low.[5]

Now trying to quit anything cold turkey is hard, so instead of just cutting out sugars and simple carbs, think about replacing them with complex carbs. 

  • Swap out sugary desserts with fresh fruit like strawberries or apples. 
  • Switch white bread with wheat or even better, a lettuce leaf. 
  • Opt for brown rice, lentils, or an ancient grain like amaranth or quinoa versus white rice.
  • Switch from regular pizza dough to a cauliflower crust. With a few creative tweaks to your diet, you are less likely to feel deprived and more likely to stick with your new eating habits.

The second pillar in an anti-aging diet is eliminating bad fats and incorporating good fats. In the 1980s, fat got a bad rap. Doctors argued that eating a diet high in fat skyrocketed cholesterol and caused heart disease. 

But experts now recognize this assumption was wrong. In truth, there are good fats and bad fats and a key to anti-aging is knowing the difference.

Generally, fats fall into these broad categories:

  • Trans fats: Trans fats are the worst kind of fats because they raise your LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and lower your HDL (good cholesterol). For this reason, the FDA started banning trans fats in 2018, but they can still be found in some food sources, including vegetable shortening, fried fast foods, and some brands of microwave popcorn.
  • Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats: These are the fats found in oils such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and most other oils that are used for cooking. Unfortunately, when you eat out at a restaurant, almost ALL of the foods are cooked using these oils. These fats stimulate your fat cells to produce cytokines, which are proteins that cause low-level, chronic inflammation. They have been linked to a number of age-related, inflammatory-based illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats: These are considered to be “heart-healthy” fats because they raise your HDL and lower your LDL, thereby protecting you against vascular diseases. These fats are found in fish, vegetables such as avocados, and healthy nuts.
  • Monounsaturated fats: These are also considered to be the most “heart-healthy” fats. They reduce inflammation, promote cellular efficiency, and protect you from vascular disease. These fats are found mostly in olive oil, and healthy nuts such as almonds and macadamia nuts.
  • Saturated fats: A diet high in saturated fats can increase your risk for developing heart disease and vascular disease, which is why most nutritionists recommend limiting saturated fats to no more than 10% of your daily fat intake.[6] Saturated fats are found in animal-based foods such as red meat, cheese, and dairy, as well as plant-based oils like coconut and palm oil. These oils are also commonly used in commercially produced baked goods like boxed cookies and crackers.

Both are types of the polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6) are considered “essential fats” which means the body requires them for normal functioning. Our body doesn’t naturally produce these fats, which means the only way to get them is through our diet. But an important distinction is that omega-6s are pro-inflammatory and omega-3s are anti-inflammatory.

Omega-6 fats, like soybean oil, are far cheaper which means they are more likely to appear in processed foods. And since processed foods make up a significant proportion of the American diet, we as a nation are consuming too many omega-6s and not enough omega-3s. 

The recommended ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in 4:1, but the Western diet ratio is more like 10:1 or even 50:1![8] This imbalance increases body-wide inflammation and negatively alters cell-membrane health.

To correct this imbalance, try to reduce the amount of omega-6s in your diet and boost the omega-3s. An excellent way to do this is to follow the World Health Organization’s recommendation to consume two servings of oily fish per week. 

In fact, research shows people who eat seafood 1-4 times per week are less likely to die of heart disease or strokes.[9] You can also stock up on flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, avocados, and grass-fed beef, which are all high in omega-3s.

Excessive saturated fats also promote inflammation, weight gain, and ultimately aging. Depending on your genetics (remember how important ‘epigenetics’ is?), some people can tolerate more saturated fats than others. But for some, consuming more than 10% of your fat intake as saturated fat can dramatically increase your risk for early ALzheimer’s Disease and cardiovascular disease.

But here is the good news—the negative impact of these fats can easily and quickly be reversed. One study found that after just two weeks of swapping out saturated fats with monounsaturated fats, cytokines were reduced and as a result, brain functioning was significantly improved.[7] So by making just a few simple swaps to your diet, you can quickly reduce inflammation, prevent disease, and enable your body and brain to age healthier.

The third pillar of an anti-aging diet is to “eat the rainbow,” which means eating a wide range of vegetables and fruits to ensure a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

Focus on incorporating dark greens (broccoli, watercress, kale) and brightly colored vegetables and fruits (red bell peppers, carrots, blueberries).

Supplements can also help you incorporate important nutrients into your diet. Research supports the use of several anti-aging supplements, including CoQ10 and Vitamin C (to learn more, check out my article on the 7 supplements every man should be taking).

2.Keep Moving

What you put into your body is only half of the anti-aging equation; just as important is what you do with your body. Exercise isn’t just a solution for weight loss. It actually equips your body with the tools it needs to successfully navigate the aging process.

With the rise of wearable tech, there has been an emphasis on counting the number of daily steps to improve health, but there is no scientific evidence to support the well-known “10,000 steps a day” rule. Instead, what you should be focusing on are the minutes you spend each day in your target heart rate. 

Heart Rate Matters

Your target heart rate varies depending on your age. First, you need to calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR), which is 220 minus your age. So a 40-year old man would have a MHR of 180.

The key to heart-benefiting exercise is to work out at the proper intensity and duration. In terms of intensity, you want to exercise hard enough to raise your heart rate, but not so much that it reaches all the way up to your MHR. 

Moderate aerobic activity is generally defined as 50-70 percent of your MHR. So in the case of our 40-year old man, that would be a heart rate range of 90-126. 

Vigorous aerobic activity is defined as 70-85 percent of your MHR, which for a 40-year old man would be 126-153. Either way, you should always avoid going over the 85 percent upper limit since it offers no health benefits and can actually strain your heart.

In terms of duration, the Mayo clinic recommends you strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity—brisk walking, swimming, yard work and household chores—per week, but you could go all the way up to 300 minutes for maximum benefit.[10] If instead you prefer vigorous aerobic activity—running, aerobic dancing—strive for at least 75 minutes per week.

Keep in mind that exercise doesn’t just keep your heart young, it keeps your brain young too. Once study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that a lack of exercise in older adults raised their risk of developing dementia to a level that was equivalent to people who were genetically predisposed to the disease.[11]  

Studies like this prove that despite what your genes say, you have a great amount of control over your aging process. This is just one reason why I’m so passionate about epigenetics—the idea that your external environment affects the way our genes behave. And to clarify, your environment is not just chemicals or toxins in your environment, but also what you eat, how you move, how you breathe, how you sleep, etc.. 

In addition to aerobic exercise, the other essential component to an anti-aging workout is strength training. As we age, muscles lose their flexibility and shrink. 

In fact, after the age of 30, you lose 3-5 percent of your muscle mass every decade, and men on average lose 30 percent of their muscle mass over their lifetime.[12] On top of that, ligaments, tendons and connective tissues dehydrate and degrade as we age, further reducing our mobility and increasing risk of injury. 

But as exercise physiologist Dr. Thomas Storer makes clear, “Older men can indeed increase muscle mass lost as a consequence of aging. It takes work, dedication, and a plan, but it is never too late to rebuild muscle and maintain it.”[12]

To kick start muscle gain, focus on high rep workouts rather than heavy weights. A typical program might include 8-10 different exercises that target all major muscle groups, with 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps, performed 2-3 times per week. Once this program is established, you can increase the weights, drop the number of reps down to 10, then eventually work your way up to 15 and repeat the process. 

And don’t forget that muscle building requires protein. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, men engaging in strength training should consume 0.5-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight.[13] That means a 165-pound man generally needs around 80-135 grams per day, although remember that your genetics direct specifically how much protein your body needs (epigenetics!!).

Lastly, consider supplementing with things known to prevent muscle loss, including fish oil, vitamin D, and hormone replacement therapy. And don’t forget to fortify your bones too, with calcium and vitamin D (take these together for maximum absorption), as well as vitamin C, B12, and magnesium.[14]

3. Build a Better Brain

Our body isn’t the only thing that degrades as we age. The older we get, the longer our brains have been exposed to inflammatory triggers like toxins, chronic stress, and unhealthy foods. Only now are scientists discovering that conditions we assumed were inevitable as we age, like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, are actually caused by brain-wide inflammation.[15]

The good news is that most of the things we’ve discussed that prevent the body from age-based decline benefit the brain as well. Exercising, avoiding sugar, keeping your cholesterol in check and maintaining a healthy diet are all excellent ways to protect your brain against aging. Additional strategies include getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, and reducing stress.

Certain supplements have also been shown to preserve cognitive functioning and prevent neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkison’s disease.[16] For example, vitamin D and B12 play vital roles in memory formation and cognitive functioning, which is why a deficiency in these vitamin has been linked to cognitive impairments, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults.

Fat is another important factor when it comes to brain health. Omega-3s account for 40 percent of the fatty acids found in our brains cells and they are especially concentrated at the synaptic connections where all communication between brains cells occurs.[17] Research shows higher intake of omega-3s is associated with larger brain volume and a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, so consider adding a fish oil supplement to your daily routine.

Putting it All Together

Aging isn’t something you have to take lying down. With just a few tweaks to your routine and the addition of a few foods and supplements, you can actively slow down or even reverse the effects of aging. 

To see the power of lifestyle changes in action, look no further than a study published in The Lancet Oncology.[18] In this study, researchers had a group of men start a plant-focused diet, exercise for 30 minutes six days a week, and practice yoga or meditation for three months. After the three months, the researchers examined the men’s telomeres. 

Telomeres are a lot like those plastic endcaps on shoelaces that stop the laces from fraying and falling apart. In each of our cells, we have telomeres that cap off the ends of our chromosomes and keep the DNA strands intact. 

Cells replenish by copying themselves and each time they do, these telomeres get shorter and shorter. Eventually, they become too short to do their job, the DNA becomes damaged and the cell stops working. 

For this reason, the length of our telomeres is considered an indicator of our biological (rather than chronically) age. The shorter our telomeres, the “older” our cells are and the more likely we are to succumb to age-related illnesses.

So what did the study find? After just twelve weeks of adopting these simple lifestyle changes, the men’s telomeres grew by a whopping 10 percent. As lead researcher Dr. Dean Ornish stated, “This study is the first of its kind that scientifically proves you can reverse aging at a cellular level through lifestyle changes.”[19

With some adjustments in your lifestyle, you can turn the clock back on your cells too. If you want to take control of the aging process and feel better, schedule a consultation.  You’ll learn how a personalized health strategy can let you live your life to the fullest.

Chronic Inflammation Is The Silent Killer Of Men

What if I told you there is one common link between almost all deadly diseases, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease? And what if I told you that same link is also a key contributor to prostate problems, anxiety, depression, brain fog, moodiness, arthritis, allergies, and even gas?

That link exists, and it’s called chronic inflammation. Scientists are discovering with increasing certainty that most major illnesses and diseases are caused in some part by chronic inflammation in the body.

What is chronic inflammation?

Acute inflammation

You’ve likely met acute inflammation before. You sprain your ankle, and it swells up, turns red, and lets off heat—that’s inflammation. Even when you get a red, angry pimple filled with pus, that is an inflamed, infected skin pore.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to something that has gone wrong in your body. Your body sends out white blood cells and cytokines, which are the “good guys” used to fight off infection and virus. Inflammation is the reaction when white blood cells take over and start to do their job. The process of inflammation gets rid of toxins and starts to repair damaged tissue.

sprained ankle, inflammation, men's health
Think of it this way. You’ve got some bad stuff going on in your body—whether it’s the flu virus or a broken ankle or bacteria on your face. Your body sends good stuff to fight the bad stuff. That “battle” between good and bad causes inflammation. So, inflammation is actually a good thing. It’s just a sign that the good stuff—the white blood cells—are doing their job and fighting to rid the body of the bad stuff.

Basically, inflammation is there to protect your body against infection or disease. It’s also the start of the healing process.

Chronic inflammation

Though this process is useful in the short-term, chronic long-term inflammation can have serious consequences. In the case of chronic inflammation, the white blood cells end up attacking the bad and the good in the body. Your white blood cells are sent to fight off some infection or virus, but then they stick around and start to attack your healthy tissues and organs as well. It’s an unfortunate case of “friendly fire” in the battle of your body.

Your body’s defensive mechanisms go rogue and start attacking everything in the body, good and bad.

Cytokines are pro-inflammatory proteins released by immune cells when the body detects some sort of injury or invasion. But, in chronic inflammation, the cytokines build up and don’t go away. These pro-inflammatory proteins start to inflame everything around them, which can actually worsen damage and disease.

Until the cytokines are eradicated, chronic inflammation can last indefinitely. Over time, the inflammation only continues to aggravate. The cytokines are inflaming your organs and tissues, which releases even more cytokines to the area to fight against the damage and injury. The immune system just can’t keep up with the influx of inflammation, and the entire system starts to break down.

Chronic inflammation is a deep-rooted, systemic problem that attacks at some of the most vital inner-workings of your system.

One of the most dangerous parts of chronic inflammation is that you can’t see or feel it happening. It is the silent killer, spurring a number of serious diseases. Chronic inflammation is most likely to attack your heart, brain, joints, belly, and immune system—the five processes that do the most to keep you alive and healthy.

What are the consequences of chronic inflammation?

Chronic inflammation can go undetected for years. In this case, inflammation is constantly assaulting your brain, heart, and immune system, progressively worsening and worsening over time. This can lead to serious and even fatal problems.

Heart disease and stroke

The inflammation actually damages blood vessels and leads to a plaque buildup in the arteries and brain. This will, at first, cause high blood pressure, hypertension, and a weakened heart. Over time, these inflammatory-related blockages can be fatal. In fact, some researchers have suggested that anti-inflammatory medications may help treat cardiovascular risk before severe damage is done.


Inflammation can damage DNA and interrupt the body’s immune system processes. This, in turn, can cause tumors to form without any processes for self-destruction. Common inflammation-related cancers include lung, lymphoma, ovarian, pancreatic, and prostate cancer—the organs that commonly inflame easily. Colorectal cancer is also common, as chronic inflammation is also the cause of a number of bowel diseases like IBD, ulcerative colitis, and Chron’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairment (like dementia) is one of the most common consequences of chronic inflammation. Although the direct connection is still being worked out, studies have concluded that there is an activation of immune and inflammatory processes in cognitive disease. One study noted that drugs for cognitive decline often don’t work to stop or reverse the disease, likely because they don’t attack the underlying chronic inflammation; in fact, drugs for cognitive impairment may even make the inflammation in the brain worse.


Studies show that depression is linked to systemic, chronic inflammation. Brain scans of people with depression show that their brains have increased neuroinflammation, which causes depression, fatigue, brain fog, and impaired concentration.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Inflammation in the joints is the number one cause for rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and macular degeneration. In fact, rheumatologists almost always look at the causes of inflammation first in order to find the appropriate ways to treat pain in their patients. This is usually the best cause of action for people who have suffered from this pain on a daily basis. For some people though, their pain may start out of nowwhere and may want to find a quick source of pain relief that can help relieve their symptoms. Some people could decide to turn to certain types of cannabis strains that are supposedly meant to help with a person’s pain. You can Visit website here for more information on this type of relief. However, there are many different types of options out there to help you, it’s all about finding the one that is effective for you and your pain.

Prostate disorders

Enlarged prostate and prostatitis are due to inflammation in the prostate gland. Studies have looked at the intimate link between inflammation and BPH as well as that of inflammation and prostate cancer.


Inflammation in the body will directly impact the kidneys, which are the body’s natural detoxifying organs. Any toxins in the body will be filtered through the kidneys; this causes nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys) and chronic kidney disease.

The same is true for pancreatitis, and anything that ends in –itis (like arthritis). The suffix –itis is the term used to describe the inflammation of something like sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinus.

The list of concerns with chronic inflammation goes on and on. Studies suggest chronic inflammation is also linked to:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic lower respiratory disease
  • Parkinson’s
  • ADD
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Migraines

As you can see, chronic inflammation can cause an umbrella of consequences. Interestingly, chronic inflammation tends to cause problems in those areas where you are genetically weakest or not taking care of yourself. So you may have full-body systemic inflammation, but it may only impact those areas where your body already has some sort of predisposed risk.

Chronic inflammation knocks you down at the knees and then hits you again while you’re down.

What are the symptoms of chronic inflammation?

Now you’re thinking, “do I have chronic inflammation?” And I’m glad you’re asking the question. Because understanding and acknowledging chronic inflammation is the first step in fighting against it and its associated diseases.

Unlike acute inflammation, you usually won’t be able to see the symptoms of chronic inflammation firsthand. It won’t cause your ankle to swell up or your infection to fill with pus. Chronic inflammation is a silent killer.

However, if you’re feeling symptoms of a weakened system, you may be dealing with chronic inflammation:

  • Gut problems like heartburn, gas, nausea (inflamed gut)
  • Overweight or obesity (fat fuels inflammation)
  • Constant fatigue and insufficient sleep (lowered immune system)
  • Prostate problems like BPH and prostatitis (inflamed sex organs)
  • Stress, especially in the morning (a sign the immune system is working in overdrive)
  • Mental fog or emotional instability (inflamed brain)
  • High cholesterol and blood pressure (inflamed heart)
  • Unexplained pains or weakness (inflamed joints and immune system)

If you feel generally unwell but can’t place why, you may have chronic inflammation.

What causes chronic inflammation?

So where does chronic inflammation come from? How do you know if you’re at risk?


Being overweight and/or having diabetes is a proven cause of chronic inflammation. Diabetes and obesity are both linked to insulin resistance, which is when the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin. This means that cells fill up with glucose and the pancreas has to go into overdrive producing more insulin. This creates an excess of free-floating insulin, which in turn unbalances hormones and increases the body’s storage of fat.

Extra visceral belly fat sits around the organs in the abdomen. These fat cells actually pump out chemicals and proteins, like cytokines, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor. These all provoke the inflammatory system, thus causing chronic inflammation. The more fat you have on your body, the more pro-inflammatory chemicals sent out.

2. Stress

One of the most prominent causes of chronic inflammation is stress. We’ve known for years that stress wreaks havoc on your system, but we weren’t always sure exactly how. Recent studies have shown that the body’s stress response actually impairs its ability to regulate inflammation. Participants who were stressed were unable to fight off infection as quickly and had a higher inflammatory response than non-stressed participants.

Moreover, stress causes high levels of cortisol. Cortisol lowers testosterone, diminishes the immune system, and negatively affects insulin levels (which we discussed under “obesity”). Basically, more stress leads to more inflammation.

3. Diet

The foods you are eating could be contributing to or causing your chronic inflammation as well. Some foods are actually pro-inflammatory, like sugars, saturated fats, trans fats, gluten, MSG, and processed or packaged foods. Alcohol in high amounts is also a cause of inflammation.

4. Toxins

Moreover, if you’re eating processed foods, you could be exposing yourself to pesticides and hormones. Chemicals negatively impact our immune system and cause inflammation. Toxins in the air or in your environment can also be stimulating this response. Toxins are found most prominently in glues, adhesives, plastics, air fresheners, cleaning products, pollution, and heavy metals.

5. Smoking

Cigarettes are filled with toxins that will cause inflammation. The chemicals in these cigarettes attack your immune system and release high amounts of cytokines that your body can’t regulate.

6. Periodontal Disease

Interestingly, periodontal disease is linked to systemic inflammation. When you have any sort of inflammatory disease, it can seep out into your other bodily systems. Since the mouth is so close to the brain, heart, and kidney, periodontal disease can do surprisingly severe damage to your crucial functions. Smoking often causes periodontal disease as well.

7. Hormones

If your hormones are unbalanced, your body gets thrown out of whack. Low testosterone levels specifically contribute to chronic inflammation, which is why men with low T often feel brain fog, aches and pains, and a disinterest in what they once found enjoyable. Learn more about regulating hormones here.

8. Sleep

Your body resets itself during sleep. If you don’t sleep consistently or have disrupted sleep, your body thinks something is wrong. It will release pro-inflammatory factors like tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 to fight against what it thinks is something invading your body. When those factors have nothing to fight, they’ll hang around and do damage to your healthy organs—aka chronic inflammation.

9. Aging

As we age, our body can’t fight off infection as easily. This means our body overcompensates with high amounts of inflammation to fight off daily toxins and stressors. Our aging body then can’t fight off the inflammation as well either, causing a vicious cycle of illness and inflammation.

10. Genes

Some people have a genetic predisposition to certain inflammatory concerns. As discussed, inflammation likes to hit you where it already hurts—like in genetic weaknesses or soft spots.

But this doesn’t mean that chronic inflammation is inevitable just because you’re getting older, it’s in your genes, or you feel stress every once in a while.

Do YOU have chronic inflammation?

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We have no idea how many people are suffering from chronic inflammation. It’s likely that anyone with any sort of disease or illness is dealing with some sort of inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s healing response; so, if you need healing, your body is going to send out some sort of inflammatory response. If you need healing but aren’t getting better, likely that inflammatory response has gone rogue.

If you have any of the above symptoms and/or you’re at risk for chronic inflammation with the above causes, then it’s time to consult a doctor. Your doctor can run blood tests for inflammation, like the C-reactive protein test or fibrinogen test. There are also more expensive tests that look at your cytokine levels to determine inflammation intensity.

But it’s important to note that you could have low-grade inflammation that still goes undetected. Often, chronic inflammation isn’t considered until it causes severe cellular damage that results in another disease, like Alzheimer’s or heart disease.

A good rule of thumb: always take care of yourself as if you had chronic inflammation.

How can you reduce chronic inflammation?

In most cases, chronic inflammation can be treated with lifestyle changes and healthy living. This means that whether or not you have diagnosed chronic inflammation, you can make these changes to reduce your risk and start feeling better.

So what can you do to reduce your chronic inflammation and threat of associated diseases?

1. Avoid inflammatory foods.

Most Americans eat a pro-inflammatory diet, which contributes heavily to chronic inflammation. Unhealthy meals are directly linked to stress, negative emotions, and long-term disease. Inflammatory foods include:

  • Fried foods (trans fats)
  • Soda (sugar)
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Red meat
  • Processed meat
  • Margarine
  • Processed foods (preservatives and chemicals)

Gluten is also highly inflammatory. Gluten irritates the intestinal wall and actually makes the large intestine porous and open. This can contribute to “leaky gut,” which is when substances leak out of the intestinal tract and into the bloodstream and lymph system. Yes, the toxins you’re supposed to poop out find their way back into your central system.

Try cutting gluten from your diet for 4-6 weeks. Reintroduce one gluten item for a week to see how your body reacts. If you suddenly feel anxiety, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems when you reintroduce gluten, you know that you need to cut the inflammatory-gluten altogether.

2. Eat anti-inflammatory foods.

The Mediterranean diet has proven have anti-inflammatory effects that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and other maladies. It can also help maintain a healthy weight and fight off obesity, which is a key contributor to chronic inflammation. The Mediterranean diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, beans, nuts, herbs, and spices. You should be eating fresh fish at least three times per week, especially the omega-3 fatty fish salmon. Reduce your intake of eggs, red meat, and dairy to 1-2 times per week maximum.

Other anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Bell and hot peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Ginger
  • Olive oil
  • Berries
  • Cherries

A number of spices can also help reduce inflammation, like turmeric, ginger, cloves, curry, cinnamon, sage, and marjoram.

While heavy alcohol consumption can inflame the system, a few glasses of wine per week can actually have heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory effects. Plus, a glass of wine before bed can help you sleep—and sleep is crucial to health.

When possible, choose fresh and organic foods. This will help avoid the preservatives and chemicals found in processed foods, which can unbalance your hormones and promote inflammation.

Learn more about anti-inflammatory foods with Harvard’s “Foods That Fight Inflammation.”

3. Exercise the right amount.

Exercise is vital to alleviating insulin resistance and reducing fat, both of which are crucial to reducing chronic inflammation. Exercising can help maintain a healthy weight, which improves the immune system and the body’s ability to fight disease.

Find some of my favorite health-boosting moves here.

Interestingly, exercising too much or too little can promote inflammation. If you exercise too much, acute inflammation (from tearing muscles and overworking the body) can become chronic. So you need to balance working hard with resting hard.

4. Take magnesium.

A study in “Magnesium And The Inflammatory Response” found that magnesium can actually reduce inflammation at the cellular level. The researchers discovered that a magnesium deficiency causes an inflammatory condition, while increasing magnesium intake can decrease inflammation. Thus, supplementing with magnesium may be a “missing link” in your inflammatory-related health concerns.

Always talk to a doctor before adding magnesium or other supplements to your regimen.5. Consume more probiotics.

Having a healthy gut is key to a strong immune system and regulated inflammatory response. Probiotics contribute to intestinal health, which is directly linked to the body’s release of inflammatory factors. Remember that “leaky gut” stuff? Probiotics can help that. Remember that stuff about toxins and cytokines? Probiotics fight that. Probiotics are good bacteria that help regulate your body’s systems. Studies have proven that probiotics have anti-inflammatory effects that can improve intestinal and non-intestinal diseases.

Learn more about the health benefits of probiotics—and how to include them in your diet—here!

6. Manage stress.

As discussed, stress has a severe inflammatory response. If you want to reduce your body’s stress, you need to link your mind and body on a spiritual level. Try yoga, meditation, or guided visualization to help reduce your cortisol levels. Lower cortisol, lower inflammatory response.

7. Sleep, sleep, sleep.

Sleep is also an important part of regulating your body. Getting to bed also helps reduce cortisol and balance out your hormones. It also works to fight against inflammation and improve the immune system. Consider sleep an essential stress and health management practice.

8. Don’t smoke.

The chemicals in cigarettes will cause inflammation and other serious diseases. It’s time to stop smoking. Right now.

Bottom line

Chronic inflammation is the number one silent killer. It can lurk in your body undetected for years, attacking your heart, brain, joints, organs, and immunity. If you’ve been feeling “off” or your doctor has told you that you have an increased risk for disease, you may be dealing with this silent, stalking killer.

But you don’t have to let it take over your life. With the right lifestyle choices and guidance from a doctor, you can be on the road to health in no time.

If you’re looking to introduce healthy practices into your life to reduce chronic inflammation and feel youthful again, schedule a consultation to learn how to personalized health advice so you can live your life to the fullest.

Ready to take the next steps?

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In Male 2.0™, Dr. Tracy Gapin has turned everything we once thought we knew about men’s health and performance upside down. The old model of how to be “a man” is broken. A man who works himself to death.  Unfortunately, a man who tries to NOT get sick but isn’t really healthy either.  And a man who takes a pill for every ill but is never really cured. That was Male 1.0. Now, imagine being THE MAN ─ owning your performance in the bedroom, the weight room, and the boardroom. Living a fully optimized life. Becoming limitless. This is Male 2.0!

Tracy Gapin, MD, FACS  is a board-certified Urologist,  world renowned Men’s Health & Performance Expert, Author, and Professional Speaker. Using state-of-the-art biometric monitoring, nutrition and lifestyle intervention, Dr. Gapin coaches Fortune 500 executives and evolutionary leaders of business, sports medicine, and high performance. He specializes in cutting-edge precision medicine with an emphasis on epigenetics, providing men with a personalized path to optimizing health & performance.

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