fermented food
Aging Well

The 10 Dietary Habits of Highly Successful Agers

Polyphenols are organic compounds that provide a variety of health benefits and reduce the body’s absorption of iron. The Mindspan Elite generally consume foods rich in these protective chemicals, found in beverages including coffee, black or green tea, cocoa, dark chocolate, herbal teas, as well as in vegetables, grains, and in fruit.

The 10 Dietary Habits of Highly Successful Agers – The Mindspan Diet
1. Little or no red meat.
2. Tea, coffee, or alcohol consumed with meals (the latter in moderation).
3. Fermented appetizer — typically vinegar with vegetables or fish (pickled, or dried).
4. Non-enriched white rice, semolina pasta, white bread, and/or white sourdough bread (e.g., low glycemic index refined carbs, not fortified with iron).
5. Moderate to high intake of high quality monounsaturated fat, such as from olive oil or canola oil; moderate intake of omega-3 fats from vegetables such as lettuce, cauliflower, spinach, etc.
6. Vegetables — such as greens — and fruits — such as berries, tomatoes, avocados, and grapes (e.g., foods high in phytochemicals, also contained in beverages including red wine, coffee, cocoa, tea, and herbal teas, including mint, chamomile and pennyroyal).
7. Moderate to fairly high intake of fish and seafood (not deep fried).
8. Less milk (moderate amounts of cheese, butter, and sour cream). These choices depend on an individual’s genetic makeup, as explained in The Mindspan Diet.
9. More beans and other legumes.
10. Less added sugar/moderate salt.

Testing for Iron Excess
Taking a panel of specific blood tests is the only way to know definitively if you have excess iron. One common test measures hemoglobin. However, the most important test is serum ferritin. Although a scandal in the 1990’s removed serum ferritin from the common blood testing panel, you can request it through healthcare providers. Though not covered by insurance, a serum ferritin test generally costs under $50 out-of-pocket. I believe current scientific evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the traditionally acceptable range of blood iron levels is too high. Further, modern medicine has arbitrarily set a much higher definition of healthy iron levels in men than in women. Simply because men typically have higher iron levels doesn’t mean those levels are harmless.

I consider healthy biomarker levels as follows:

– 10-40 nanograms of ferritin
– 12 to 13 grams per deciliter of hemoglobin (although even lower hemoglobin is common in centenarians).

How to Tell if You have a Genetic Predisposition to The Harmful Impacts of Iron
Sequencing your entire DNA (Whole Genome Sequencing) can identify whether you have genetic variants, not only predisposing you to the harmful effects of iron, but to other clinically relevant health conditions. According to your genetic makeup, your physician may then recommend measures to reduce your risk of disease by adjusting your diet, lifestyle, and potentially, medications.