How to Improve your Quality of Life and Longevity

I hope you are finding ways to self-care and thrive in what I think can safely be called surreal times. I have noticed that the skill sets usually thought of as “outlier” skills, are becoming foundational skills for anyone who wants to be able to navigate the unknown in a rapidly changing present and future.

What if we could prepare ourselves, and our next generation in ways which would not only prepare ourselves for adversity, but would also elevate our quality of life and increase our longevity? This is possible, something I have been doing for a number of years, and of course I couldn’t possibly explain this in one blog. Today, however, I offer an introduction.

First suggestion: read the book Lifespan, by David Sinclair, Ph.D. It’s a game changer. The first 50 pages or so will challenge you if you don’t have a science background, and it’s worth it. Here are some brief highlights from the book, and some specific and concrete takeaways for you. While there are a number of categories related to being able to improve one’s quality of life and longevity, today’s focus is on what you can eat, and what can be produced, along with a physical strategy.

Producing NMN

NMN, or Nicotinamide Mononucleotide is derived from Niacin (which is why I supplement with Niacin). Here’s the kicker… we humans have many enzymes which use NMN to create NAD!

What’s NAD you might ask… coming right up. First, here are some things you can eat often which produce NMN.

  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage

Ideally, you’d eat these raw, as in a raw broccoli salad with diced red onion, chopped apples, some chopped cilantro, and a healthy balsamic vinegar-based dressing (which you should make so you know what’s going in). When we eat raw, we greatly increase our enzyme level. Most people are walking around enzyme deficient, and that is not a good idea.

From NMN to NAD

So, NMN produces NAD, Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, which is central to our metabolism! As if that isn’t good enough news by itself…

NADS fuel all 7 of our Sirtuins!

What is a Sirtuin? It’s a protein-based enzyme that is related to metabolism and longevity. Sirtuins, or SIRT’s have been shown to extend life when combined with other healthy lifestyles, to include:

  • Intermittent Fasting (eating only during any 6 - 8 hr window)
  • Caloric Restriction (not malnutrition)
  • Protecting our DNA (outstanding nutrition, including foods which produce resveratrol, foster gut health, and which boost our autoimmune system)

Specifically, SIRT’s  2 and 6 are the ones we want to enhance, which would be a byproduct by following the advice of David Sinclair in his book Lifespan. I mentioned resveratrol above. Below are some foods which produce resveratrol. Enjoy them!

  • Mushrooms
  • Blueberries
  • Pistachios
  • Grapes
  • Cranberries
  • Cacao Powder
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Pinot Noir

Keep in mind with Pinot Noir, which has the most resveratrol than any red wine, that I’m not suggesting you drink wine all day long! It takes the consumption of many foods which produce resveratrol, as a habit, to help your body out.

In closing, remember that movement is also critical for many reasons, including the fact that vigorous exercise impacts us at the foundational level. How so?

Ongoing and somewhat intense exercise creates longer telomeres!

What is that?! They are the end caps on our chromosomes, and protect them from damage and/or fusing with other unintended chromosomes, which we all want to avoid! Here’s a brief article on telomeres. Worth the read to understand how important this is, and why exercise is more important than simply burning calories.

If I had to make one suggestion for your workout routines it would be this:

Use the HIIT approach… high intensity interval training. It’s simple and very effective.

  • For 30 seconds, do whatever exercise you’re doing as fast as you can.
  • For 30 seconds or 60 seconds, continue your exercise at a regular pace.
  • Repeat that sequence until you’ve been going for at least 11 minutes, and preferably for 20 minutes.

You’ll thank me later… lol!

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