The Mediterranean diet has long been hailed as a blueprint for healthy eating and superior long-term health outcomes, emphasizing fresh produce, whole grains, and lean proteins. However, as our understanding of nutrition and longevity deepens, researchers are constantly seeking further ways to optimize this renowned diet. Enter the NOVOS Longevity Diet, a modified version of the Mediterranean diet specifically tailored to promote longevity.
This article will explore the eight key ways the NOVOS longevity diet surpasses its predecessor, highlighting the evidence-based changes that make it a potent tool for promoting a longer and healthier life.
Check out our webinar focusing on longevity nutrition to slow aging. We go over the NOVOS Longevity Diet, caloric restriction, fasting, and more.
Evolving The Mediterranean Diet
Building upon the foundations of the Mediterranean diet, the NOVOS Longevity Diet incorporates the latest research findings to make modifications that further optimize its potential impact on healthspan and lifespan.
The first optimization is replacing starches like whole grain breads and pasta with more nutrient-dense alternatives such as mushrooms, vegetables, legumes, or quinoa. By reducing starch intake, the diet helps to keep glucose and insulin levels low, a crucial factor in maintaining overall health. Additionally, the incorporation of nutrient-rich mushrooms, vegetables, legumes, and quinoa provides an abundance of essential polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals.
Another emphasis of the NOVOS longevity diet involves the integration of teas and coffees to replace soft drinks and even water. Tea and coffee not only offer a flavorful alternative, but they also bring a wealth of antioxidants and polyphenols linked to extending healthspan and lifespan.
Dairy milk is eliminated or replaced with plant-based alternatives, while dairy products like cheese and yogurt are consumed in moderation. The reduction in dairy intake aligns with the latest research on optimal nutrition for longevity.
Eliminating alcohol to the greatest extent possible is another key component of the NOVOS longevity diet. While moderate alcohol consumption, especially red wine, was once thought to possibly have certain health benefits, researchers have found that this is in fact not the case (more on this below).
The NOVOS longevity diet also emphasizes maintaining diet diversity by consuming 30 or more natural plant-based ingredients per week. This variety ensures a broad spectrum of essential nutrients and promotes microbial diversity in the gut. Additionally, regularly incorporating fermented foods into the diet provides beneficial probiotics that support gut health and immune function.
The NOVOS longevity diet recommends targeted supplementation to address any potential nutrient deficiencies. Individuals can ensure their dietary needs are met for optimal health and longevity by selecting supplements to cover essential nutrient gaps.
Finally, the NOVOS longevity diet suggests supplementing with proven longevity ingredients. These scientifically supported supplements offer additional support to promote healthy aging and improve overall well-being.
The following sections will delve into these optimizations, providing a comprehensive understanding of the scientific evidence supporting their inclusion in the NOVOS longevity diet.
1. Harnessing the Anti-Aging Benefits of Mushrooms
While the link between mushroom consumption and increased lifespan has primarily been established through animal studies, researchers have identified several bioactive compounds in mushrooms that are believed to contribute to their anti-aging effects. One such compound is ergothioneine, an amino acid found in high concentrations in certain mushroom varieties like shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Ergothioneine has shown promising results in enhancing cellular health and protecting against oxidative stress, crucial factors in promoting longevity.
In addition to ergothioneine, mushrooms contain other bioactive compounds, such as polysaccharides and triterpenoids, which have also been linked to anti-aging properties. These compounds exert their effects by modulating various cellular pathways involved in aging, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and cellular senescence. By targeting these fundamental processes, mushrooms have the potential to promote a longer and healthier lifespan.
Impact on Hallmarks of Aging:
Dysbiosis, characterized by an imbalance in the gut microbiota, is now recognized as one of the hallmarks of aging. The composition of gut bacteria is vital in maintaining overall health and well-being. Mushrooms can contribute to a healthy gut microbiome due to their prebiotic fiber content, particularly beta-glucans. Beta-glucans act as a food source for beneficial gut bacteria, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, promoting their growth and maintaining a balanced microbial environment. By preventing dysbiosis, mushrooms help support digestive health, nutrient absorption, and immune function, all essential for longevity.
Moreover, certain mushrooms, like Reishi, possess antimicrobial properties that can further contribute to a healthy gut. Studies have shown that Reishi mushrooms can reduce the abundance of harmful bacteria in the gut, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (staph). By promoting a favorable balance of gut bacteria, mushrooms play a vital role in preserving gut health, closely linked to overall well-being and longevity.
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects:
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are key contributors to the aging process. Mushrooms contain various bioactive compounds, including polysaccharides and triterpenoids, which exhibit potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These compounds help combat excessive inflammation and neutralize harmful free radicals, reducing cellular damage and promoting longevity.
Turning to beta-glucans again, they have been extensively studied for their immunomodulatory effects. Beta-glucans can modulate the immune system, enhancing its ability to respond to infections and diseases. Additionally, beta-glucans have been shown to regulate inflammatory processes and reduce the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. By mitigating chronic inflammation, mushrooms, particularly those rich in beta-glucans like shiitake, contribute to the prevention of inflammaging, a hallmark of aging characterized by persistent low-grade inflammation.
Furthermore, mushrooms’ antioxidant properties help protect against oxidative stress, which damages cells and contributes to aging. The polysaccharides and triterpenoids in mushrooms scavenge free radicals and inhibit oxidative damage, thereby supporting cellular health and longevity.
2. How Teas and Coffee Support a Longer, Healthier Life
Within the NOVOS Longevity Diet, two popular beverages, tea and coffee, have emerged as noteworthy contributors to longevity. Scientific research has shed light on their remarkable effects, revealing a positive association between tea consumption and extended lifespan and a link between coffee consumption and increased longevity. These findings emphasize the potential of tea and coffee to promote well-being and longevity.
Tea consumption has been associated with extended lifespan, as evidenced by a comprehensive study on over 100,000 Chinese adults. The research revealed that regular tea drinkers had a 20% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who did not consume tea (R). This remarkable finding emphasizes the positive impact of tea on longevity.
Similarly, coffee consumption has been linked to increased lifespan. A study encompassing over 500,000 European adults demonstrated that coffee drinkers exhibited a lower mortality risk from all causes, including cardiovascular disease and cancer (R). Exceptions apply to individuals with exceptionally high blood pressure, as coffee consumption can have a negative impact for them on cardiovascular health.
Impact on Hallmarks of Aging:
Both teas and coffee are rich sources of polyphenols, plant compounds known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These polyphenols play a vital role in preventing and ameliorating various hallmarks of aging (R).
Tea and Cognitive Health:
Tea polyphenols, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), have shown neuroprotective effects, which can help safeguard against cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (R). By incorporating tea into their diet, individuals may contribute to protecting their cognitive function and promoting brain health.
Coffee and Inflammaging:
Coffee polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid, have been found to possess anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce inflammaging, the chronic low-grade inflammation associated with aging (R). By mitigating inflammation, coffee consumption may contribute to overall well-being and longevity.
Both tea and coffee have demonstrated cardioprotective effects. Tea consumption has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke (R). Similarly, coffee consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of heart failure (R). These findings suggest that incorporating tea and coffee into the diet can support heart health and promote longevity.
Discover additional longevity benefits of Tea and Coffee in this article.
3. Why It’s Time to Reduce Dairy Consumption
Within the NOVOS Longevity Diet, one ingredient that raises concerns is dairy. While it has long been touted as a source of essential nutrients, dairy harbors multiple aspects that are not conducive to promoting a longer, healthier life.
One of the primary culprits in dairy is galactose, a molecule naturally found in lactose, the sugar in dairy products. When the small intestine breaks down lactose, galactose is released. Animal studies have shown that dietary galactose can have detrimental effects, including increased oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and impaired cognitive function. In a recent study published in 2021, mice fed a high-galactose diet experienced accelerated cognitive decline and displayed heightened markers of inflammation in the brain compared to those on a controlled diet. The impact of galactose extends to the formation of crosslinks, which further compounds the aging process.
Furthermore, research has shown that milk consumption, particularly in high quantities, can negatively affect insulin sensitivity. A study showed that 8-year-old boys, who are typically more insulin sensitive than adults, could be made insulin-resistant just by making them drink 53 g of protein from milk instead of meat. The study showed that fasting insulin concentrations doubled in the milk group, increasing insulin resistance. As individuals age, their ability to handle sugars and insulin decreases, making them less insulin sensitive. It is worth noting that humans are the only animals that continue to consume milk beyond infancy, raising questions about its compatibility with a longevity-focused diet.
Stimulation of growth receptors is another area of concern associated with dairy consumption. Milk contains substances that activate growth receptors in cells, such as insulin receptors, mTOR receptors, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) receptors. In biogerontology, the science of aging, it is widely known that excessive stimulation of these receptors accelerates aging, increases the risk of aging-related diseases, and shortens lifespan. Cells with overstimulated growth receptors are less efficient in self-maintenance, leading to compromised DNA repair and reduced component recycling.
Dairy consumption has also been associated with various health issues, including an increased risk of certain cancers like prostate cancer. Milk intake has been linked to skin health problems such as eczema and hormonal effects that can contribute to higher levels of acne.
A large, long-term study found that women who drink three or more glasses of milk per day had almost double the risk of dying compared to women who drank less than one glass per day. There was also a strong dose-response relationship (the more milk they drank, the higher the risk of dying), which suggests a causal relationship. The study also found that higher milk intake was associated with increased DNA damage and inflammation (R).
Want to learn more about the connection between milk consumption and accelerated aging? We cover this topic extensively in this article.
4. Alcohol’s Negative Impact on Longevity
In the ongoing quest for longevity, the topic of alcohol has sparked debates and discussions. Some argue for the potential health benefits of moderate drinking, particularly in relation to heart health. They highlight compounds like resveratrol found in red wine, which has been touted as a “longevity compound,” much to the disappointment of longevity researchers. Upon closer examination, the claims surrounding alcohol and its impact on longevity may not be as promising as they initially appear.
Let’s explore the arguments against alcohol and its potential negative impact on longevity. First and foremost, ethanol, the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages, is a potent toxin. When alcohol comes into contact with bacteria, viruses, or cells, it can destroy them within minutes. This same destructive effect occurs within our bodies, making our cells equally vulnerable internally.
In a study involving 371,463 individuals, genetic evidence revealed a consistent and non-linear association between alcohol consumption and an increased risk of hypertension, coronary artery disease, and mortality (R). The risk was found to decrease with light alcohol intake and exponentially escalate with higher consumption levels. However, the data analysis found that the moderate drinkers, who showed better outcomes, tended to exercise more, consume more vegetables, and smoke less, indicating that their overall healthier lifestyle choices accounted for their improved health rather than the alcohol itself. In this article, we explain how the hallmarks of aging are impacted by drug and alcohol use.
So, what is NOVOS’s stance on alcohol? While small doses of alcohol on occasion may have minimal health risks for individuals who are otherwise healthy and have a low cardiovascular risk profile, it is important to note that alcohol is not a longevity-promoting compound. Centenarians, such as those in Sardinia, Italy, may consume wine, but their longevity is not attributed to alcohol. It is their overall lifestyle, diet, sleep patterns, genetics, and other factors that enable them to withstand the potentially damaging effects of alcohol more effectively than the average person. To learn more about Blue Zones, click here.
5. Diet Diversity: Maximizing Nutrient Adequacy and Health Benefits
One of the primary advantages of a diverse diet is its association with a decreased risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. By consuming various foods from different food groups, we expose ourselves to various beneficial compounds, including antioxidants and phytochemicals. These compounds have been shown to have protective effects on our cells, tissues, and organs, helping to counteract oxidative stress and inflammation, which are underlying factors in developing chronic diseases.
Furthermore, a diverse diet is crucial in promoting and maintaining a healthy gut. Our gut is home to trillions of bacteria that form a complex ecosystem known as the gut microbiome. The diversity and composition of these bacteria play a vital role in various aspects of our health, including digestion, immunity, and even mental health. Consuming a wide range of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, provides a rich source of dietary fibers, prebiotics, and other compounds that nourish and support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. These bacteria, in turn, help break down and ferment fiber, produce essential nutrients, and support the integrity of our gut lining, contributing to improved gut health and overall well-being.
To learn more about the Microbiome and its role in our overall health, check out our Microbiome Series, authored by Dr. Maria Corlianò, Ph.D.
Incorporating a diverse range of foods into our daily meals can be achieved by embracing variety in our food choices, exploring different cuisines, and experimenting with new ingredients. The goal is to incorporate 30 different plant-based foods per week. It is important to prioritize whole, unprocessed foods and aim for a colorful plate that includes a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. By doing so, we can ensure that we meet our nutrient needs and reap the numerous health benefits associated with a diverse diet, ultimately supporting our long-term health and vitality.
6. The Power of Fermented Foods
Fermented foods have been recognized for their remarkable benefits to our overall health, particularly in improving gut health and supporting a healthy immune system. These foods, which are rich in beneficial bacteria or probiotics, can profoundly impact our well-being by positively influencing our gut microbiome, reducing inflammation, enhancing nutrient absorption, improving mental health, and potentially preventing certain diseases.
One of the key advantages of consuming fermented foods is their ability to promote a healthy gut microbiome. Our gut is home to trillions of bacteria that play a crucial role in digestion, immunity, and overall health. By incorporating fermented foods into our diet, we introduce diverse beneficial bacteria that can populate our gut and support its optimal function. This, in turn, helps improve digestion, nutrient absorption, and the overall balance of our gut microbiota.
The benefits of fermented foods extend beyond gut health. Some fermented foods, such as kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut, contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation, or inflammaging, is associated with various health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. By incorporating these foods into our diet, we can potentially reduce inflammation and support overall well-being.
In addition to reducing inflammaging, fermented foods can enhance the absorption of certain nutrients. Some plant-based foods contain antinutrients, compounds that can inhibit the absorption of essential minerals like iron and zinc. The fermentation process breaks down these antinutrients, making these nutrients more bioavailable and increasing their absorption in the body. By including fermented foods in our meals, we can optimize nutrient absorption and support our overall nutritional status.
Emerging research suggests a connection between the gut microbiome and mental health. Consuming probiotics through fermented foods may positively impact mood and stress levels. Several studies have found that individuals who regularly consume fermented foods experience reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. This natural approach to mental well-being offers an alternative to relying on substances like alcohol, as the benefits of fermented foods may contribute to improved mood and stress management over time. Learn more about the Gut-Brain Axis and other Gut-Organ axes in this article.
Moreover, fermented foods may have potential disease-preventive properties. A 2020 study demonstrated that regular consumption of natto, a Japanese probiotic food, led to a significant reversal of carotid artery plaque and thickness (R). The study highlighted the multifaceted cardiovascular benefits of natto, including its antithrombotic, anti-hypertensive, anti-atherosclerotic, and neuroprotective effects. These findings suggest that incorporating fermented foods into our diet may have a protective role against certain diseases.
7. Closing the Nutritional Gap with General Health Supplements
In pursuing a long and healthy life, supplements are crucial in bridging the nutritional gaps and addressing our unique challenges. While a balanced diet is undoubtedly important, several factors make supplementation necessary for a longevity-focused approach.
When it comes to maintaining our health, there are essential micronutrients that our bodies require. These include vitamins such as A, B-complex, choline, C, D, E, K, and minerals like magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, molybdenum, iodine, selenium, manganese, and more. But why do we need to supplement these nutrients? The truth is that the human body is not naturally equipped to absorb nutrients efficiently. This is evident in common deficiencies like iron, iodine, choline, and various B vitamins and the human body’s dependence on external sources for vitamin C. As we age, the absorption of nutrients diminishes due to the natural degradation of our microbiomes. Therefore, supplementation becomes essential to ensure optimal nutrient intake and overall well-being.
Moreover, the quality of our food has changed significantly over time. Compared to prehistoric times when our ancestors relied on nutrient-dense wild plants, today’s processed and calorie-rich foods lack essential micronutrients. Furthermore, our modern lifestyles, characterized by sedentary behavior, increased exposure to pollutants, higher stress levels, and inflammatory factors, contribute to chronic inflammation in our bodies. This chronic inflammation demands a higher intake of nutrients to combat its effects, making supplementation all the more necessary.
Government-recommended intakes of nutrients often fall short of what is needed for long-term health and disease prevention. These guidelines primarily focus on short-term disease avoidance, such as scurvy, and fail to consider the long-term impact on reducing disease risk over decades. Therefore, higher doses of nutrients become necessary for optimal healthy aging, especially as we enter our thirties and beyond when our bodies begin to have increasing degrees of difficulty absorbing the nutrients we ingest.
8. Longevity Supplements: The Key to Prolonged Health and Lifespan
Longevity supplements are a key piece to the longevity puzzle and enable us to take our health to the next level.
NOVOS Core and NOVOS Boost stand out as comprehensive longevity solutions and are the first and most researched formulations designed to simultaneously address all 12 hallmarks of aging. Formulated by a team of eight longevity scientists, MDs, and experts, these supplements adhere to rigorous standards. Each ingredient is carefully selected based on its ability to impact aging mechanisms, influence multiple mechanisms simultaneously, and extend lifespan in animal models. Additionally, these ingredients have been associated with reduced risk of aging-related processes and mortality in humans, are recognized as safe by regulatory bodies, and have a natural origin. They also possess a low side effect profile and have a history of use in treating specific symptoms in humans without adverse effects.
Early studies conducted with NOVOS Core and NOVOS Boost have yielded promising results. In human cell studies, significant reductions in DNA damage from irradiation were observed, surpassing the effects of other natural ingredients and pharmaceutical drugs. Additionally, NOVOS supplements have shown potential in addressing senescent cells, a key contributor to aging, with outcomes comparable to the gold standard prescription longevity drug rapamycin. Notably, a recent human case study demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in the biological rate of aging among 73% of participants, with 0% accelerating, highlighting the effectiveness of NOVOS supplements in slowing down the aging process according to epigenetics. You can read more about these studies here.
Empowering You On Your Longevity Journey
The NOVOS longevity diet builds upon the foundation of the Mediterranean diet. It takes it further by incorporating specific modifications based on cutting-edge research. By replacing starches with nutrient-dense alternatives, incorporating teas and coffees rich in antioxidants, reducing dairy intake, eliminating or minimizing alcohol consumption, maintaining diet diversity, and including fermented foods, individuals can enhance their longevity potential.
Moreover, the NOVOS longevity diet emphasizes using scientifically supported longevity ingredients in supplement form, like the ones present in NOVOS Core and NOVOS Boost. These 13 ingredients have been extensively studied and have shown promising results in promoting healthy aging and extending healthspan.
By following the NOVOS longevity diet and incorporating these optimizations, individuals can take proactive steps towards slowing their aging, improving their health, and extending their lifespan. Combining a nutrient-rich diet, targeted supplementation, and including longevity-promoting ingredients provides a comprehensive approach to support overall well-being and enhance longevity.
The NOVOS longevity diet is a valuable guide in pursuing a longer and healthier life, offering evidence-based recommendations to optimize healthspan and lifespan.