From Superfoods to Supplements: Nourishing Your Way to a Longer Life

From Superfoods to Supplements: Nourishing Your Way to a Longer Life

In the unending quest for longevity and well-being, the saying "you are what you eat" holds truer than ever. Scientific strides reveal nutrition's pivotal role in healthcare, exemplified by Japan's famously enduring population. Their diet, rich in fish, soybeans, and green tea, underpins low heart disease and cancer rates (1). The health-benefiting properties of these foods and drinks have led to several studies determining the effects of supplementation on human longevity. The synergy between superfoods and supplements lies in their combined potential to enhance overall health and well-being.

In this blog, we will explore the health benefits of superfoods and the limitations of incorporating superfoods alone into the diet to promote longevity. Furthermore, we will cover the science of longevity supplements, how to choose the right supplements, and how to safely integrate superfoods and supplements into your daily routine, alongside some lifestyle tips to help promote longevity.

Superfoods: Nature’s Powerhouses

Superfoods, a category of nutritionally potent foods revered for their exceptional health-promoting properties, encompass a diverse array of natural wonders that fortify well-being. These foods are distinguished by their extraordinary concentrations of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and bioactive compounds. Certain standouts have garnered well-deserved attention among the nutritional powerhouses for their remarkable contributions to vitality.

  • Blueberries: Blueberries harbor a treasury of antioxidants that combat oxidative stress, promoting brain health and cognitive function. Multiple studies show that blueberry interventions can result in enhanced neural activity, improved working memory performance, memory and executive function performance in older adults (2).
  • Kale: Kale boasts a variety of nutrients while holding potent anti-inflammatory attributes (3). Kale contains a cocktail of bioactive compounds with neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cancer-preventing properties (4).
  • Turmeric/Curcumin: Curcumin, the prized component of turmeric, is renowned for its dual abilities in countering aging and inflammation. Safe at even high doses, curcumin benefits several diseases, including malignancies, skin and immune-related disorders, cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary and renal fibrosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, fatigue, and neuropathic pain (5).
  • Salmon: Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids contributing to good heart health and cognitive well-being. A 2021 study found that higher omega-3 levels are associated with an increased life expectancy of 4.7 years and a 34% lower risk of death from any cause (6,7).
  • Green Tea: Its polyphenols contribute to cellular rejuvenation, nurturing health from the inside out. Polyphenols are natural compounds found in plants, known for their antioxidant properties that help counteract free radicals and oxidative stress in the body. They offer potential health benefits, including reduced risk of chronic diseases and improved cardiovascular health (8).

  • The Potential of Longevity Supplements

    Supplements play a role in bridging nutritional deficiencies and enhancing the benefits of a balanced diet. Common supplements, including antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, protect against oxidative stress, shielding our cells from potential harm (9). Omega-3 fatty acids, celebrated for their heart-protective qualities, extend their embrace to bolster cognitive functions (10,11). Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a cellular powerhouse, fuels our vital energy reserves and fosters cardiovascular vitality. Prolonged CoQ10 supplementation for four years in community-dwelling elderly was associated with improved health-related quality of life and a lower “more days out of hospital” rate (12). 

    Resveratrol – a compound found in grapes, red wine, and certain berries has also been found to have some ability to mimic the effects of calorie restriction on longevity (13). Resveratrol is also a sirtuin-activating compound (STAC) that promotes cellular health, and it also exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, reducing harmful free radicals and modulating the inflammatory response (14). 

    Fisetin, a flavonoid, activates sirtuin proteins, fostering cellular health and counteracting age-related decline (15). Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory attributes contribute to well-being, potentially delaying age-related conditions by preserving cellular health and promoting DNA repair (16). A longevity-enhancing molecule, fisetin holds promise for graceful aging and sustained vitality.

    Spermidine, a polyamine from foods like wheat germ, spurs autophagy—a cellular process clearing damage and fostering rejuvenation. This mechanism underpins potential cardiovascular health, brain function, and longevity benefits. By enhancing cellular "clean-up," spermidine supports efficient function and counteracts age-related decline (17–19).

    NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) is a precursor to NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), found in avocados, broccoli, cabbage, edamame, and cucumbers, crucial for energy production and DNA repair (20). Age-related NAD+ decline correlates with diminished cellular function and disease vulnerability (21). NMN supplementation is thought to elevate NAD+, potentially enhancing energy production, aiding DNA repair, and supporting cellular health (22).

    Adaptogens, like ashwagandha and holy basil, aid stress adaptation by regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic nervous system (23). They promote balance, curbing chronic stress's detrimental impact. By minimizing stress-induced wear and tear, adaptogens foster resilience, enhance well-being, and potentially contribute to longevity.

    While the idea of sipping red wine or eating mounds of fruits and vegetables to promote longevity might sound appealing, the reality is far more complex. For example, the quantities of resveratrol needed to elicit a noticeable longevity effect would likely necessitate consuming wine in volumes that will severely hurt rather than help our health (24) (Figure 1). This is where longevity-focused supplements step in, extracting the beneficial elements of resveratrol and other compounds, making it feasible to achieve meaningful doses without the drawbacks of excess consumption.

    Figure 1: Quantities of food and beverages that must be consumed to reach therapeutic doses of resveratrol (24).

    Choosing the Right Supplements and Integrating Superfoods and Supplements

    In optimizing longevity, personalized nutrition emerges as a guiding principle, recognizing that individual needs vary greatly. While research-backed supplements are promising for enhancing well-being, a cautious approach is vital to avoid over-supplementation or under-supplementation.  This can be done by keeping a food diary, assessing nutrient intake, considering our dietary patterns, and identifying problematic areas of nutrition, amongst other things. MASI offers 1 g of NMN per serving, ensuring optimal doses for maximum well-being. Unlike competitors with lower doses at lower prices, MASI prioritizes high-quality ingredients and absorption rates guided by scientific research. Competing products with minimal doses risk inadequate intracellular levels and lack real benefits. MASI’s approach promotes actual results, providing 1000 mg NMN, 500 mg resveratrol, 3 mg spermidine, and 500 mg fisetin. Another aspect of ensuring the right supplement choice is selecting high-quality supplements that undergo rigorous testing and certification. MASI provides a trackable production and testing process, ensuring transparency and confidence in the supplement’s composition. 

    Figure 2: Supplementation should be incorporated into your personalized nutrition routine.

    Conclusion

    In pursuit of longevity, a balanced approach to wellness, combined with the effectiveness of superfoods and supplements, forms the foundation for future well-being. Beyond nutrition, factors like exercise, sleep, and stress management contribute to vitality, while social connections provide support while avoiding harmful habits. Selecting high-quality, rigorously tested supplements, such as those verified by systems like MASI, enhances safety. The MASI approach to science recommends a healthy diet and lifestyle factors (sleep, exercise, social interaction) and is supported by proven longevity supplements. You can find more information about this here. This comprehensive approach propels us towards a lengthier, healthier life, where mindful nourishment and comprehensive care converge to nurture our most valuable asset – well-being. By combining the best of both worlds—nutrient-rich superfoods and carefully selected longevity supplements—you can empower yourself to take charge of your health and embark on a more vibrant and fulfilling life. Remember, every small choice you make today contributes to a brighter and healthier tomorrow. 
    Explore MASI Premium's longevity supplements for enhanced health and lasting vitality. Discover NMN or revitalizing cells, Resveratrol for countering oxidative stress, Spermidine to combat aging through autophagy, and Fisetin to preserve youthful vigor by eliminating aging-promoting senescent cells.

    Author Biography

    This article was written by Dr. Sarah King (PhD). Dr King is a longevity researcher who specialised in molecular and cellular biology, specifically cell aging and fate as related to NAD signalling during her PhD. She is also a senior medical writer for Co-Labb. 

    References

    1. Tsugane S. Why has Japan become the world’s most long-lived country: insights from a food and nutrition perspective. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2021 Jun;75(6):921–8. 
    2. Bell L, Williams CM. Blueberry benefits to cognitive function across the lifespan. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2021 Jul 4;72(5):650–2. 
    3. Shahinozzaman M, Raychaudhuri S, Fan S, Obanda DN. Kale Attenuates Inflammation and Modulates Gut Microbial Composition and Function in C57BL/6J Mice with Diet-Induced Obesity. Microorganisms. 2021 Jan 24;9(2):238. 
    4. Ortega-Hernández E, Antunes-Ricardo M, Jacobo-Velázquez DA. Improving the Health-Benefits of Kales (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala DC) through the Application of Controlled Abiotic Stresses: A Review. Plants. 2021 Nov 29;10(12):2629. 
    5. Bahrami A, Montecucco F, Carbone F, Sahebkar A. Effects of Curcumin on Aging: Molecular Mechanisms and Experimental Evidence. Baloyannis S, editor. BioMed Res Int. 2021 Oct 13;2021:1–13. 
    6. Harris WS, Tintle NL, Etherton MR, Vasan RS. Erythrocyte long-chain omega-3 fatty acid levels are inversely associated with mortality and with incident cardiovascular disease: The Framingham Heart Study. J Clin Lipidol. 2018 May;12(3):718-727.e6. 
    7. McBurney MI, Tintle NL, Vasan RS, Sala-Vila A, Harris WS. Using an erythrocyte fatty acid fingerprint to predict risk of all-cause mortality: the Framingham Offspring Cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. 2021 Oct;114(4):1447–54. 
    8. Meccariello R, D’Angelo S. Impact of Polyphenolic-Food on Longevity: An Elixir of Life. An Overview. Antioxidants. 2021 Mar 24;10(4):507. 
    9. Sadowska-Bartosz I, Bartosz G. Effect of Antioxidants Supplementation on Aging and Longevity. BioMed Res Int. 2014;2014:1–17. 
    10. Jain AP, Aggarwal KK. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. 
    11. Dighriri IM, Alsubaie AM, Hakami FM, Hamithi DM, Alshekh MM, Khobrani FA, et al. Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Brain Functions: A Systematic Review. Cureus [Internet]. 2022 Oct 9 [cited 2023 Aug 17]; Available from: https://www.cureus.com/articles/116591-effects-of-omega-3-polyunsaturated-fatty-acids-on-brain-functions-a-systematic-review
    12. Johansson P, Dahlström Ö, Dahlström U, Alehagen U. Improved health-related quality of life, and more days out of hospital with supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 combined. Results from a double blind, placebo-controlled prospective study. J Nutr Health Aging. 2015 Nov;19(9):870–7. 
    13. Chung JH, Manganiello V, Dyck JRB. Resveratrol as a calorie restriction mimetic: therapeutic implications. Trends Cell Biol. 2012 Oct;22(10):546–54. 
    14. Meng T, Xiao D, Muhammed A, Deng J, Chen L, He J. Anti-Inflammatory Action and Mechanisms of Resveratrol. Molecules. 2021 Jan 5;26(1):229. 
    15. Jayasena T, Poljak A, Smythe G, Braidy N, Münch G, Sachdev P. The role of polyphenols in the modulation of sirtuins and other pathways involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Ageing Res Rev. 2013 Sep;12(4):867–83. 
    16. Wang T, Lin H, Tu Q, Liu J, Li X. Fisetin Protects DNA Against Oxidative Damage and Its Possible Mechanism. Adv Pharm Bull. 2016 Jun 29;6(2):267–70. 
    17. De Cabo R, Navas P. Spermidine to the rescue for an aging heart. Nat Med. 2016 Dec;22(12):1389–90. 
    18. Filfan M, Olaru A, Udristoiu I, Margaritescu C, Petcu E, Hermann DM, et al. Long-term treatment with spermidine increases health span of middle-aged Sprague-Dawley male rats. GeroScience. 2020 Jun;42(3):937–49. 
    19. Ghosh I, Sankhe R, Mudgal J, Arora D, Nampoothiri M. Spermidine, an autophagy inducer, as a therapeutic strategy in neurological disorders. Neuropeptides. 2020 Oct;83:102083. 
    20. Shade C. The Science Behind NMN—A Stable, Reliable NAD+ Activator and Anti-Aging Molecule. Integr Med. 2020;19(1):12–4. 
    21. McReynolds MR, Chellappa K, Baur JA. Age-related NAD+ decline. Exp Gerontol. 2020 Jun;134:110888. 
    22. Hong W, Mo F, Zhang Z, Huang M, Wei X. Nicotinamide Mononucleotide: A Promising Molecule for Therapy of Diverse Diseases by Targeting NAD+ Metabolism. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 Apr 28;8:246. 
    23. Panossian A, Wikman G. Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity. Pharmaceuticals. 2010 Jan 19;3(1):188–224. 
    24. Weiskirchen S, Weiskirchen R. Resveratrol: How Much Wine Do You Have to Drink to Stay Healthy? Adv Nutr. 2016 Jul;7(4):706–18. 

    Related Articles