oxytocin-longer-life-faraz-khan

Boost Oxytocin to Live Longer & Happier

Did you know that the hormone oxytocin could play a part in living a longer and happier life?

Have the COVID lockdowns left you feeling a little less like you normally do?

Have they caused more stress in your life than you are accustomed to?

Do you miss hanging out with some of your favorite people?

There may be a reason for that. A special hormone called Oxytocin behind your connections and bonds with fellow humans.

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What is Oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a hormone that is produced in the hypothalamus in your brain.

Oxytocin helps you feel good and socially bond with others. This is important because humans are social animals.

Oxytocin levels in blood rise in pregnancy and are quite high during labor and childbirth. Oxytocin reduces pain and anxiety associated with labor and prepares the mother to meet her baby for the first time.

This is likely why your mom (still) loves you so much.

Oxytocin is involved in sexual activity, childbirth and breastfeeding.

Oxytocin is known as the love hormone, the cuddle hormone and the connection hormone. But could oxytocin also help you live longer? Read on.

Benefits of Oxytocin (And A Longer Life?)

Oxytocin helps you bond with others and form group memories.

As mentioned, during childbirth a mother’s body is flooded with oxytocin. It’s important for babies to have a strong bond with their mother because they are defenseless for so long.

Experts believe an increase in oxytocin increases trust in others, causes you to be more generous, feel safer and better read social cues.

A study in 2012 found that people in love had higher levels of oxytocin compared to others.

One study found that frequent hugs from their partners and higher oxytocin levels were associated with lower blood pressure and heart rate.

Oxytocin also goes up when you do spend time in the company of friends. Maybe this is why people with strong social networks tends to help people live longer.

A 2015 study showed that supplementing oxytocin caused formation of new muscle fibers, while reducing oxytocin levels caused muscle regeneration to decline. Turns out this hormone even works double duty to keep you looking good naked.

Like all good things, oxytocin is affected by your aging as well. A study found that circulating levels of oxytocin decreased during natural aging.

How to Increase Oxytocin?

Hugging, kissing and sexual intimacy raise oxytocin levels in humans.

The act of touching someone seems to boost oxytocin levels. Getting or giving a massage can cause oxytocin levels to rise.

Oxytocin also goes up when you do spend time in the company of friends. Maybe this is why people with strong social networks tends to help people live longer.

Spend time with people you like. This is one way to hack oxytocin to live longer.

Cooking and eating together can help increase levels of oxytocin in your body.

If all else fails, you can try getting oxytocin injections or a nose spray. Make sure to test your oxytocin levels first and work with a functional doctor before you supplement from external sources.

Check out some of my other recommendations.

anto-aging smoothie

Anti-Aging Smoothie REVEALED (2021)

Would you like to know my latest iteration of my yummy anti-aging smoothie?

I typically break my overnight fast around 1 or 2 pm with a nutritious smoothie chock full of organic greens and berries bursting with dense nutrients and antioxidants.

Keep reading to learn about the amazing ingredients I put in my anti-aging smoothie, the nutrients I use to feed my body and my perspectives on blending vs. juicing.

Anti-aging smoothie (Faraz Khan)

The Ingredients In Faraz’s Anti-Aging Smoothie:

Recipe:

2-3 cups of organic greens (consider rainbow chard, kale, celery, and sometimes spinach)

1 cup red cabbage

1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)

1 large carrot

1 medium avocado

1 apple

1-2 scoops of protein powder

1 scoop of hydrolyzed collagen powder

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon cacao powder

1 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon

1/2 inch ginger

Two to three cups of organic greens: I typically get organic greens from Whole Foods or Sprouts and I throw them liberally into a blender. These usually consist of rainbow chard, kale, celery and sometimes spinach.

Some cruciferous vegetable: I like to throw in a vegetable from the cruciferous family such as red or green cabbage. Just cut up a cup of cabbage and throw it into the blender. I do this to boost fiber and sulforaphane.

One cup of mixed berries: I get either mixed bags of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries or get them separately and add about a cup into the blender.

Red veggies and fruit: I usually cut up 1-2 carrots, an avocado and an apple and add them to the mix.

Protein powder: I like to mix about 25-30 grams of protein into the smoothie, so a protein powder works well for keeping my muscles mass. Adjust if you’re also using collagen powder below.

Hydrolyzed collagen powder: I add some hydrolyzed collagen to increase the amino acids my body needs, plus help out my collagen needs from the inside.

Seeds or ground powders: I typically throw in one tablespoon of chia seeds and a teaspoon of cacao powder/ceylon cinnamon.

Other ingredients: These depend on the day but I will sometimes add some chlorella tablets and half an inch of ginger in as well.

Nutritional Goals From The Anti-Aging Smoothie

Okay now that we have covered the gist of the ingredients that go into my anti-aging smoothie, let’s discuss why I am doing it this way.

Boost Flavonoid Intake:

Flavonoids are natural compounds found in fruits, vegetables and berries. Flavonoids are rich in antioxidant activity and can help your body fight the harmful effects of environmental toxins and stressors.

Flavonoids may also help slow down your anti-inflammatory reaction to common allergens, germs and toxins. Your body produces inflammation to fight off these invaders, but as you age your inflammation response usually goes into overdrive. This results in low level simmering inflammation that ages you from the inside.

Research shows a diet high in flavonoids may be an effective way to reduce high blood pressure. A high intake of flavonoids may also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

The more we learn about flavonoids, the more beneficial they seem to be. That is why getting a good amount of flavonoids in essential in my anti-aging smoothie.

Get Essential Daily Nutrients:

A variety of vegetables and fruits in the smoothie provide key vitamins and minerals that your body needs to boost it’s defenses and function optimally.

For example, magnesium is an extremely important mineral that is involved in 300 enzymatic processes in your body. It is estimated that nearly half the people living in the US do not consume the recommended daily allowance of magnesium in their diet. Dark green vegetables in this anti-aging smoothie are a great source for magnesium.

Kale is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that are taken up by your eyes and serve as antixoidants to protect the rods and cones. This is important because they can stave off macular degeneration which is the leading cause of vision loss in older individuals. Carrots are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin along with alpha and beta-carotenes that can be converted to Vitamin A.

Another great example is vitamin K which is present in rainbow chard. Credit to Dr. Rhonda Patrick for the inspiration behind chard. Vitamin K is essential for maintaining optimal levels of blood coagulation and preventing calcification of your blood vessels. It prevents calcification by pulling the calcium out of the bloodstream and into the bones where it can be used for healthy bone function.

Get Your Daily Fiber:

The anti-aging smoothie provides you with a good amount of fiber. Fiber is important because it slows down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and helps you stay more regular in the bathroom.

Many types of fiber serve to feed the colonies of microbiome living in your gut. Fiber serves as a prebiotic that bacteria in your gut feed on. It is recommended to get fibers from many types of vegetables and fruits.

Most people do not get the recommended amount of fiber, so this smoothie helps you accomplish that.

Improve Blood Pressure and Blood Flow:

Cacao powder is full of beneficial ingredients such as polyphenols and epicatechins. Cacao powder has shown to improve endothelial function and blood pressure in healthy individuals.

Stabilize Blood Sugar:

Keeping your blood sugar low is one my top tactics for making sure I incur the least damage from the foods that I eat. This smoothie contains two elements to help in that regard.

One study found that ceylon cinnamon can mimic the effects of insulin, effectively clearing the glucose from the blood without raising insulin levels. Another study showed that cinnamon can increase insulin sensitivity immediately after taking it, with the effects lasting for up to 12 hours.

Avocado is a great type of fat that helps fill you up without raising your blood sugar levels. This means you stay satiated for a longer time and don’t have the urge to eat as often. Eating less often is the key to a longer life in my book.

Ginger is another amazing food that may help reduce blood sugar, according to some recent research.

Blending vs. Juicing Your Smoothie

While juicing seems healthy at a glance, it misses a critical factor. Juicing removes all the fiber from the foods that you eat.

As we discussed above, fiber is extremely important for multiple reasons. It keeps you satiated for longer, slows down the absorption of sugars from your gut, feeds your gut microbiome and it moves things along in your colon to keep you regular in the bathroom.

Most Americans do not get enough amounts of fiber in their diet. This smoothie helps you achieve that.

Plus, try to always chew on your smoothie instead of drinking it straight down. The act of chewing releases saliva which assists your digestion process.

So use a blender or food processor, not a juicer!

Conclusion: Start Drinking The Anti-Aging Smoothie

I hope this post gives you a little bit of an insight into the benefits of this anti-aging smoothie. This is just one of the variations I use, and I am working on one that will take this to the next level in terms of anti-aging ingredients.

If you have amazing ingredients you use in your smoothies, feel free to share below.

Check out some of my other recommendations here.

reduce-bloog-sugar-faraz-khan

Top 5 Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Naturally

Did you know that high blood glucose or blood sugar in your body may be doing a lot of harm to you over the long term? And lowering blood sugar is extremely important.

If you love carbs and sugar, I don’t blame you. Something about a sweet, salty or carby meal makes our tongue water.

When you eat diets that are high in refined carbohydrates or simple carbs (think white bread, white rice, tortillas, pizza, breakfast cereal, bagels, etc.), these simple carbs are rapidly broken down by your body. Once broken down, then enter the bloodstream as blood glucose.

High blood sugar attacks your proteins, fat cells and even your DNA and causes faster aging of your body. It causes increased risk of atherosclerosis (plaque of your arteries) and heart disease.

High blood glucose attacks attacks collagen and causes faster aging of your skin.

High blood glucose and high glycemic variability are AGING you faster. We will talk about glycemic variability in another post.

Bottom line: if you want to live a healthy and longer life, and look and feel younger than your age – you must put a STOP to high blood glucose in your body.

Without further ado, here are my top 5 tips to reduce blood glucose in your body.

Blood Sugar Lowering Tip #1: Practice Daily Time Restricted Feeding (or Intermittent Fasting)

When you avoid eating for a window of time every day, this practice naturally keeps your blood glucose low.

Time restricted feeding (or daily intermittent fasting to some) means you eat your daily meals in a time-restricted window. For eg, you could fast for 16 hours of the day and eat during 8 hours.

Different types of time restricted feeding windows are possible. 12/12, 16/8, 18/6, 23/1. Yes, some people get all their daily calories by just eating one hour a day.

The biggest benefit of time-restricted feeding is that you keep your blood sugar levels low for most of the day (which helps reduce the risk the problems we discussed above). So start practicing some form of time-restricted feeding to give your anti-aging efforts a big boost.

Blood Sugar Lowering Tip #2: Eat Fewer Carbohydrates

This is not a post about diets and I do not want to wade into a political argument here. But I want to talk about carbohydrates.

Eating carbs results in the breakdown of those carbs into glucose into your bloodstream. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood glucose levels rise in response.

Higher blood glucose levels over time cause your body to become glucose resistant. Just like drinking alcohol often requires you to drink more to get drunk.

So in order to lower blood glucose levels, it goes to reason that you should avoid eating high carb meals. Instead, start incorporating healthy fats such as olive oil or avocadoes into your meals. They are great for you and provide stable energy without the high blood glucose levels or the crash afterwards.

Tip #3: Incorporate Exercise (Strength and High Intensity Exercise)

If I could recommend one pill in a bottle, it would probably be exercise. Every year, we learn more about the amazing benefits of exercise to our body.

Studies have shown that high-intensity workouts increase glucose update by muscle cells (even without needing insulin).

This means when you do high intensity exercises, your body can rapidly shuttle glucose out of your blood and into your muscles, where it can be burned to create more energy. This is true even if you have type 2 diabetes.

This remains true with strength training as well. When you lift weights, you are building muscle. More muscle needs extra glucose to create energy for the output required, and it pull that energy from blood glucose.

So make sure to exercise consistently to make your body an efficient glucose burning machine.

Tip #4: Take A Short Walk After Your Meals

It’s no secret that your blood glucose rises in response to a meal, also referred to your post-prandial glucose.

Studies have shown that something as simple as taking a walk for 15-20 minutes after a meal can significantly lower blood glucose levels.

Most people make dinner the biggest meal of the day. People also limit physical activity at night or watch TV before going to bed, which keeps blood glucose levels higher in the evening and while they sleep.

A great solution is to take a 15-20 minute walk after dinner. You can do this at home on a treadmill, but prefer doing it outside if the weather is cool. Being colder in the evening is an evolutionary hint to your body that it may be time to start preparing for bed soon (which will help you sleep better).

And if you already take walks during the day, then make sure to go for a walk after meals and especially dinner dinner instead of before meals.

Blood Glucose Lowering Tip #5: Use Nature’s Herbs to Reduce Blood Sugar

A few herbs found in this bountiful earth can help you reduce your blood glucose levels effectively.

Cinnamon has been identified as a potent reducer of blood glucose. In one study, 22 pre-diabetic subjects were given 500mg/day of cinnamon for 12 weeks. At the end of that time, their fasting blood glucose dropped over 8%.

Apple cider vinegar is also quite effective at lowering blood sugar levels after a meal. In one study, 29 subjects were given either a placebo or 20 grams of apple cider vinegar before a high carbohydrate meal. Researchers measure blood glucose 30 and 60 minutes after a meal, and found that apple cider vinegar significantly reduced blood blood glucose levels in response to the high carbohydrate meal.

Berberine is another powerful compound that has shown to improve insulin sensitivity and enhance sugar uptake from your blood into your muscles. Berberine also promotes AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity, which is a great for longevity. I will discuss AMPK in detail in another post.

Gymnema sylvestre is an ayurvedic herb that has been used for thousands of years to help reduce blood sugar levels. In one study, Gymnema sylvestre reduced the 2-hour post meal glucose by 13%. Another study found that 200-400 mg of Gymnema sylvestre reduced the intestinal absorption of glucose. In Hindi, gymnema sylvestre translate to “sugar killer”. That name alone gives it my vote of confidence.

Bitter melon or goya is a food that is quite popular in Okinawa, Japan. The locals use bitter melon in their vegetable stir fries and other foods mixes. I have studied this first hand when I visited Okinawa in 2019. Also known as bitter gourd in India, this plant has been used in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. A study done in rats found that it could reduce blood glucose levels by up to 48%.

Make it a practice to pop some of these naturally amazing blood sugar management compounds before a carbohydrate rich meal, and you can eat your meal knowing that these herbs are going to give you an unfair advantage and minimize the damage from high glucose levels.

Conclusion

High blood glucose levels in your body gum up proteins and attack your DNA. They attack your collagen and age you faster from the inside out.

High blood sugar also puts you at risk for diabetes, atherosclerosis, heart disease and may other conditions.

Maintaining low levels of blood glucose is one of the best anti-aging strategies you can incorporate into your life. As you can see above, it’s actually not that hard to incorporate some of these recommendations.

What do you use for managing your blood glucose or blood sugar levels? Leave a comment below.

Click here to check out some of my other recommendations.

improve eyesight vision

How To Improve Your Eyesight and Vision Naturally

Your eyes are the windows to your soul, and your eyesight and vision are super important if you want to live a long and healthy life.

Have you started to notice a little more difficulty reading text that is close to your eyes?

Or have you noticed your night vision is not as good as it used to be?

Have you gone to an eye doctor (optometrist) recently and heard the dreaded news: that your vision isn’t what it used to be anymore, and you are going to need glasses?

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I went to see an eye doctor a couple of years ago and my vision test came out perfect.

But the doctor said something to me that quite frankly pissed me off. She said “Wait till you’re 40, your vision is going to suddenly decline. It happens to everybody”.

I remember walking out of my appointment vowing to find a way to “hack” my natural vision into my 40’s and 50’s.

Before I share with your my top two tips to keep your eyes as healthy as possible in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond, let’s explore what goes wrong.

Presbyopia: Hard to focus on nearby objects

Presbyopia is the slow but gradual loss of your ability to focus on nearby objects. You might notice this loss in vision when you’re trying to read the labels on a supplement bottle or reading a newspaper up close.

It’s quite annoying, but why does it happen to your eyesight?

Your eyes have a lens which changes shape as you shift your focus. The lens relaxes when you look at faraway objects. The lens flexes to help you focus on objects near to you.

As you get older, the lens gradually loses it’s ability to flex, which makes it harder to see nearby objects.

Cataracts: clouding up your eyesight

Cataracts are a condition where the lens of your eye (and your vision) gets cloudy. This causes you to feel as though you are looking at the world through a foggy window.

Cataracts happen because age-related changes causes tissues in the eye to break down. Some experts say that this is the result of oxidative and glycolysis related damage to the eyes.

Sunlight exposure over the years can also cause oxidative damage to your eyes, just like it does to the rest of your body.

Excess glucose in your body attacks cells in your eyes and gums them up (render them useless).

Another challenge with the eyes is that blood flow is not abundant as in other areas of your body, so it’s harder to send help in the form of nutrients to clear out the damage.

As you can see, there are many assaults on your eyesight.

So what’s a solution?

One of the best ways to delay the signs of aging in your eyes is to use an effective antioxidant. L-carnosine can serve as a strong anti-oxidant and anti-glycolysis agent.

You can get N-Acetyl-Carnosine (or NAC) eye drops from your favorite retailer and use them 1-2 times a day for a few months to see a difference. L-Acetyl Carnosine converts to it’s active form, L-Carnosine, in your eyes and helps slow down or even reverse cataract and damage to the lens.

Scientific studies are still ongoing to determine the exact efficacy of NAC drops for eye vision, but I have already started using them to stave off potential aging of my eyes.

You can get NAC eye drops here.

Rods and Cones for Night Vision

Your retina is like the sensor on your phone’s camera. It senses the light coming in, converts it to biochemical signals and sends them to your brain through the optic nerve. The brain then converts these signals into images, creating “eyesight”.

It’s quite neat how this all works.

The receptors on your eye lens come in two forms: cones and rods. Cones respond to the wavelengths of light and are responsible for sensing color in the environment. Rods respond to black and white light but they are very sensitive.

You guessed it, during the aging process the rods and cones start to accumulate damage and get less sensitive. This leads to poor vision at night.

So what do you do about it?

An anti-oxidant created in Russia called SKQ1 has shown promise in getting to the rods and cones in your eyes. It can help reverse some of the loss of your night vision.

In scientific studies, this antioxidant has shown to reverse mitochondrial damage in cells very effectively, thus improving eyesight.

The Russian scientists even created eye drops called Visomitin (based on SKQ1), which are widely sold over the counter in Russia.

So how do you get them?

  1. The company behind SKQ1 is doing phase 3 clinical trials in the US right now, so Visomitin should be available at your favorite pharmacy in a few years.
  2. You could purchase Visomitin eye drops from Russian websites online. I just ordered some on eBay.

Conclusion: improve eyesight and vision

So there you have it. Here are some powerful ways you can apply science-based techniques to maintain and possibly reverse the aging of your eyes.

Step 1: Get NAC eye drops and apply them 1-2 times per day for a few months.

Step 2: Get SKQ1 or Visomitin eyes drops online, or wait for the clinical trial to finish so you can find them in drugstores.

Additional resources:

To learn how to improve vision using eye exercises, check out my podcast interview on the Bates method here.

Check out some of the other resources I recommend.