If there’s a race again the clock for finding the fountain of youth, Kris Verburgh is definitely ahead of the pack.
Still in his early 30s, Verburgh is a researcher at the Free University Brussels, where he spends his time figuring out the best ways to extend healthy lifespan and combat aging-related diseases through nutrition and state-of-the-art biotechnology. His work could serve as an inspiration for Sci-Fi TV shows like “The X- Files’ or “Black Mirror” – minus the spine-chilling stuff.
But it’s not stardom that Verburgh is after.
Instead, he created a new scientific discipline Nutrigerontology, which studies how to eat to slow down aging and reduce the risk of aging-related diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis or dementia.
Verburgh’s belief is that Nutrigerontology can help him achieve “longevity escape velocity,” meaning staying alive as long as possible through a healthy lifestyle. “So I can enjoy fascinating new biotechnologies that will come about in the future that will slow down and even reverse aging,” he says.
Kris’ menu follows the Nutrigerontology principles:
- Veggies and Legumes from Breakfast to Dinner
Too much sugar and starch, and animal protein, accelerate aging, so I reduce the intake of these. I don’t consume sugary things and I eat very little or no bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice. I replace the bread and the cereals in the morning with foods like Chia seed porridge made with blueberries, walnuts, cherries and dark chocolate. I add Stevia and Erythritol to make the porridge more sweet tasting, these are natural sweeteners that don’t cause sugar peaks in the blood.
Other examples of things I eat for breakfast are cauliflower porridge or two omega-3-rich eggs from grass-fed, open-range chickens with a lot of vegetables and mushrooms. For lunch and dinner, I replace the potatoes, pasta, and rice with vegetables, mushrooms or legumes. So instead of rice, I eat lentils. Instead of potato mash, I eat broccoli mash. I avoid red meat. If I do eat animal protein, it is white meat like poultry or fatty fish.
I also replace animal protein with vegetable protein, from legumes, tofu, and protein-rich vegetables such as broccoli or Quorn, which is a fungi-based meat substitute. I make sure I consume lots of healthy fats, from olives, walnuts, Chia seed, fatty fish and healthy oils such as olive oil and walnut oil.
- Healthy Snacks and Milks
For snacks, I eat a piece of dark chocolate with an apple, or a bowl of blueberries, or an avocado with a bit of salt and olive oil sprinkled on it, or a mixture of nuts with a bit of dried fruit. I replace soda drinks with water flavored with citron juice or herbs, and green and white tea. I don’t drink animal milk. Instead, I drink low-sugar vegetable milk, such as hazelnut or almond milk – I like the hazelnut milk the most.
I try to fast every few months for three days, in which I only consume about 400 calories of caprylic acid per day, with three times a day a good dose of electrolytes like magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium, while of course drinking lots of water and tea such as green tea and chamomile tea. I am always pleasantly surprised by how fasting increases my concentration and thinking speed, and how these effects last for weeks after the fast. I also try to skip dinner as much as possible, so eating only two meals a day (breakfast and lunch), or eating a very light dinner.
- Smart Supplements
I take smart food supplements, meaning supplements that are the right form, the right dose and in the right combination. So I take things like vitamin D3, vitamin K2-7, selenium yeast, magnesium malate powder, high-dose B vitamins, iodine droplets, and so on.
Snack On This:
Download Kris’ paper published in Aging Cell, a peer-reviewed scientific journal and an official journal of the Anatomical Society: Nutrigerontology: why we need a new scientific discipline to develop diets and guidelines to reduce the risk of aging-related diseases.