Longevity, Wellness and Supplements with Dr. Steven Gundry
- Written By:Alexandra Malmed
To say Dr. Steven Gundry knows what it takes to live a healthy life would be an understatement. He is one of the world’s top heart surgeons, a pioneer in nutrition, and a best-selling author (you may know his book The Plant Paradox), as well as the medical director at The International Heart and Lung Institute Center for Restorative Medicine.
His most recent book, The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age, takes a new approach to aging well — one that is based on supporting the health of the “oldest” parts of us that have the power to keep us young: the microorganisms in our bodies. We talked with Dr. Gundry to talk about his diet, gut health, meditation, and more.
One of your books is titled The Plant Paradox. What, put simply, is this paradox?
The "Plant Paradox" means that [while] plants should be the mainstay of a healthy diet, many plants have no desire for you to eat them or their babies (seeds) and employ a variety of defense mechanisms to make you sick. On my list, lectins are among the most mischievous and easy to avoid, as long as you have a guide to who are the “good guys” and who mean you harm.
What does a typical day of meals look like for you?
My wife and I tend to eat vegan during the week and that centers around a mixing bowl of salad with various greens, including the chicory family like radicchio, Belgium endive, plus one or two avocados and a ton of olive oil. (We go through a liter and a half per week!) My wife has a smoothie from my books, plus various GundryMD powders mixed in for breakfast. I skip breakfast, and during the winter for the past 14 years from January to June, I also skip lunch during the week. On the weekends, we usually have wild fish or shellfish for dinner, often with a huge side of grilled wild mushrooms, of course, smothered in olive oil. In fact, one of my favorite sayings is that the only purpose of food is to get olive oil into your mouth! We call ourselves "Vegaquarians."
Do you meditate?
I used to meditate during heart surgery! Now I meditate during my jogs with our three dogs. Watching dogs relate to the environment is one of the most useful things to quiet your mind.
What advice would you give to your younger self? What do you wish that your future self could tell you now to ease any anxiety that you face?
I wouldn’t tell my younger self anything. As any guru would say: there is no past, there is no future, there is only now. Live your life today. But, having said that, let me give one piece of advice: What if you decide that you will live to 120? What steps will you do today to ensure that as you approach that age that you can enjoy getting there with your body and mind vigorously healthy? That’s the subject of my new book, The Longevity Paradox.
Many today suffer from anxiety. What should we be doing and eating for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders?
As I show in that book, anxiety and depression are rampant because of a change in our gut microbiome. I am always so pleased that when we feed our “gut buddies” what they need and heal our leaky gut that anxiety and depression dissipate.
What supplements should we all be including into our regimes?
I have a number of supplements that I sell on GundryMD.com. As a person who felt supplements made expensive urine, my research in my patients over the past 20 years has proven that supplementation has profound effects on our health and longevity. To my knowledge, my line of supplements are the only ones designed using the lab results on my patients published in national and international Journals. Having said that, everyone should be supplementing with vitamin D3, and long chain omega-3 fats, like fish oil. I give a complete prescription for supplements in both The Plant Paradox and The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age, and even give doses and sources from other places besides my brand.
What, to you, are the four most important things in life?
Remain constantly curious, question everything that you believe.
Find your soulmate and do not settle until you find that person.
Never retire. It’s the biggest mistake I see my older patients make.
Go to the shelter and get a dog, maybe two! They will save your life and you will save theirs. Like the book says, everything that I learned in life, I learned from my dog.