Secrets of longevity: how to live 100 years
The path to longevity
The number of people who have crossed the mark of 100 lived years is steadily growing. At the same time, there are certain regions where active longevity is so common that it is almost the norm. Among them are Sardinia, the Caucasus, the area of the city of Okinawa in Japan, some islands of Greece, Costa Rica, etc. Let’s try to figure out which recipes for longevity work and which of them are nothing more than an established myth.
Longevity technologies – where to start the path to the 100th anniversary
Suppose we put together the answers of centenarians to the question, what is their secret? In that case, work on achieving longevity is built in four directions: healthy nutrition, physical activity, mental activity, and psychological comfort. We’ll talk about this.
Healthy nutrition – active longevity
Food provides the body with the energy it needs to move and work. It is a source of proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. These elements, in turn, ensure the renewal of cells and tissues of the body and the production of hormones, enzymes, and other regulators of metabolic processes.
The metabolism in the body and the functioning of organs and systems, tissues, and cells depend on the nature and usefulness of nutrition. With proper nutrition, the constancy of the human body’s internal environment is ensured, which is the key to health, physical activity, and longevity.
Most of the regions “rich” in centenarians are located near the sea. And the people who live there often eat roughly the same diet: fish, vegetables, and grains. Such a set of basic products satisfies the body’s needs for micro- and macroelements without overloading it with extra calories. But what about those who live in a completely different climate?
- Stick to a balanced diet. Ensure that the body’s needs for proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are fully satisfied. It is this balance that is the basis of a healthy diet.
- Avoid rigid diets and nutrition systems that drastically limit the amount of any macronutrients. Most often, fats and carbohydrates fall into disfavor.
- Develop a diet that matches the genetic profile. It is genes that determine, for example, how well your body absorbs calcium from foods, what is your individual need for proteins, and how specifically you need cruciferous vegetables. Genetic changes are also responsible for intolerance to gluten or glucose. Do not forget that improper nutrition from a genetic point of view can provoke the development of diseases (diabetes mellitus, for example). The easiest way to give your body the food it needs is to make healthy diet.
So what do you eat to live long? Here are the products that must be included in the menu of the future centenarian:
The most versatile and useful representative of cereals. Buckwheat is a rich source of fiber, vegetable protein, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. Its balanced vitamin-microelement composition strengthens the walls of blood vessels and slows the development of atherosclerosis and varicose veins. Buckwheat has low-calorie content and, at the same time, has high nutritional properties and is recommended for nutrition in case of anemia, disorders of the heart and blood vessels, recovery after surgery, cerebrovascular accidents, and strokes. Due to the low glycemic index, this cereal does not cause sharp spikes in blood sugar and helps maintain normal insulin levels.
- Olive oil
The basic element of the Mediterranean diet, which most nutritionists consider the most appropriate for the needs of the human body. Olive oil is high in omega-3, omega-9 fatty acids, polyphenols (antioxidant, which give the product anti-inflammatory properties), and also contains squalene and terpenoids (anticancer agents). When used regularly, olive oil is good for blood vessels, improving the functioning of the digestive system, reducing the likelihood of developing dementia, and can act as an adjuvant in cancer prevention. You should choose cold-pressed olive oil – marked extra virgin.
- Pumpkin seeds
Natural source of vegetable protein. Due to the high fiber content, it has a mild cleansing effect on the body and speeds up metabolism. The use of pumpkin seeds helps to normalize blood pressure and the functioning of the liver and intestines and helps to treat kidney diseases.
Walnuts contain zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, and iodine minerals. Thanks to unsaturated fatty acids, the product is useful for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases, depression, and atherosclerosis. Walnuts are considered an excellent tool for preventing cancer and stimulating the brain.
5. Fish and seafood
An invaluable source of omega-3 fatty acids! They contribute to preventing cardiovascular disease – one of the main obstacles to longevity. In addition, they reduce the risk of thrombosis in the vessels and improve blood flow. The richest types of fish in omega-3 are herring, tuna, salmon, and salmon.
Among other advantages of fish: is a high concentration of iodine and taurine, which are necessary for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland and nervous system. Fish is rich in coenzyme Q10, which reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke, and stabilizes blood pressure. And fish is low in calories and contains virtually no hard-to-digest proteins.
- Green tea
Longevity drink thanks to the antioxidant catechin, which fights free radicals. Green tea has a cleansing effect and promotes weight loss.
- Dairy products
Cottage cheese, kefir, fermented baked milk, curdled milk, yogurt, and low-fat cheese are sources of protein and lactic acid, which promote digestion and reduces the processes of decay in the intestines. Rich in magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium in an easily digestible form, as well as bifidobacteria. These products can improve metabolism, strengthen bone tissue, and increase immunity.
- Green vegetables
According to the recommendations of nutritionists, vegetables should occupy up to 70% of all food consumed by a person. Moreover, preference should be given to green vegetables and leaves – cabbage of all kinds, spinach, green beans, etc. They improve digestion, normalize cholesterol levels, and stabilize the cardiovascular system; due to the content of antioxidants, they fight free radicals, reduce swelling, and promote weight loss.
- Dark chocolate
A source of flavonoids that promote better heart function and regulate blood pressure.
The richest source of tannins (gallocatechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin); organic acids (gallic, acetic, tartaric, malic, citric, succinic, quinic, benzoic, lactic, oxalic); mono- and polysaccharides (glucose, fructose, sucrose, fiber, pectin); fatty acids; proteins and amino acids; flavonoids and antioxidants (anthocyanins, catechins, leukoanthocyanins, saponins); vitamins and vitamin-like substances (ascorbic acid, carotene, B vitamins, rutin); macro- and microelements (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, iodine, chlorine, sulfur).
The second ingredient for a long life is physical activity. It doesn’t have to be an exhausting sport! The secrets of health and longevity are in the regularity and feasibility of loads, and what exactly it will be is not so important. You can choose cycling or Nordic walking, gardening or dancing. It is important to stay in motion, to give a load on all muscle groups.
Advice from psychologists! If you have a penchant for partner or group sports, then to achieve longevity, you should give them preference over individual training. Regular tennis, badminton, football (even table football!), petanque, gorodki, etc., not only strengthen the muscular frame and maintain a high level of vitality but also allow you to remain part of society and maintain social ties and interest in what is happening around.
The practices of active longevity must necessarily include intellectual loads. Contrary to popular belief, cognitive decline is not an obligatory companion of age; these abilities can and should be developed throughout life. Read more about how to recognize early signs of impending change in the article “Alzheimer’s disease on our blog. And we will consider the most effective ways to maintain mental activity at a high level.
- Crosswords, crosswords, sudoku, Japanese crosswords… Whatever kind of intellectual puzzles you choose will bring tangible benefits to your brain.
- Games – from card preference and bridge to board games like “Imaginarium” and “Monopoly.” By forcing the brain to solve logical problems or think abstractly, you increase its resources and the period of active work.
- Learning by heart. It can be learning foreign languages or memorizing poems. The main thing is a regular load.
- Mastering new skills. Have you ever wanted to learn how to play the piano or dance the waltz? New skills require new neural connections, and the more often you do something previously unknown, the more these neural connections are generated.
- Change the reality. Take different routes to work, buy different foods, change the color scheme of your sofa cushions, and use different fragrances to perfume your laundry. Don’t let your brain “conserve” the usual surprise every day.
No longevity rules – neither a healthy diet, physical activity, nor a brain that works like a computer – will not work if there is no main thing – the desire to live long and enjoy every new day. Therefore, achieving psychological comfort should be almost a top priority. After all, before you live long, you need to know why.
Here are just a few ways to stay happy and connected:
- maintain constant contact with family and friends;
- find something you love and do it every day;
- lead an active spiritual life;
- travel (a trip to a new area of the city is also quite suitable);
- communicate – include new people in the usual circle of acquaintances, giving preference to the younger generation;
- control stress levels, avoiding long periods of apathy and depressed mood;
- keep a gratitude journal and write down all the positive moments of each day.
It turns out that the secrets of youth and longevity are not secrets at all. Yes, this is true! So follow the simple rules and see you on your 100th anniversary!