Secrets of Longevity and Living past 100
As you may know, I’m really focusing on my health and longevity this year. Also, because I’m the one who does all our groceries and prepares all our food, I feel responsible not only for my health, but for Nate’s and Noah’s. I love when I find great resources on health. This Ted Talk was really interesting:
So what are the known centenarians doing to increase longevity?
Some of the things that really stood out to me were the following 6 principles.
1. None of them exercise, at least the way we think of exercise.
Instead, they set up their lives so that they are constantly nudged into physical activity. They don’t have any conveniences. When they do do intentional physical activity, it’s the things they enjoy. They tend to walk, the only proven way to stave off cognitive decline, and they all tend to have a garden. They know how to set up their life in the right way so they have the right outlook.
2. They take time to downshift.
When you’re in a hurry or stressed out, that triggers something called the inflammatory response, which is associated with everything from Alzheimer’s disease to cardiovascular disease. When you slow down for 15 minutes a day you turn that inflammatory state into a more anti-inflammatory state.
3. They have vocabulary for sense of purpose.
Most of them don’t “retire” or if they do, they still have a purpose outside of themselves that makes them want to get out of bed every day. The two most dangerous years in your life are the year you’re born, because of infant mortality, and the year you retire. These people know their sense of purpose, and that’s worth about seven years of extra life expectancy.
4. These people drink a little bit every day, and they tend to eat a plant-based diet. Doesn’t mean they don’t eat meat, but lots of beans and nuts.
5. They have strategies to keep from overeating, little things that nudge them away from the table at the right time.
6. They stay connected to people and their community.
This means they put their families first and take care of their children and their aging parents. I found it fascinating that they all tend to belong to a faith-based community, which is worth between 4 and 14 extra years of life expectancy if you do it four times a month. And the biggest thing here is they also belong to the right tribe. They were either born into or they proactively surrounded themselves with the right people.
We know from the Framingham studies, that if your three best friends are obese there is a 50 percent better chance that you’ll be overweight. So, if you hang out with unhealthy people, that’s going to have a measurable impact over time. Instead, if your friend’s idea of recreation is physical activity, bowling, or playing hockey, biking or gardening, if your friends drink a little, but not too much, and they eat right, and they’re engaged, and they’re trusting and trustworthy, that is going to have the biggest impact over time.
My favorite Green smoothie
Pretty interesting, huh? And on that note of promoting health and longevity, I just wanted to share my favorite juicing recipe for any beginners who might be intimidated or grossed out by the idea of drinking veggies. It’s sooo good, my toddler wants it every day.
- A head of Kale
- A head of Collard Greens
- A handful of mint leaves
- As much pineapple as you need to make it palatable (I do a whole pineapple)
Juice it up! I used the masticating (preserves the most nutrients) juicer by Omega- J8006 You can check it out here. Love this juicer. Easy to put together and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. Thanks Esther and Alan for letting us use your juicer! Update: I actually now blend everything in a Blendtec. Easier cleanup. More fiber. I also make this variation to save on time: baby kale, baby spinach, an apple, and pineapple. I add stevia if it isn’t sweet enough.
What do you do for longevity? I’d love to know!