Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

Unlocking the Elixir of a Longer Life

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Junk food; saves time. Healthy food; gives you time.

Did you know that changing your lifestyle can add more than 10 years to your life expectancy?

A few years ago, a National Geographic project identified five places with populations with the highest life expectancy: Okinawa; Japan, Sardinia; Italy, Loma Linda; California, Ikaria; Greece and Nicoya; Costa Rica.

The diet and lifestyle patterns of these populations were extensively researched and consequently found to be among the healthiest diets; low in calories, rich in antioxidants, fibers, omega 3, 6 polyunsaturated acids, polyphenols and flavonoids.

Dietary Recommendations:

Based on The Mediterranean Diet and the Okinawa Diet

  • Lifestyle Recommendations

    • Exercise regularly (walk 45 minutes/day and try out a sport weekly).

    • Have a positive attitude (avoid stress, sleep at least 7 hours/day, take naps and embrace eating healthy).

    • Cook healthy at home.

    • Prioritize health.

    • Pay attention to details when shopping: origin, ingredients, etc.

  • Diet Recommendations
    • Low in calories, but high in nutritional density.

    • Ensure proper hydration.

    • Low in: meat (less than 500g/week with emphasis on lean), full-fat dairy products (maximum 3 portions per day), refined grains, saturated fat, sugar and salt.

    • High in vegetables (around 7/day- particularly root and green and yellow vegetables) and fruits (3/day – particularly anti-oxidant rich fruits (raisins, strawberries, raspberries and papaya) and red colored fruits (tomatoes for collagen production).

    • High in legumes.

    • Moderate in fish products (minimum 120g twice/week) and marine-based carotenoids, such as seaweed, algae and kelp.

    • Emphasis on complex carbohydrates (whole grains; oatmeal).

    • Moderate in healthy fats (olive oil, nuts and avocado).

    • Liberal use of herbs and spices (turmeric, cayenne peppers, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, black pepper and thyme).

    • Regular tea consumption (jasmine tea or green tea).

    • Emphasis on probiotics and prebiotics for healthy intestines.

    • Adequate intakes of vitamin D and calcium.

    • Other factors that can contribute to longevity:

      • Daily 20g of at least 70 percent dark chocolate/day

      • Daily 125ml red grape juice.

      • One tbsp of ground flaxseeds/day.

Longevity is a complex phenomenon with emphasis on general wellbeing. A healthy body is the one that will live longer.

Considering the low level of physical activity, the fast-food culture and the social pressure to eat more, it might seem difficult to make such changes; if you make the effort now, it will pay off in the future.

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