Living a Long, Healthy Life

antiwrinkleThe search for the fountain of youth has bedeviled most all explorers, but it is more apparent than anyone expected.   It’s not a place….nor a particular food.   And it’s definitely not a pill.    It’s the wisdom of a number of communities that have demonstrated a track record of good health and longevity.   Places like Costa Rica, Ikaria, Okinowa, Loma Linda and other “blue zones” (where scientists have identified a larger proportion of centagenarians) have documented histories of both food and lifestyle that contributes to rich (and not necessarily wealthy) lives.

Recently, chef Jamie Oliver traveled to some of these communities to better understand how to achieve healthful living.    He documented these travels with a six-part web series called “Super Food” even though the secrets revealed much more than just food.    They are must-see for anyone who is looking to better understand how food is a necessary part — but not the complete — equation to a healthful life.    As Oliver learned, there are other parts of the equation:  stress, pace of life, community support, daily,exercise, accepting happiness.    In regards to “Super Food”, he cataloged some of the foods that these communities relied upon and incorporated them into recipes that he created.   Some of the optimal foods that comprise these communities’ diets include:

Goat’s milk
Sweet potato
Wild greens and herbs
Black beans
Fresh fruit
Wild rice

Oliver noted that common theme among the three communities is a consumption of less meat (around 2 to 3 portions per week) and a hearty breakfast, eating the majority of their calories in the first half of the day.  This series offers part of a solution to our global problem of obesity and diet-related disease – it focuses on healthy, tasty, easily achievable meals as well as the importance of lifestyle.  We strongly recommend you to view this web series.

And, in case you can’t catch the series, the following newsbite might make you rethink your health lifestyle.  In February 2018, a University of California investigator, Dr. Claudia Kawas, presented findings from The 90+ Study at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference this past weekend, highlighting the link between moderate alcohol consumption and longevity. In an observational study of participants age 90 and older, Dr. Kawas and her team found that consuming about two glasses of beer or wine daily was associated with 18% reduced risk of premature death. In fact,   seniors who drank a moderate amount of alcohol each day had lowered their risk of premature death more than those who exercised daily.  Her findings also suggest regular exercise, social and cognitive engagement, and a few extra pounds in older age are associated also with longevity.  But it looks like alcohol and coffee are associated with longevity.  Who woulda thought?

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