American society today, and heck, every other society, seems to be obsessed with not only improving their level of health and happiness during their life, which is but a flicker, but also with promoting longevity.
We all think that by living longer, it will allow us to live a fuller, more realized life and will only enhance our existence if we know that we’re going to be around for a while to realize our dreams, see our families grow up and change, and enjoy being with those that we love and cherish the most.
Of course, as you know there are several fairly simple things you can do to ensure that you will make it into your octogenarian years and beyond, perhaps even into your centenarian years, without so much as blip in your health.
That’s the American dream, to live a full, long, prosperous and healthy life, and why not? It’s the secret desire of all of us to prolong our lives, especially if we happen to be people who are generally happy with the way things are going and we are just sort of curious to see how things end up.
One of the key elements to increasing your longevity is your diet. Of course, there are genetic factors that enter into the picture which are not fully within our control, such as predisposition toward certain kinds of cancers and other life threatening disease which not only can shorten our life span, but also lessen our quality of life in general.
But what about those factors that we can control, like diet and lifestyle that can very well overcome any genetic shortfalls, and propel us into those long-lived categories of people that everyone seems to admire?
That’s what we’re going to talk about today, the factors that you can control to prolong your life, and make it a healthy and happy life at that. There is mounting, compelling evidence that several factors in the type of food you consume, and more particularly the amount of food you consume, is the single most important factor, besides genetics, that help your body to live longer and stay in good shape.
Several studies have shown that people on exceptionally low calorie diets live longer pretty consistently. The reasons for this are at this point a hypothesis, but the general feeling is that the body is free of the burdens of processing and digesting a lot of different foods, and that energy instead is put into the health and vitality of your organs.
This isn’t to say that you should starve yourself, as severe calorie restriction results in a whole set of health problems including heart failure and potassium imbalances on it’s own, but people who are consistently consuming just over one thousand calories a day enjoy greater health and longer lives with less disease.
It also makes sense because the foods that are generally considered healthy are in fact also low calorie. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, and natural whole grains are naturally lower on the calorie scale, and therefore take less energy to digest, while also lending to your body’s nutritional needs by giving it vitamins and minerals that are vital to bodily functions.
People who are on low calorie, nutrient dense diets have much less body fat. Excess body fat has been linked to a whole host of health problems that cut the life short and also cut into your quality of life. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, digestive problems, and a whole host of other serious and life threatening problems are linked to excess body fat, so it’s no wonder people with less body fat enjoy longer lives and much more energetic and healthy states.
Limiting alcohol is another key to the longevity diet. Alcohol is not only calorie dense, but it is also loaded with sugars which put the whole blood sugar balance out of whack. Alcoholic consumption has also been linked to weight gain, cancers, heart disease, mental disorders, and diabetes as well and therefore is another “food” product that can take years off your life.
To state the obvious, alcoholic beverages are also extremely hard on your organs, as your organs cannot easily process them, most notably the liver takes a beating, and the liver plays a very important role in detoxifying your body and keeping you free of disease and health issues.
A diet for longevity should also limit the consumption of meat. Meat is also very hard on the digestive system, and only lean white meats and fishes should be consumed, and they ideally should only be consumed a few times a week, fish being the preferred choice due to its optimal vitamin and fatty acid content.
Red meats have been linked to tons of health problems, and they also happen to be high in fat and calories as well, so they should be consumed in moderation or not at all.