Understanding ‘Longevity’: Simple ‘Life-enhancing’ Eating Habits That Help Live To ‘100’

New research has demonstrated that individuals that live to 100 years and beyond follow the simplest eating rituals and habits that enhance longevity and happiness. Communities across the world have, for centuries, prudently adhered to some of the simplest lifestyle habits and consequently enjoyed longer, as well as healthier, lifespans.

According to best-selling author Dan Buttoner, “Americans can adapt the healthy-living habits of those in such longevity hot spots as Ikaria, Greece or Okinawa, Japan.”

The Japanese islands of Okinawa are home to the world’s longest living people. The lowest possible rates of heart disease, stroke, and cancer have been reported among their populations. The average Okinawan lifespan rages between 78 to 86 years with causes of death predominantly natural. Specific healing nutrients obtained from vegetables, fruits, fish, grains, and herbs, as well as a reduced reliance on meat, appear to enhance their lifespans by nearly 10 years in some cases compared to the rest of the world, according to one study.

Understanding longevity: simple life habits

Recent studies endorse “front-loading” calories (maximum amounts of calories consumed during breakfast as opposed any other meal of the day) and claim that it drastically contributes to weight loss and inhibits excessive accumulation of extra pounds. This extra weight enhances the risk of developing a host of chronic conditions that adversely affect human lifespans. Furthermore, eating most during breakfast has also been linked to noticeable dip in triglycerides, glucose, insulin, and more importantly, the hormones which trigger hunger.

Weight watchers exhibiting conscious awareness of meal volumes consumed during the day can confine their average meal intake to between 50 to 80 percent of the stomach’s average capacity. This practice allows the stomach to gradually start contracting over time. Conversely, the tendency to ingest meals until the stomach is stuffed has harmful implications for the body’s digestive prowess and metabolic proficiency.

Recent scientific evidence has suggested that fasting contributes to a stable pattern of insulin release, providing relief to the pancreas in addition to occasioning momentarily dips in blood pressure and cholesterol readings. Scientists have concluded that calculated fasting for consistently extended periods can curb calorie counts and ultimately thwart the ageing process.

Understanding longevity: simple life habits
(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

Many experts have advocated cooking at home as a practice that best enhances awareness of the quality of ingredients that constitute everyday meals, in addition to narrowing down the variety of foods consumed in a single meal. Cooking also enables weight watchers to get exposed to a much advantageous physical occupation, otherwise non-existent while dining at restaurants. Preparing meals at home lends individuals the benefit of ensuring portion control and help curb overeating, and, by extension, limit the risk of obesity.

How we eat is as noteworthy as what we eat. For instance, eating too fast or eating while standing or multitasking is essentially damaging to the body’s ability to digest food expeditiously. This phenomenon is believed to hasten overeating among individuals and could, in the long run, lead to obesity, the underlying cause of some of the most menacing illnesses that may lead to premature death.

One recent study has also expounded that social eating often contributes to the intake of much diminished meal quantities than while eating privately. Contrary to popular opinion, that the practice can lead to unintended eating and therefore consumption of far more calories than planned. Enjoying meals with friends or family introduces a host of benefits namely awareness of healthier eating choices as a result of integrating with people holding a preference for such choices.

According to WebMD, Ageing is often associated with one or more chronic diseases that ultimately provoke potentially life-threatening circumstances. Experts believe the antioxidant compounds found in produce, legumes, and whole grains are essential for holding back the biological process of ageing.

“Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and other compounds, including polyphenols and anthocyanins, battle free radicals — unstable forms of oxygen that damage cell function. The build-up of free radicals contributes to the ageing process and to the development of a number of age-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and inflammatory conditions, including osteoarthritis.”

Nutrition and medical researchers have identified persistent inflammation as one of the worst contributors to biological ageing, with underlying factors almost always leading to most, if not all, chronic illnesses. In light of the knowledge that chronic illnesses lead to majority of early deaths, eating a diet that minimizes inflammation and the risk of chronic disease is key to increasing longevity and quality of life.

According to nutrition professionals, stress-free eating lead by active lifestyle habits help move closer to achieving the longevity goal. The key, however, is to incorporate the science of disease prevention and longevity into everyday eating habits.

[Image via Shutterstock]