Science is advancing at such a pace that centenarians are becoming common place. Living to 120 or even 140 years is now very feasible for people who are today under 70. You want to be healthy to enjoy life right now, and you want to remain healthy for as long as you live. What follows is the very latest advice from longevity experts. Probably the most important advice is normalizing your insulin and level. There is no way you will age slowly or be healthy with an elevated insulin level.
- Keep your insulin levels low. Elevated insulin levels are one of your key physical influences that contribute to rapid aging, and there is no question that optimizing your insulin levels is an absolute necessity if you want to slow down your aging process. Consuming sugar and grains will increase your insulin level, which is the equivalent of slamming your foot on your aging accelerator. There’s simply no more potent way to accelerate aging than eating sugar and grains.
- Minimize your stress. Understand what factors in your life are causing harmful stress and deal with them. Stress causes the body to produce cortisol; this in turn harms your body and your health in many different ways. Stress reduction is one of the biggest factors in healthy longetivity. Avoiding stress includes getting enough sleep.
- Eat a healthy diet based on natural whole foods: salads, vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and pulses of all types. Avoid or minimize the consumption of animal products (meat, fish, dairy). Avoid dairy milk, refined grain foods, sugar, saturated fat, and salt. Become familiar with the Glycemic Index chart of foods and use this as your guide to all future eating. For Glycemic Index information go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index. Enter Glycemic Index chart in Google and you will find plenty of free charts.
- Get enough daily omega-3 oil. This is absolutely vital for both physical and mental well-being. Most people consume omega-3 and omega-6 oils in a ratio of 1:15 (typical junk food diet). This is terrible for health. Ideally you want to consume omega-3 and omega-6 in equal amounts, in a ratio of 1:1 (certainly not more than a ratio of 1:4). Don’t worry about getting the ratio exactly right, just focus on eating omega-3 rich foods and the right ratio will just fall into place. Omega-3 rich foods include the following:
- Flax seed oil — contains four times more omega-3 than omega-6.
- Perilla seed oil — contains three-four more omega-3 than omega-6.
- Hemp oil — contains four times more omega-6 to omega-3.
- Pumpkin oil — contains 3 times more omega-6 than omega-3.
- Walnut oil – contains ten times more omega-6 than omega-3.
- Safflower — has no omega-3 and 75% of its oil is omega-6, so best avoided..
- Sunflower — has no omega-3 and 65% of its oil is omega-6, so best avoided.
- Wheat germ oil — slight amount of omega-3 but mostly omega-6, so best avoided.
- Olive oil — no omega-3 and 8% of its oil is omega-6. But olive oil contains other valuable monounsaturated oils and should therefore be part of your diet..
- Corn oil — contains mostly omega-6, so best avoided.
- Flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and most other edible seeds are all high in omega-3.
- Walnuts are high in omega-3 but and many other nuts also contain omega-3.
- All kinds of dark green vegetables have omega-3 in varying degrees.
- Soy products, and some other kinds of beans and pulses have omega-3.
- Omega-3 oil supplements are widely available from health food stores. I take a full tablespoon of omega-3 oil every morning before breakfast.
Note: This will be controversial, but it is best to avoid eating sea-food as a source of omega-3 oil. This is because sea-food just about everywhere is heavily polluted. The body of a fish acts as a filter – the flesh accumulates pollutants (including heavy metals) from the high volumes of sea water that filter through the fish each day. Furthermore, seafood is rich in a kind of protein that is not easily digested by humans, and the undigested protein is harmful to good health. It is a myth that fish in the middle of the ocean are unpolluted – sea currents pollute sea water everywhere.
- Get your antioxidants from foods. Antioxidants have been shown to have anti-aging effects. Good sources include blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, beans, and artichokes.
- Switch to coconut oil. Another excellent anti-aging food is coconut oil. In fact, it’s doubly beneficial because it can be both eaten and applied directly to your skin. Coconut oil can be used in place of other oils, margarine, butter, or shortening, and can be used for all your cooking needs. It can help you lose weight, or maintain your already good weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, and lower your cholesterol, among other things. YOu can also make coconut milk as an excellent alternative to milk. For a recipe on how to make coconut milk see The Milk Imperative.
- Get your resveratrol naturally. Resveratrol is one of the forerunners in the anti-aging pill race, but more than likely, by the time they’ve manipulated it into a synthetic pill, it won’t be healthy for you. Although resveratrol is the antioxidant found in red wine, I can’t recommend drinking wine in the hopes of extending your life because alcohol in excess is a neurotoxin that can poison your brain and harm your body’s delicate hormonal balance. Instead, get your resveratrol from natural sources, such as whole grape skins and seeds, raspberries, mulberries, and peanuts. Check ‘resveratrol’ in google.
- Get plenty of exercise. Studies repeatedly show that regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise can help prevent or delay your onset of hypertension, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and the falls that lead to hip fracture. Although a lifetime of regular exercise is ideal, it’s never too late to start. It’s been shown that even individuals in their 70’s can substantially increase both strength and endurance with exercise.
- Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible. This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
- Avoid pharmaceutical drugs (unless adamantly prescribed). Pharmaceutical drugs kill thousands of people prematurely every year – as an expected side effect of the action of the drug. And, if you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will never need any of them in the first place.
There is no quick fix when it comes to life extension – no pill and no magic fountain. While there are certainly some exceptions – some centenarians do little in the way of healthy eating or exercise -- for most of us, living a healthy life well into our 100’s will take some dedication to making healthy lifestyle changes, and it's up to you to decide if it’s worth it.
All the best for 2008,