LIVE LONG & STRONG - 6 STEPS TO BE A CENTENARIAN
Ageing is inevitable. It is not uncommon to be faced with health challenges of poor eyesight, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, mental disorientation – dementia, Alzheimer’s, cancer as you move along the years. To override your genes that determine your life’s length is inescapable. However your old age will resonate when, what and how much you eat with a profound authority on disease and disability.
You may delude ageing with these simple 6 steps;
1. CUT CALORIE INTAKE
Obesity will shrink your life. Put an end to Yo – Yo dieting and ward off excess weight and body fat by ensuring a consistent small calorie deficit each day that will prolong life by decades. Eat fewer calories than required with high nutrient density to enhance lifespan. Small frequent grazing with plenty of hydration helps ease the sluggish metabolism.
2. CHISEL THY BODY
The shorter the shelf life of the food the better it is for your longevity. Embark upon vegetarianism to axe ageing. Fresh produce like fruit and vegetables, greens are packed with phytonutrients that counteract red meat and saturated fats that up the risk of heart disease and possibly that of dementia and Alziemer’s.
The anti-ageing foods that steal the spotlight with its myriad health benefits are:
WHOLE GRAINS: Oats (Steel cut), millets, quinoa are worthy of mention with fiber in common. Brown rice is loaded with magnesium which is a stress buster and fiber that lowers cholesterol.
PROTEIN: Egg is a powerhouse of nutrients packaged in a shell with vitamin B12, Vitamin A, vitamin D, iron and omega 3. Okinawan’s tofu will also add years to your life protecting against cancer and heart disease. Legumes, low fat dairy, walnuts, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and peanuts help maintain muscle tone while Kefir, yogurt and curd with live, active bacteria and calcium boost immunity.
FATS: Choose olive oil, moderate amount of ghee and cold pressed coconut oil that is congregated as the heart healthy.
ANTIOXIDANTS: Flavonoids in dark chocolate, lycopene in tomato, quercetin and sulphur in onions, catechins in green tea, resveratrol in grapes, allicin in garlic, ascorbic acid in berries, carotenoids in broccoli are anti-inflammatory with truckloads of antioxidants that prevent the damage from free radicles that will progress to degenerative diseases and cognitive impairment.
ACE: Immune boosting stalwarts are vitamins A, C and E with selenium and zinc. Yellow, orange produce, dark greens, milk, fish, eggs, amla, guava, kiwis, papaya, mango, pineapple, berries, almonds, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and peanuts stave off life threatening disease and are mandatory in the regular menus.
VITAMIN D: Oily fish, fish liver oil, egg yolk, mushrooms stimulate immunity and mental wellbeing. It is crucial to get adequate sun exposure regularly.
SAVOUR HOME FOOD: Fast food is comprised of maida, transfats, saturated fats and is loaded with sugar and salt. Weekend binging will jeopardize the benefits of consuming simple home cooked food through the week.
3. BOOST BRAIN BRILLIANCE
The oily fish with omega 3 – EPA and DHA (Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Mackerel), walnuts, avocados not only fight heart ailments but also boosts brain function. DHA makes up a large portion of the brain. Exercise also has a positive influence on cognitive function.
4. EXCEL HEART HEALTH WITH EXERCISE
The more you move, the longer you will live. Cardio or aerobic exercise thwarts cardiovascular disease, by easing blood flow, lowering LDL, triglycerides and lead to HDL increment. Weights and strength training will decelerate osteoporosis thus preventing fractures.
5. STRIKE A SOCIAL CHORD
Lack of friends and social isolation will lead to early death. Strong friendship and social support is the best antidote to ageing leading to a longer life.
6. STEER FROM STRESS
Stress will manifest into several physical and emotional disorders. Chronic and unrelieved stress will hasten ageing that will be doubled with smoking and alcohol. A confidant, journal, gardening, yoga or meditation can effectively help to relax and calm down.
To rock the 100th birthday, embrace a balance of nourishing foods, adequate physical activity, rejuvenate from stress, indulge in adequate sleep that will impede ageing process. Small changes bring big benefits to add quality to longevity.
Living long is meaningful with living strong, healthy and happy!
Published for Apollolife's B positive magazine