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Around 130 to 343 out of every 10,000 Americans will live beyond 100 years of age. They’re known as the centenarians.
While you may assume that people who live beyond 100 must have superhuman genes, this isn’t the case at all. Only one third of their genes have any influence on their lifespan, while the rest of their longevity is determined by lifestyle.
And in particular, if you turn your focus to your diet, you may extend your life by many years — maybe even live to 100 or more…
Excessive food consumption, which is pretty common nowadays, leads to metabolic changes that reduce your longevity. While on the other hand, the frugal way to live longer — calorie restriction — has been proven to extend it.
When you control your cravings and eating behaviors to restrict your caloric intake, inflammation in your body is controlled, cell survival is extended, your stress defense is improved, and your cellular activity functions optimally.
The recommended daily caloric intake for people aged 40 to 60 years is as follows:
|Activity level||Male Calories||Female Calories|
|Sedentary||2,200||1,600 – 1,800|
|Moderate activity||2,400 – 2,600||1,800 – 2,000|
|Active||2,600 – 2,800||2,200|
Chronic low-grade inflammation is one of the key factors associated with aging. While there are many factors that can influence the extent of inflammation in your body, your diet, and in particular, carbohydrates, influence the rate of inflammation quite significantly.
Consuming sugar (a simple carbohydrate) or a high carb diet increases glucose in the bloodstream, along with increasing the production of insulin and insulin-like growth factor, all of which increase inflammation and insulin resistance (a condition that alters function of insulin and metabolism of carbohydrates).
The message here is: stick to eating low glycemic index foods, mainly non-starchy vegetables, as your predominant source of carbohydrates.
Balance your gut bacteria
As you age, several changes occur to digestion — less enzymes, slower digestion, and alterations in gut bacteria — which is why it’s particularly important to eat a very healthy diet full of natural, whole foods sources.
Your gut bacteria adapt to your diet so if you eat a lot of junk and processed foods, more of the “bad” kind of bacteria grow, while the beneficial “good” bacteria decrease.
Studies have shown that compared to centenarians, those of older age have a particular decrease in butyrate-producing bacteria. Ways to increase butyrate-producing bacteria are through eating resistant starch found in small portions of cooked and cooled rice and potatoes, beans and legumes, whole grains, seeds, and green bananas.
Overall, the gut bacteria in centenarians show good immune function and metabolic health, which is supported by eating a healthy fiber-rich diet.
What all the research shows is that living a longer life comes down to simple things — greater intake of fiber-rich vegetables, low stress levels, an active lifestyle, along with community bond and spirituality.
Editor’s note: If you’re serious about stopping premature aging, avoiding age-related disease and living healthy into your 90s and beyond, you have to understand the insulin factor. The secret to why some centenarians are reaching 100 with their health intact centers around insulin’s role as your master hormone… and it goes far beyond diabetes! Click here to read more!
Govindaraju D, et al. Genetics, lifestyle and longevity: Lessons from centenarians. — Applied & Translational Genomics. 2015;2:23–32.
Estimated Calorie Needs per Day by Age, Gender, and Physical Activity Level. — Usda.gov. (2017). Retrieved 14 June, 2017
Vitale G, et al. GH/IGF-I/insulin system in centenarians. — Mech. Ageing Dev. 2016.
Biagi E, et al. The gut microbiota of centenarians: Signatures of longevity in the gut microbiota profile. — Mech. Ageing Dev. 2017.