Since the early 1900s, lifespan around the world has slowly but surely increased. Back then, it was rare to hear of someone living to 100. Yet, these days, it doesn’t even phase people. This increase in lifespan is partly due to better medicine and partly due to more hygienic living. But this can’t be the whole story. There have to be a few longevity secrets that centenarians aren’t telling us, right? After analyzing interviews from centenarians around the world, we’ve come up with a list of dieting strategies that you can use to literally eat your way to 100 and beyond.
Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
Ask any centenarian what their secret to longevity is and they’ll probably tell you that they eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Why are these diets so healthy for the body? One reason is because they contain an abundance of antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals in the body. Secondly, they help improve digestion. By taking more frequent bowel movements, you’ll prevent digested food from sitting in your colon (which can be a bad thing).
When food sits for extended periods of time in your colon, the toxins from inside the food can penetrate the colon wall and enter the blood stream. This can lead to blood toxicity levels that damage health over the long run. Since fruits and veggies neutralize free radicals and induce frequent bowel movements, they should definitely be incorporated into your diet if you plan on living to 100.
Control Your Portions
Someone who’s a centenarian today has no doubt been through many life-changing events, ranging from the Great Depression all the way to mankind’s first landing on the moon. So you can be rest assured that these types of people are pretty adaptable. If you were to ask a centenarian today what their meal portions were like back then, you’d be surprised by the answer. Today’s meals are mammoth-sized compared to the size of meals back then. It’s no wonder why the United States has such a huge problem with obesity.
To live longer, control your meal portions throughout the day. You’d be surprised by just how little food your body needs to function normally (the rest is just stored as fat). Experiment with smaller servings over the next few weeks and you’ll realize that you can still get pretty full even though you’re not eating as much. Why? Because it takes about 10 minutes for your brain to process the fact that you’ve eaten enough (it’s the same reason why eating more slowly is linked to eating less food overall).
Avoid Artificial Sugars
Artificial sugar is the fuel for bad health and disease. First off, cancerous cells thrive on sugar (it’s their main way of producing ATP, the energy currency in a cell). By eating more refined sugars, you’ll encourage cancerous cells to grow in numbers and even metastasize throughout the body. Secondly, eating too much artificial sugar will cause your body to become less responsive to insulin.
When this happens, your blood glucose levels increase, which eventually leads to things like diabetes and heart disease. Ask any centenarian about this topic and most will tell you that they avoid artificial sugars all together. When at the store, make sure to read food labels – anything that contains “High Fructose Corn Syrup” should be avoided at all costs. This isn’t to say that you can’t enjoy the periodic piece of cake, but you definitely shouldn’t make it a regular occasion.
Consider Fasting Several Times a Week
Fasting is associated with longer living and decreased susceptibility to disease. But you don’t need to fast for several days on end. In fact, you can experience amazing health benefits by fasting just a few times per week. One type of fasting, known as “Intermittent Fasting” gives you an eight-hour window for eating each day. This means that you’re only allowed to eat during that window. In the beginning, fasting may seem a little challenging, but it will be well worth it when you’re still in great health at the age of 100.
“But My Grandpa Smoked Every Day of His Life and He Lived to 95!”
For those of you who experienced similar situations, know that your relative was very lucky. It’s not the norm to binge eat, smoke, and live a sedentary lifestyle and still live to become 100 years old. It’s very likely that these people won the “genetic lottery”. For the people with “regular genes”, we have to try extra hard to live as long.
So don’t think for a minute that you don’t have control over your lifespan, because you most certainly do. Adapting the dieting tips mentioned above, combined with the ever-increasing rate of medical technology, will no doubt allow you to live well into your early 100s. Statistics show that by 2050, there are going to be over 4 million centenarians worldwide – maybe you can be one of them.