You may not want to hear this, but everybody gets old. It’s a basic fact and you can’t hide behind the sofa until it passes you by. Sorry folks for being a party pooper. Unfortunately, that’s how the cookie crumbles. However, the good news is there are some ways you can age better than your grandparents, or even your parents did.
Why is Aging Such a Bummer?
Nobody likes old age, because it brings mostly negative contributions such as loss of strength, feebleness, increase risk of diseases and diminishing cognitive abilities. Then the inevitable matter of losing sensibility, all recognition of what you have known all your life and eventually leaving this world. Humans are the only species that understands that death will happen one day. On the other hand, we are also the only species that can do something about the human lifespan. Therefore, the ball is in our court and things aren’t so doom and gloom.
Throughout the world, the average life span is 71.4 years, and for a few fortunate people, it can go beyond 100 years. So far, and according to documented scientific knowledge, nobody has lived more than the 122 years and 164 days Jeanne Calment experienced. She was a French woman who was born when the electric dental drill had been patented by George F. Green and passed away when Dolly the Sheep, the world's first cloned mammal was announced by the Roslin Institute in Scotland.
Many of us would like to know and instill some of that Calment wizardry for longevity into our own lives. The advances in genetics, our further understandings in dementia, progress made in vaccines, antibiotics, sanitation as well as advances in the detection and treatment in a variety of diseases has helped many live for longer. Besides medical intervention, there are natural ways to better our health and increase our longevity. Unfortunately, there are a few myths about longevity. Here are a few that we want to squash.
Women Live Longer Than Men
Women usually have the tendency to appear to be the stronger gender and live longer than their male counterparts. However, the reality is if men are married they have a standing chance to live as long, or even longer than married women! So, for those females running to a wedding dress sale to get their Vera Wang gown for half price, better hold off the marathon/boxing match for a minute. Apparently, marriage isn’t such a fairy-tale.
Men can get a lot of health promoting benefits when they are in a good marriage. Also, men who got divorced and stayed divorced have an increased risk of dying early in life. On the other hand, women who got divorced or are widowed often blossom and remained healthy. Therefore, think twice before you purchase that dress and walk down the aisle!
Learning Is Just for Youngsters
Some might disagree that the stress of getting their high school diploma was enough to give them premature grey hairs. However, achieving a higher education could prevent poverty, is good for your social life and increases life span. Everybody can understand that the more you know, the easier it is to find a job, and maybe even a good paying one as well. Not only is that important, but also learning for life can help your health, specifically, neurologically. Reading for small periods of time reduces stress levels and delays symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, take a language class or learn how to paint, because your health will thank you for it.
When You Get Older Food Has To Be Bland
On the contrary, as we age you should spice it up! A little bit of pepper can take your life a long way according to medical researchers. Apparently, people who eat spicy pepper are 13 per cent less likely to pass away earlier than those who don’t. Anti-aging foods such as hot peppers are a great way to reduce blood pressure, which can decrease your chances of stroke, heart disease and even dementia. Also, another bonus is that hot peppers could help you burn fat. So, better start planting some capsaicins to get into your skinny jeans.
As We Age, We Should Become More Serious
What!!!!! No way, Jose! You need to get into a young mindset, relax and just laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine and even medical professionals can agree that humor can extend your life. Laughing can lower arterial stiffness, improve blood sugar in diabetics and can fight NK cells. Most notably, having a good laugh can help you let go of stress.
If You Want To Live A Long Time, It’s All A Matter Of How You Roll The Dice
This isn’t entirely true. Sure, lucky breaks in life can help you out. As a matter of fact, your longevity depends a lot on your personality. If you are a person who is conscientious, laughs easily, builds strong social connections, optimistic, happy and extroverted, you may stay on this earth longer than those who aren’t.
All You Need Is Love
The Beatles may have had a hit single in 1967 with this catchphrase, but love doesn’t cut the mustard if you want to become a centenarian. Many of us believe that love from others can physically and emotionally support us into old age. Be that as it may, feeling cherished isn’t very necessary for longevity. In spite of that, getting involve in a social group, volunteering and just hanging out with friends and family can encourage a long life.
Only Positive People Live Longer
Although being positive is not frowned upon, it could lead to serious problems. Most directly health issues, because people who are always positive don’t take their health critically. After all, they have been optimistic and cheerful since childhood, they don’t think certain bad habits that they are reluctant to stop can hurt, even though their doctor advised them to.
Only Energetic Exercise Can Encourage Long Living
You could be hitting the gym every day, using all the machines and equipment like a maniac to keep your youth, but that won’t work. Surprisingly, doing a few hours of exercise per week would take you further in your journey to longevity then busting your butt on the elliptical machine. Try to aim for moderate exercise instead of vigorous activity.
Worrywarts Die Early
Just because you are at times a bundle of nerves for time to time, doesn’t mean you will die early. Nevertheless, research has found that worriers usually take care of their health better than non-worriers. That’s because being a bit of a basket case can help you deal with life’s ordeals, which can greatly increase your longevity.
Apart from all these myth busts it’s important to consume healthy foods. Try to eat clean for the majority of the time, so that means a lot of whole foods and cooking at home. Your goal is to get as much nutrients and vitamins into your body as possible. Because who are we kidding? Nobody has lived a hundred years on highly processed fast foods yet, and it probably will never happen. Also, you want to make it your life’s goal to include foods that are high in sirtuin. Sirtuin is a protein that helps to regulate the actions of many of your main genes. In particular cellular death, cell defense, metabolism, inflammation, and of course, longevity.
Foods that contain a lot of sirtuin are the following:
Blackcurrents – It’s no surprise that blackcurrents can increase longevity because they contain loads of anti-oxidants, called anthocyanins, that can lower your risks for heart disease and strokes.
- Green Tea – Green tea has so many health promoting benefits that it’s without a doubt why so many Japanese people live for a long time. A staple beverage in the East, green tea has B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, manganese, caffeine and catechins (another type of antioxidants). Drink two to three cups of green tea to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, reduce cholesterol and lose weight.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olives – Olives and their by-product olive oil are sometimes a little underrated. They are full of important potassium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, iron and amino acids. Olives can get rid of excess cholesterol in your blood and reduce blood pressure. As an alternative to olive oil, you can cook with and use coconut oil which has a solid heat point before degeneration takes place.
- Dark Chocolate – Chocolate is amazing! As long as you have the 70% cocoa variety and not the ones that are full of sugar and very little chocolate. Dark chocolate can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Take advantage of our dark chocolate and cashew fat bomb recipe for real natural energy that's really healthy.
- Onions – They may make you cry, but you will forgive them once you discover their anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Be bold and try to eat them raw to get more of their health benefits. Also, choose red onions, since they have higher levels of sirtuin.
- Omega 3 Fish Oil – If fish is more your foe than your friend, try to get the health benefits from these sea creatures by taking fish oil supplements. As an alternative to fish oil supplements you can explore an eco friendly omega 3 source from algal DHA. Algal DHA is where salmon and cold water fish get their omega 3 and 6 fatty acid content.
- Kale – It’s the ultimate green leafy vegetable that’s chock-a-block with vitamins, zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene. Need we say more?
- Parsley - It’s not just a basic garnish. Parsley is full of important minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants that if you want to live a long time, you simply cannot avoid. Make sure to add hefty springs of parsley in salads to add a lovely taste and added nutrition.
- Capers – They are high in flavonoid compounds such as rutin and quercetin. They help to strengthen capillaries and prevent platelet clumps from forming.
- Turmeric – The curcumin that’s in turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. It helps relieve many health issues such as arthritis, kidney problems, Alzheimer’s disease and many more health issues.
So, whether you are planning to make the Guinness Book of World Records, want to stick around to see how advances in technology will change the way we live or just want to hang around as long as you can – use our pointers for a longer life. It could give you more candles on your birthday cake, but also a better quality of life as you age, which is very important indeed.
Read more about how you can manage your day to day with self care...