The UN predicts that there will be 2.2 million centenarians in the world by 2050. Do you want to join their ranks and live to 100? It will take a lot of work (and plenty of luck), but we know more than ever before about what it takes to stay alive.
Sure, modern medicine plays a big role in longer life spans, but plenty of tried-and-true natural methods are still your best bet for hitting one hundred. Read about the top 10 healthiest tips on how to live to 100 to be part of the 2.2 million!
Have a Positive Outlook And Support System
With a mix of psychology and public health, Harvard’s Dr. Kubzansky has released a study on the “biology of emotion,”. The study tested the affects of having a positive outlook and a strong support system, has on one’s ability to live longer. In her study on children, it was found that those who showed a more positive outlook by the age of 7 experienced a higher quality of health and experienced fewer instances of illness in the 30 years following.
These findings are bolstered by another Harvard study from 1979 in Alameda County, California; showing that of the 7000 adult participants, the more positive social ties and interactions they had, the longer they lived. Instilling a low stress and optimistic mental outlook, Kubzansky believes instances of illness can be decreased and longevity can be extended.
Eat Your Broccoli!
Johns Hopkins Dr. Talalay, back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, theorized that people who regularly eat fruits and vegetables may be benefiting from substances in plants; it turns out he was right. In 1991 he had a breakthrough: after testing 20 billion dollars worth of vegetables, he found that broccoli was particularly high in sulforaphane- a compound that boosts the function of human proteins to neutralize the processes of diseases.
Unfortunately there is no definitive evidence of this being the end-all-be-all to cancerous cells/ disease, BUT eating a varied diet rich in vegetables and fruits provides maximum protection . A small consolation: some experiments on the effects of sulforaphane have found that it extends the life expectancy of worms. Today: worms, tomorrow: the world.
Less (Calories) Is More!
After conducting studies on worms focused on caloric restriction and reduced insulin signaling, researchers at Princeton may have found the elixir of life! The results have significance in developing treatments that can also help people live longer and prevent the calamitous memory loss that is often paired with age. The molecular mechanisms affected in the worms tested are the same as those known to perform the same function in more evolved organisms (us included). By eating less- but remaining healthy- you are capable of extending your life without losing your ability to function fully. Remember to control those portions, people!
Spice It Up
Tulane’s Dr. Lu Qi co-led a study of over 500,000 Chinese adults over seven years examining the hypothesis that regularly consuming spicy foods improves longevity. The study showed that those who ate foods flavored with chili peppers daily reduced personal risk of premature death by 14 percent (compared to those who ate chili peppers less than once a week). Fear not: you do not have to consume peppers with every meal to reap the benefits- even once to twice a week will suffice.
But why does this work, you may ask. Well, chili peppers contain capsaicin- a compound that decreases appetite, lowers blood pressure, improves inflammation, and may reduce risk of obesity and offer antibacterial properties. Capsaicin also has the potential to against diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Qi admits that more research is recommended in the subject area, but for now eat up you spicy kids.
Lose The Meat
After examining 6 studies on the effects of low meat intake, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating meat less than once a week can increase longevity by 3.6 years on average. Of the 6 studies, 4 showed a significant decrease in risk of death. One third showed that a longer duration (more than 2 decades) significantly contributed to the decreased mortality risk.
One of the studies examined- conducted by Oxford University- concluded that non-meat eaters had significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol concentrations. If Oxford won’t convince you then maybe Time Magazine will; low meat/ no meat diets lead to low blood pressure, better moods, and less heart disease. So, who’s got beef? Not you.
Walk Your Way to 100
After studying male medical professionals, female nurses, and its own male students, Harvard has found that walking, 30 minutes daily or 3 hours weekly, and at least 9 miles weekly has proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and even death in general. All 18 studies in this 2008 British meta-analysis were observational and all the results provide a strong testimony for the benefits of walking.
Don’t worry ladies we didn’t forget you! A 10 yr study of 229 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to walk at least a mile daily or to continue living life as normal; the walkers displayed 82% lower risk of contracting heart disease! Hey what’s up? Walking yo.
Climb Your Way To A Higher Education!
For those who lack a high school diploma, it may impact your health tremendously to backpack your way back to finish what you started. In an extensive study at Columbia University, researchers were able to link education to longer life expectancy. The study was from 1990-2008 and examined life expectancy by race, sex, and education.
They found major declines in life expectancy for those who didn’t complete high school, a 14.2 year difference compared to those who had a college degree. Those who are educated are generally more healthy, they tend to not drink as much, smoke less and exercise more. It’s never too late to get educated!
Harvard University research found that eating nuts could be linked to longer living. The findings were from a study of 120,000 individuals in the Nurses Health Study and the Physicians Health Study. By checking up on them every 2-4 years over 30 years, they found that those who ate nuts everyday lived longer and were 20% less likely to die than those who did not. Nuts are known to lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol. This means that nut lovers are less likely to die of heart disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases! Let’s be nutty together, my friends!
Drink Some Red Red Wine!
Harvard Medical School research evidence concluded that the resveratrol found in red wine actually “activates a protein that promotes health and longevity in animal models.” From this finding, they believe that resveratrol could potentially fight the diseases related to aging in people.
Currently, there are clinical trial drugs in the works that can have similar function promoting longevity. Resveratrol has been shown to boost up our metabolism, which naturally slows down as we age. Some foods such as peanuts, berries, and grapes contain it as well! Activating our metabolism keeps the cells young and active in disease prevention! Want more metabolism boosting substances in your diet? Check them out here.
Eat Mediterranean Style
We’ve all been told how much the Mediterranean diet is good for us. Well here is another reason to go Greek. Harvard reported a Nurses Health Study which researched 4,676 women’s nutritional habits and concluded that a Mediterranean diet is linked to longer life. This way of eating contains an abundant of nutrient dense substances like olive oil, seeds, nuts, fruits, veggies, fish, beans, and more that could aid us in healthy living. It was found that the ladies who consumed these foods had longer telomeres, which actually connects to longevity.
Loaded with anti inflammatory effects, these foods positively protects our heart by reducing the risks of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.“Results further support benefits of adherence to this diet to promote health and longevity,” associate professor Immaculata De Vivo, PH.D concluded.