Living for Longevity:
Shifting from Anti-Ageing to Pro-Ageing
Are you scared of getting old? Or do you approach ageing with pride?
While we will all obviously croak at some point, it doesn’t have to be due to a lifestyle
illness. Nor should ageing be an unenjoyable part of life. Age ≠ illness and sadness. Lifestyle choices have a major impact on how you age and longevity. John Robbins, the well-known author and researcher of the world’s centenarians, boiled down common threads of 4 different groups of centenarians (The Hunza, Okinawans, Abkhasian and Vilcabambans) all over the world. He found that social integration, diet and activity were key for life satisfaction and longevity.
Loneliness is sadly a part of ageing that is common in North America. We have the innate desire to belong in some way and that doesn’t change in your golden years. We want to connect with people and feel included. As we age, having a community and family members that we are close to will greatly impact our longevity and give us continued purpose. Mealtime with family is a sacred experience and heavily linked to life satisfaction for the centenarians. Elders are met with the utmost respect, and age is highly regarded--to the point that some people will exaggerate their ages!
The abovementioned centenarians generally survive on a plant-based, nutrient-dense diet full of fermented foods like cultured dairy, minimal meat and no packaged/processed foods. Their meals are also generally smaller in portions and their calories are a lot less than the average North American meals which average 2000-3000 calories/day.
The quality of food is key and making sure to source from trustworthy farms with healthy, rich soil will make a huge difference in the nutrition of your food. The soil is one thing, but the freshness of the food is another, in that centenarians will eat fruits and vegetables picked that day--a concept that is, unfortunately, less common for us North Americans. Drinking mineral-rich water is also important for longevity, therefore switching your tap water to spring water or filtered remineralized water can boost health.
Scaling the side of a mountain is not uncommon for some centenarians. Movement is a regular occurrence for centenarians, whether it’s gardening and picking fresh fruits and vegetables, or climbing a mountain for fun (without harnesses, of course!) The point is to find an exercise that you enjoy and can see yourself doing regularly, well into your senior years. Long-distance walking or jogging is a great place to start, so long as you are consistent with your activity levels.
Embrace ageing and your relationships, nourish your body and mind and move every day.
Robbins, John. Healthy at 100. Print. Random House. 2008.
Megan Horsley is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist , Blog Writer and Recipe Developer. Megan is passionate about helping her clients discover their best selves with a holistic approach to their wellbeing. Find Megan on social media @megan_rhn and visit her website for information on nutrition services, recipes, and more: www.meganhorsleynutrition.com