Can what you eat determine how long, and how well, you live?
Valter Longo, author and director of the Longevity Institute at USC and the Program on Longevity and Cancer at IFOM in Milan, in his book The Longevity Diet indicates that specific diets can activate stem cells and promote regeneration and rejuvenation in multiple organs to significantly reduce the risk for diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. The book is the culmination of 25 years of research on aging, nutrition, and disease across the globe, this unique program lays out a simple solution to living to a healthy old age through nutrition.
The science is clear: Eating the right foods can lead to a longer, healthier life. The key is combining a healthy everyday eating plan.
FASTING MIMICKING PROGRAM
According to Valter Longo simple pescatarian (someone who doesn’t eat meat, but does eat fish) and the periodic fasting-mimicking techniques can both yield impressive results. This diet mimics a 5:2 fasting diet, where fasters eat about 25 percent of their regular caloric intake for two days and then eat normally for five days. In his book The Longevity Diet, he has mentioned that foods that are low in proteins and sugars and rich in healthy fats help in:
- Losing weight and reducing abdominal fat
- Extending a healthy lifespan with simple everyday changes
- Preventing age-related muscle and bone loss
- Building resistance to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer
5-A-DAY’ MIX OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
A meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal found that higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of mortality from all causes, especially heart disease. Aim for at least five servings a day.
Eating two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables every day is the right mix for longevity, according to a large new study from researchers from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
EVERYONE IS UNIQUE, AND SO ARE DIETS
Clinical Dietician, Dr. M. Gayathri, Apollo Hospitals, says, “For each nutritional needs are different, the diet should have high vitamins and mineralized diet. The source of vitamins and minerals is multi-color vegetables and fruits in the regular diet.”
She lists out eating habits:
- Include fish in small quantity (50 gms) weekly twice and the cooking procedure should be steamed, roasted, or grilled.
- Limit the calorie and protein as aging. The Source of the calorie should be protein and it should be high biological value protein– white meat – chicken, fish egg white
- Avoid or reduce saturated fats like ghee, butter, vanaspati (dalda)
- Include brown rice, brown bread, whole pulses like rajmah, chole, green moong, lobiya, and green beans.
- Green leafy vegetables every day.
- It is much of a lifestyle modification.
- High fiber diet like eating more vegetables and fruits in the diet
- Nuts/ dry fruits about 30 gms per day is recommended
- Instead of cow’s milk, goat’s milk is recommended, which is rich in minerals and anti-inflammatory.
- To lose weight eat small frequent meals like 3 major meals and 2 snacks it should be low in sugar.
- Body water percentage is very important 3 to 4 liters of water per day is recommended.
- Early dinner (2- 3 hours before bedtime) is suggested as the digestibility is slow during the nighttime, so it’s better to have dinner at 6 or 7 pm.
- Include 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits
- Avoid alcohol,
- Avoid processed foods,
- Avoid red meats
- reduce sugar in the diet.
- Green tea is the healthiest beverage.
- One or two cups of green tea help in improving brain function, reducing inflammation, and reducing the risk of cancer. It helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, and fat burning.
- Include Antioxidants rich foods like blueberries, strawberries, berries, spinach, beetroot, carrots, and beans. Antioxidants protect us from harmful molecules known as free radicals which promote oxidatively
- To neutralize the free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases eat antioxidant-rich foods every day.
- A healthy diet and healthy lifestyle improve the quality of life in the aging process and longevity.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products like yogurt and cheese
- Skinless poultry
- Nuts and beans
- Non-tropical vegetable oils (olive, corn, peanut, and saff