Longevity & Nutrition
Our longevity is directly linked to the quality of our nutrition.
Nutrition affects not only the condition of our bodies, but also the well being of our minds.
The foods we eat keep our bodies and minds working efficiently, provide us with energy and strengthen our immune systems.
One of the first dietitians, William Banting, in the mid-19th century wrote , “among all maladies which concern the human race, I know none nor can I imagine anything worse than obesity”.
According to Dutch medical specialists, “people who gain a significant amount of weight after the age of 35-40, shorten their lives by approximately seven years”. Also, “if a 40-year old woman smokes and is overweight, she will live, on average, 13.3 years less than a non-smoking woman of standard weight”.
So, as you can clearly see, science has shown us that proper nutrition is associated with longevity. That is because the quality of life in old age is not about turning back the clock to maintain an artificial extension or replay of youth, but rather, to increase longevity and make life healthier, happier and more fulfilling within the limitations of age.
The Building Blocks of Healthy Eating
Carbohydrates feed the brain, proteins slow down the carbohydrate absorption rate, and fat aids in the production of the hormones that make us happy and also assists in balancing the nutritive chemicals in the blood stream. In addition to the main food groups, specific vitamins and minerals also have a profound influence on health. For example, the selenium contained in dairy products alleviates stress and is a very good defense against aging.
The bread/pasta food group, particularly whole-grain and multi-grain, is perfect fuel for the body as well as the brain. The lack of carbohydrates can cause hypoglycemia in diabetic individuals and dull brain function in none diabetic individuals. Carbohydrates, especially the types of complex carbohydrates listed on the low glycemic index, are the best energy source for our body, since they digest slowly, are absorbed into our system in small amounts, and feed the brain and body longer.
Do not avoid fat altogether for fear it may clog arteries. On the contrary, certain fats, such as those found in olive oil or sunflower oil, cod-liver oil, almonds, peanuts and walnuts are healthy and essential. It is these fats that structure the nerve cells in the brain. therefore, the limiting of fat should be closely monitored, so that it does not damage brain function.
Protein plays a vital role in the health of our neurological and musculoskeletal systems. Enzymes, which allow cells to receive messages, and neuro-meridians are actually proteins in different proportions composed of amino acids in the food. The conclusion is that our brains and muscles need protein to function properly.
Vitamins and Iron
It has been proven that a lack of Vitamin B-9 is the chief contributor to memory loss during the aging process. If we add Vitamins B-6 and B-12, contained in fish, we create a healthy blend that guarantees us optimum memory strength. Vitamin E, which is just one valuable constituent of olives, walnuts as well as other foods, protects the biological membranes from aging. Vitamin C has a direct influence on the blood circulation in the brain. And in order to prevent the reduction of red blood cells, which supply oxygen to the brain, we need to include iron-rich foods in our diet.
We’ve all been taught since grade school that water is of extreme importance to the human body; we may be able to live without food for two to three weeks, but no more than three days without water. Indeed, water represents 70% of the human body mass. Every one of us loses around half a gallon of water daily, an amount that needs to be replenished. We receive some water through the food we eat, but we need to drink the majority of the water our bodies need.
- Healthy Eating Pyramid