“Keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog”
The ancient Li (reputed but not proved to have been 256 years old).
Centenarian Longevity Diets
Lessons from the expert practitioners of the ‘art of longevity’. There is no society alive today, nor has there been throughout history, that has had a long lifespan while avoiding good food, sunlight and regular outdoor exercise. The human species evolved outside, in nature, working, moving and absorbing full-spectrum sunlight. Super-Centenarians (aged 110 or older) do not usually depart this life from stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer’s or cancers. The centenarian’s secrets of longevity are not related to technology, synthetic vitamin pills, treadmills or good genes. They place a priority on health and understand good lifestyle choices are the key. Centenarians stay mentally sharp, physically fit, in touch with their diets and socially engaged.
The centenarian diet
Their diet mainly consists of simple fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and legumes. They are generally vegetarians eating very little meat. However, if they keep chickens they will eat the eggs from genuine free-roaming chickens. If they tend animals it is usually to make fresh goat’s milk. If they eat animals it is locally-caught fish. They do not smoke. They rarely drink alcohol and if they do, it is only good quality, fully-fermented red wine. One factor that is common in all the centenarian populations is the absence of highly-processed junk-food, convenience food, fast food, takeaways, sugared cereals and cola/soft/fizzy/energy/soda drinks. It is these basic simple diet and lifestyle habits, not some miracle food or herb, is what has led to this great longevity and health. Jack La Lane was one of the most impressive examples of this principle, still exercising in 2011 age 98. He was one of the healthiest senior men in America. The lessons are that you need to adjust your lifestyle if you want to avoid the 3D’s: drugs, disability and disease.
Lifestyle affects longevity more than genes
How long your parents lived does not affect how long you will live. It is how you live your life that determines how old you will get. “Our study shows that hereditary factors don’t play a major role and that lifestyle has the biggest impact,” says Professor Emeritus Lars Wilhelmsen, referring to the 100-year research, “we do not inherit mortality to any great extent but instead it is the sum of our own habits that has the biggest impact. Everything you do today, will influence the life you will lead, for possibly the next 100 years”. Those who kept themselves in good shape through exercise, getting enough sleep, working hard, watching their stress, eating their vegetables, not smoking with low or zero alcohol and coffee, at 50, had the greatest chance of celebrating their 90th birthday.
The research, studies and food recommendations from the WCRF & AICR 2018, to help lower your risk of, and to prevent, breast cancer, are built around following; a no-alcohol, plant-based wholefood diet.
The Associations between Food, Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Risk of Breast Cancer – World Cancer Research Fund International Systematic Literature Review 2017
Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective (the Third Expert Report – 2019) is a comprehensive analysis, using the most meticulous methods, of the worldwide body of evidence on preventing and surviving cancer through diet, nutrition and physical activity. It builds on the ground-breaking achievements of the First and Second Expert Reports, published in 1997 and 2007 respectively.
World Cancer Research Fund & American Institute for Cancer Research UPDATE Cancer-Prevention-Recommendations-2018
There is a vast amount of evidence that eating a plant-based wholefood diet lowers, and in some cases, reverses, heart disease and hypertension. This has been shown in the fasting studies, the chicken studies, the saturated fats studies, the fibre studies, the plant-based eating studies, and of course, the meat-is-directly-linked-to-heart-disease studies.
Plant-Based Diets & the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease – Journal of the American College of Cardiology
A healthy plant-based diet is simply mostly eating ‘plant-based wholefoods’ – such as apples rather than apple juice – as these are plant foods in their natural state, unrefined, and with their natural fibres, antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals intact. Eat mostly plant foods, mostly wholefoods, and you receive the benefits, as the centenarian cultures do.
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.