How does your diet affect your lifespan?
Sunday Dec 29, 2019 (jkzx.com) — You are what you eat. Evidence has been enough to indicate that the foods you eat and the amount of calories you eat are the determinants to your lifespan. Two diets, Okinawa diet and Mediterranean diet in addition to caloric restriction can likely help you live longer.
Okinawa diet and Mediterranean diet are said to promote longevity, which means if you follow these diets, you have a good likelihood of living longer than those who eat without any restriction.
Okinawa is a Japanese island where women and men are expected to live for 90 and 84 years, respectively. Four hundreds of centenarians are said to live in Okinawa.
Traditional Okinawa diet is recognized as responsible for the longevity of Okinawa residents. The diet is actually calorie-restricted and contains a much lower amount of calories than that of the general Japanese population. The diet consists of only a few categories of foods including a large amount of green and yellow vegetables, purple sweet potatoes, some fish, rice, pork and legumes.
But some government reports claim the residents do not use as much vegetables and fruits as residents in other Japanese provinces. Instead, they use quite some beer, KFC and raw meat. The longevity for Okinawa residents has been on the decline because its culture has now been westernized. So the current Okinawa diet may not be exactly the same as the traditional Okinawa diet.
Some evidence suggests the Mediterranean diet can also help people live longer as people who eat the diet have been found to have longer telomeres, which are genetic markers for a person’s lifespan.
The Mediterranean diet includes high amounts of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruit, and vegetables, moderate amounts of fish, dairy products, wine and low amount of meat products.
The diet has been known to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, cognitive ability, major depression, and certainly slow the aging process.
No matter what diet you eat, what is important for lifespan is the amount of calories you ingest. Dietary caloric restriction has been known in animal world to extend their lifespans drastically. Often, 30% reduction in caloric intake can result in a 30% extension in lifespan. It has been recognized that the beneficial effect of caloric restriction can apply to human beings.
Fasting has a similar benefit as calorie restriction. Read news here to understand how fasting can boost stem cells regenerative capacity.
Okinawa diet, Mediterranean diet, and calorie restriction are all known to help preserve stem cells. Stem cells can reproduce cells only for a limited number of cycles. If stem cells in a person die early, then the person will die early. These two diets can also minimize the exposure of human body to harmful substances such as mutagens and carcinogens which can cause cancer and abundant antioxidants in the diets help prevent cellular injuries. All things considered, they help one’s lifespan. (Dr. Lu)