How to live longer, what are the secrets of living a longer life – you might ask? Generally, the “getting old” process is thought to be inevitable – well, sort of.
Like most of you reading this right now, you too are a dreamer. That is, we tend to live in the future. A future where humans have the potential to – in an essence – “play god”; thus, increase life expectancy and quality. Today, humans have reached the maximum normal life span.
Without intervention, the longest living person has reached an impressive 122 years old (ref). How did they live this long? Some will argue luck, but scientists claim certain kinds of people are born with rare genes that make them significantly more likely to live past 100 (ref).
Impressively, the 122-year-old quit smoking at the age of 117 (ref). At this point, some of you may be thinking to yourself – hoping – you have such genes. Unfortunately, these are extremely rare. But, the good news is – for me and the rest of you – scientists are trying to give us what evolution could not.
What Do We Know About Living Longer?
In the early 1990s, we discovered that getting older is controlled by genes that are contained within every single life form, called longevity genes (ref). When we exercise or diet, longevity genes are triggered and internal pathways are activated to repair our bodies (ref), keeping us younger.
An important thing to note is, there is much controversy about which pathway is the best. However, the scientist has agreed upon that the answer involves a network of more than one straight pathway from food to long life. If one pathway is altered in any way the others can compensate. In this article, we will look at one popular pathway, through Sirtuin (Sir) proteins.
What is the Sirtuin pathway?
It has been discovered that Sir proteins – which are enzymes that control gene expression by turning them on and off- become dysregulated over time due to DNA instability accumulating in cells.
Sir enzymes that control genes also control life span; this is a new concept – gene regulators were not originally believed to control aging, it was believed to be antioxidant producers and DNA proteins. Sir’s interest continues to peak with the discovered role in helping mice live 30% longer.
But How Do Sirtuins Make Us live longer?
Through calorie restriction (CR) – lowering calories without reaching malnutrition- and intermittent fasting – having one designated eating window followed by a fasting period – we can extend life. For example.
Sir proteins are regulated by molecules that we all content inside of us, called NAD +. Depending on both, the exercise and what time of the day it is, NAD + levels in the bloodstream directly correspond to Sir release. Take home message from this, whether eating less with CR diets or eating smarter with IF diets.
Nutrition: Extending Your Life With Food Choices
What Is Nutrition?
Nutrition is a science that studies the interactions between living organisms and the food they consume. Developing an understanding of nutritional science processes will help us understand the relationship between nutrition and health.
Nutrients and energy are provided by food. Chemically there are six classes of nutrients: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, water, vitamins, and minerals moreover, we can break these down into 2 more categories.
Carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, which are energy-yielding nutrients, are called macronutrients. While vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients. Additionally, the energy from energy-yielding nutrients is measured in kilocalories.
What Is Malnutrition?
Undernutrition is a sort of malnutrition caused by consuming insufficient amounts of energy-giving foods. And overnutrition is an illness caused by eating an overdose of energy-providing foods.
How to Choose a Healthy Diet?
Through variety, balance, and moderation one obtain a healthy diet by developing healthy eating habits. Eat a variety of foods because not just one food provides all necessary nutrients. Variety will help the body obtain all necessary nutrients because there are many interactions between foods. Variety means you will provide the fuel the body needs, even if some of the food interactions are not positive.
Balance by mixing and matching in proportions that allow you to get nutrients. All types of foods or beverages are okay, as long as they are taken in moderation. To ensure moderation, pay attention to the maximum recommended levels of intake.
For example, fats should be 35% of our daily kcals. All in all, try not to consume too much energy, fat, sugar, sodium, or alcohol.
Diet tips for a long life
Eat less overall but eat more good foods. For example, nuts are rich in protein fiber antioxidants that fight against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, and more.
Turmeric contains antioxidant properties to improve overall health in your brain, heart, lungs, and more. Fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, and beans, are just some of the foods to decrease disease risk and promote longevity. A plant-rich diet can also lower the chances of premature death, cancer, disease, depression, and more.
Other Life-Lengthening Practices
Exercising & Staying active
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation on physical activity consists of either 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity or 150 minutes of moderate physical activity. Let us look at some different physical activities:
Even if you are locked at home you can still do a workout using just your body weight to train major muscle groups. For example, push-ups or crunches are considered bodyweight exercises.
Either using low-intensity interval training (LIIT) (link) or High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can boost your heart rate helping you lose weight and more. Alternatively, one can do Pilates, yoga, and more to achieve results.