All Articles

Living the Longevity Lifestyle - overview of healthy habits beneficial for your patients

Article
October 11, 2021
By
Agnieszka Szmitkowska, Ph.D.

Overview of healthy habits beneficial for your patients - Predispositions for a long life are encoded in our DNA.

Highlights

  • The Longevity Blue Zones are places where the population lives longer than average
  • The healthy habits shared by many centenarians are regular exercise, a healthy diet, nurturing social circle, and the purpose in life

Life’s Simple 7 initiative distinguished cardiovascular risk factors to be smoking status, low physical activity, weight, diet, blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure

But it does not mean that we are born with a certain number of days to live. It is estimated that only a third of the phenotypic variation associated with longevity is due to genetic factors, and the rest is influenced by epigenetic and environmental factors. In other words, longevity can be affected by the way we live, how we care for ourselves, our longevity lifestyle (1) which will be the topic of the series in which we will discuss all the most important aspects that can be altered to prolong our life. We want to create a short guide for those of you who want to make a change and live longer and healthier. We will cover in detail recent studies on diet and fasting, physical exercising, sleep, well-being, mindfulness and stress, dental health, exposure to cold and hot and provide advice on each of these aspects and healthy habits that you could suggest to your patients to build a longevity lifestyle.

The Longevity Blue Zones

There are few special places on Earth where people live especially long and healthy. The so-called Blue Zones are regions where the population has exceptional longevity, shares a common lifestyle and environment, and has been precisely researched and documented by reliable governments. Those places, such as Nicoya in Costa Rica, Sardinia in Italy, Ikaria in Greece, and Okinawa in Japan are remote compared to each other but people living there have few things in common. They constructed the longevity lifestyles that they adhere to, and we can learn the most important basics from them as they have many features in common (1).

The first essential aspect is the diet. Diets common in The Blue Zones are mostly plant-based, rich in non-processed foods, legumes, and greens. People there do not overeat and are used to calorie restriction by eating smaller portions. Such eating habits might reduce the build-up of the reactive oxygen species damaging the cells and reroute the body to focus on the maintenance of the cells while supporting healthy body weight (2). Even though there are common characteristics of Blue Zone diets, each of them is unique and the important particular foods vary from one culture to the next. For example, each Blue Zone highly values local types of beans in their diet: black beans in Nicoya; lentils, garbanzo, and white beans in the Mediterranean, or soybeans in Okinawa. Nicoya has one more secret: calcium- and magnesium-rich water, beneficial for the bones and cardiovascular system. Ikarian people never skip their coffee while citizens of Sardinia enjoy their glass of wine, both of which are especially rich in flavonoids and antioxidants (3).

Highlights

  • The Longevity Blue Zones are places where the population lives longer than average
  • The healthy habits shared by many centenarians are regular exercise, a healthy diet, nurturing social circle, and the purpose in life

Life’s Simple 7 initiative distinguished cardiovascular risk factors to be smoking status, low physical activity, weight, diet, blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure

But it does not mean that we are born with a certain number of days to live. It is estimated that only a third of the phenotypic variation associated with longevity is due to genetic factors, and the rest is influenced by epigenetic and environmental factors. In other words, longevity can be affected by the way we live, how we care for ourselves, our longevity lifestyle (1) which will be the topic of the series in which we will discuss all the most important aspects that can be altered to prolong our life. We want to create a short guide for those of you who want to make a change and live longer and healthier. We will cover in detail recent studies on diet and fasting, physical exercising, sleep, well-being, mindfulness and stress, dental health, exposure to cold and hot and provide advice on each of these aspects and healthy habits that you could suggest to your patients to build a longevity lifestyle.

The Longevity Blue Zones

There are few special places on Earth where people live especially long and healthy. The so-called Blue Zones are regions where the population has exceptional longevity, shares a common lifestyle and environment, and has been precisely researched and documented by reliable governments. Those places, such as Nicoya in Costa Rica, Sardinia in Italy, Ikaria in Greece, and Okinawa in Japan are remote compared to each other but people living there have few things in common. They constructed the longevity lifestyles that they adhere to, and we can learn the most important basics from them as they have many features in common (1).

The first essential aspect is the diet. Diets common in The Blue Zones are mostly plant-based, rich in non-processed foods, legumes, and greens. People there do not overeat and are used to calorie restriction by eating smaller portions. Such eating habits might reduce the build-up of the reactive oxygen species damaging the cells and reroute the body to focus on the maintenance of the cells while supporting healthy body weight (2). Even though there are common characteristics of Blue Zone diets, each of them is unique and the important particular foods vary from one culture to the next. For example, each Blue Zone highly values local types of beans in their diet: black beans in Nicoya; lentils, garbanzo, and white beans in the Mediterranean, or soybeans in Okinawa. Nicoya has one more secret: calcium- and magnesium-rich water, beneficial for the bones and cardiovascular system. Ikarian people never skip their coffee while citizens of Sardinia enjoy their glass of wine, both of which are especially rich in flavonoids and antioxidants (3).

Article reviewed by
Dr. Ana Baroni MD. Ph.D.
SCIENTIFIC & MEDICAL ADVISOR
Quality Garant
Close

Dr. Ana Baroni MD. Ph.D.

Scientific & Medical Advisor
Quality Garant

Ana has over 20 years of consultancy experience in longevity, regenerative and precision medicine. She has a multifaceted understanding of genomics, molecular biology, clinical biochemistry, nutrition, aging markers, hormones and physical training. This background allows her to bridge the gap between longevity basic sciences and evidence-based real interventions, putting them into the clinic, to enhance the healthy aging of people. She is co-founder of Origen.life, and Longevityzone. Board member at Breath of Health, BioOx and American Board of Clinical Nutrition. She is Director of International Medical Education of the American College of Integrative Medicine, Professor in IL3 Master of Longevity at Barcelona University and Professor of Nutrigenomics in Nutrition Grade in UNIR University.

DISCOVER
HealthyLongevity.guide
4.6 / 5
Professional science-based education
250+ Articles, video lectures, webinars
Community of 1000+ verified professionals
Sign Up

Read the latest articles

News
Disease

Prostaglandin E2 potentially increases susceptibility to influenza A infection in the elderly

November 30, 2022

A new study tested whether age-related elevation in Prostaglandin E2 is a driver that impairs host defense against influenza.

Ehab Naim, MBA.
Article
Lifestyle
Prevention

Future healthy longevity starts at conception

November 29, 2022

The habits we develop as children significantly impact lifespan and healthspan in adulthood. Dietary choices, exercise, or for example daily screen time can lead to lasting changes in the organism.

Agnieszka Szmitkowska, Ph.D.
News
Body

Good oral health keeps the body stronger for longer

November 25, 2022

Current research on older adults suggests a possible link between oral and physical health, such as muscle strength, where poor oral health leads to adverse changes in musculoskeletal health.

Agnieszka Szmitkowska, Ph.D.
Article
Longevity
Medicine

Nutrient sensing and its role in aging

November 23, 2022

Nutrient sensing is one of the hallmarks of aging. Four key nutrient sensing mechanisms are: insulin signaling, mTOR, AMPK, and sirtuins.

Olena Mokshyna, PhD.
News
Lifestyle

Tai Chi Quan could improve several aspects of neurodegenerative disorders

November 23, 2022

Tai Chi has a lot of proven health benefits. Wang et al. analyzed 58 different studies to evalute what exactly is its effect on diseases, such as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis.

Ehab Naim, MBA.
News
Aging

Essential amino acid L-threonine prolongs healthspan thanks to ferritin

November 22, 2022

A study evaluated whether the metabolites whose concentrations are increased during caloric restriction reduce the age-related decline.

Agnieszka Szmitkowska, Ph.D.
News
Disease
Medicine

Acute aortic dissection can be caused by DNA methylation

November 17, 2022

In a recent study, DNA methylation was proven to be a risk factor for the acute aortic dissection.

Agnieszka Szmitkowska, Ph.D.
Article
Lifestyle
Longevity
Nutrition

The MIND Diet Promotes the Longevity of Cognitive Health

November 18, 2022

The MIND diet classifies 15 dietary components based on their effect on the brain, and recommends how many servings we should eat.

Jiří Kaloč
News
Aging
Longevity

Exploring microbiome diversity as a contributor to frailty

November 15, 2022

To evaluate the effect of microbiota diversity on health, Rashidah et al. reviewed microbiota composition, intestinal permeability, and inflammatory biomarkers in older adults.

Ehab Naim, MBA.
Article
Body
Supplements

Alpha-ketoglutarate in human trials against diseases and aging

November 11, 2022

Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) is a versatile endogenous compound that serves multiple functions in the body. It supports longevity thanks to its beneficial effects on cardiac, bone and muscle health.

Olena Mokshyna, PhD.
News
Aging
Disease
Longevity

Small extracellular vesicles from stem cells improve healthspan and lifespan in old mice

November 10, 2022

A recent study suggests that small extracellular vesicles could prevent age-related conditions and promote tissue regeneration.

Agnieszka Szmitkowska, Ph.D.
Article
Body
Lifestyle

How Much Exercise and What Type Is Needed to Live Longer?

November 6, 2022

Well planned exercise routine leads to prolonged healthspan. Several studies examined what is the ideal amount of exercise per week, or how many steps we should walk every day.

Jiří Kaloč
News
Prevention

Sleep duration during midlife and old age influences the risk of chronic diseases

November 4, 2022

A study examined the link between sleep duration and multimorbidity, and assessed whether sleep duration at the age of 50 influences the natural course of chronic diseases.

Ehab Naim, MBA.
Article
Disease
Lifestyle

Hypertension: How does high blood pressure influence the healthspan and lifespan?

November 3, 2022

1.2 billion people are affected by hypertension. Luckily, research shows that people can influence their blood pressure through simple changes in their diet and lifestyle.

Ehab Naim, MBA.
News
Aging

Inflammaging: How aging modulates the immune system

November 1, 2022

A study evaluated what is the impact of inflammaging on the adaptive and innate immune system.

Ehab Naim, MBA.
Article
Diagnostics
Aging

Epigenetic clocks: monitoring aging through DNA methylation

October 31, 2022

Epigenetic clocks provide one of the most accurate and easy ways to assess the real age of a human body. They also demonstrate encouraging results in the area of anti-aging intervention assessment.

Olena Mokshyna, PhD.
No items found.