Over the past century, average life expectancy has increased radically in the United States. With this increase, it has become more common for people to live to extremely old ages, even up to 100 years.
Many characteristics play into a person’s life expectancy. However, diet seems to play a larger role than others in terms of increased longevity and decreased disability. If length of life has grown to be a measure of health, we might be able to learn a thing or two from the people who have been around the longest. The members of the “100 club” have nutrition secrets that could increase your quality and quantity of life.
Here are a few things you can do today to be more beautiful tomorrow:
1. Control Your Portions
Today’s centenarians have been through many life events—from the Great Depression to the first landing on the moon—so you can bet they are quite adaptable. But how do portions today measure up to portions in 1960? It is safe to say individuals who once saw normal portions may be flabbergasted at today’s mammoth-size meals. To be a centenarian, try eating like one: Smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day will keep blood sugar levels from going haywire. The key is to engage in mindful eating and only eat until you are three-quarters full. Heaping portions can distort your perception of your appetite versus actual hunger and lead to consuming unnecessary calories.
2. Eat Your Plants
While studying centenarians in mountain villages on the island of Sicily, researchers at the University of Palermo, Italy, found these individuals closely followed a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in red meat, refined carbohydrates and sweets. Plants are the secret here—they are our best sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Plant-based diets have been shown time and time again to slow the effects of aging by fighting free radicals and preventing cell damage. To get the best bang for your buck, grab green, leafy vegetables and other superfoods such as blueberries, nuts, broccoli and sweet potatoes.
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