Since the beginning, the human being has fought to find the best solution to survive and adapt his genetic makeup to the surrounding environment. Over the time, we have understood that it is important not only living longer, but also spending our life on earth in the best way.
How can we reach this goal?
If it is true that we are what we eat, the secret for our longevity must lie in our daily choices, in terms of lifestyle and eating pattern we decide to follow. In order to understand this, we should take a step back to our ancestors’ habits, as we are the result of several modifications that has set up our genetic makeup.
How is it possible to reach longevity through our daily diet?
Each nutrient is extremely important for our organism, but their combination has a key role in influencing our healthspan. During his journey through the pursuit of longevity, Prof Valter Longo discovered and explained the principles that can allow us to reach this goal. Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, he has been working to study and comprehend the genetic and biological basis that can help people live longer and healthier.
In particular, he has been researching the complex connection between nutrients and the genes that influence cellular protection, aging process, stem cell regulation and regeneration, and so the multi-system rejuvenation that involve every tissue and organ of our body. The results of this wide research, made not only in laboratory but also through a journey in the Blue Zones, lie on the eating model that he named The Longevity Diet.
Which are the principles of the Longevity Diet?
During our daily diet, it would be important to eat food we truly enjoy, but it’s also important to eliminate or minimize the consumption of food that will make our life shorter and sicker, and to increase the consumption of nutrients that will make it longer and healthier.
Nutritionally, The Longevity Diet is a very complete eating model to get the maximum benefits from all the micro and macro nutrients, based on the traditions and habits of the longest-lived people on our planet. If you want to follow it daily, you should adopt a vegan diet, with the addition of fish in quantities of up to 2-3 portions per week, choosing those ones with the lowest mercury content and rich in omega 3/6 content and/or vitamin B12.
Then, it is important to reduce the consumption of food containing saturated fats and sugars, while you should prefer unsaturated fats and complex carbohydrates, coming from whole grains, seasonal vegetables, extra virgin oil and nuts. It is also important to eat seasonal fruit but in moderate quantities as it naturally contains free sugars.
And, what about protein? The main source of this important nutrient should come from legumes, with the addition of fish during the week, so our body can take the right amount of essential amino acids, omega-3 and vitamin B12.
Regarding the timing of your daily meals, we should remind Centenarians’ habits:
- they used to have regular meals;
- the three main ones plus a snack during the afternoon;
- taking advantage of the daylight and without nibbling throughout the day.
In this way they were able to wait the right time before going to bed and fast during the night for about 12 hours, thus following the biological rhythms of our body.
Finally, in our Longevity lifestyle we should include periodically cycles of 5 days - Fasting Mimicking Diet™, with ProLon® in relation to our needs and health goals.
Which food to choose for our daily diet?We should never forget that we are the result of genetic modifications which allows every human being to adapt to the surrounding environment. So, the best way to get the maximum benefits from our daily diet is choosing those ingredients coming from the traditions of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, as they are part of our genetic makeup. In this light, eating at the table of our ancestors could help us in this journey towards Longevity!