Food, Fitness, Fasting , and Living Longer

Life’s too short to experience everything ourselves so we take on board what others have done or do. Take, for example, ways that may help us to live longer.

A research team, during a six-month study, from Rome’s Sapienza University and the San Diego School of Medicine found that a diet based on vegetables, herbs, and fish, combined with lots of exercise and genetic factors provided the secret to a long life.

It seems that the researchers agreed with what has become known as the Mediterranean Diet – with a touch of herbs. (It was the American scientist Ancel Keys who first identified the health benefits of what became known as the Mediterranean Diet, based on a diet of olive oil, fresh fruit, vegetables, and fish.)

The researchers found many centenarians in a small Italian village (Acciaroli) known for its fishing, olive groves and rolling hills on the banks of the Mediterranean. In the village, one in 10 of the 700 residents were expected to live to reach 100+ years of age.

Elderly people in the village had unusually good blood circulation, helping to feed nutrients to the body and efficiently take away waste products through the capillaries. The scientists identified qualities more commonly seen in people aged in their 20s or 30s.

Not only did the people eat plenty of olive oil, locally-caught fish, and home-reared rabbits and chickens but also exercised on a regular basis. In addition, they also added lots of local herbs to meals, particularly rosemary, which is believed to help keep the brain functioning. The residents of Acciaroli not only lived long lives, but also seemed immune from age-related diseases such as dementia, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

But a (‘true’) Mediterranean Diet diet might involve more than food only. In his bestselling book Antifragile, Nassim Talib points to the role that fasting plays in the lives of many people in the Mediterranean area: fasting is common practice in this region.

It seems that we can take on board three main things from what’s mentioned here without relocating.
1. Think Mediterranean Diet when considering what should be permitted entry to your mouth.
2. Use the acronym D.I.E.T to help you question Do I Eat That? and Do I Exercise Today?
3. Try regular fasting by considering diets such as the 2/5 or 1/6 diets These will help you to limit and monitor your food intake.