- One in 5000 people in America will live to 100 in good health.
- Research is conclusive: over 90 precent of your health and longevity is dictated by the lifestyle that you live, NOT your genes.
- Implementing a healthy lifestyle design, turns on longevity genes.
- National Geographic did extensive research on "Blue Zones" around the world (places where people live over 100).
- The island of Sardinia off the coast of Italy have men that regularly live to over 100 with health and vigor.
- They eat a plant based diet, raw grass fed cheese, and drank 1 glass of wine per day.
- Okinawa have women that regularly live to over 100 years with radiant skin, health and purpose.
- The eat a variety of vegetables of different colors, shapes and sizes, as well as fruits, nuts, seeds and lots of spices and herbs.
- America's Blue Zone is Loma Linda California where a population of Christians eat by Biblical standards.
- These Seventh Day Adventists take a break each week on saturday to unplug and focus on faith, family and friends.
- All cultures highly respect and care for their elders, they are naturally physically active, are purpose driven and keep tight social connections.
One in five thousand people in America will live to be 100.
The Danish Twin Study established that less than 10 percent of how long an individuals lives is determined by your genes. More than 90 percent is dictated by the healthy lifestyle design we choose to create.
If you want to reduce the aging process in your body, you need to live a healthy lifestyle design.
Dan Buettner, researcher for National Geographic and Author of the book “The Blue Zone” gives us deep insight into how to live the longevity lifestyle. He says, “if we can find the optimal lifestyle of longevity we can come up with a de facto formula for longevity.”
It’s interesting to note that the communities that live the longest in the world (average age is over 100yrs), don’t exercise like the way we think of exercise, they don’t get anti-aging procedures and they aren’t alcohol free.
Counter intuitively, they are still sexually active into their later years, are quite mobile and live with a sense of purpose and vigor.
When they pass away, the research shows that it’s not due to a chronic disease like heart disease, cancer or diabetes. Rather, they pass quickly and naturally usually in their sleep.
In this article we take lessons from the centurion communities of the world to gain priceless insight into how we too can live the longest.
The solutions are much simpler than one may think…
Case Study #1: Sardinia – Where Men Regularly Live Over 100 With Vigor, Energy and Health!
Off the coast of Italy on the island of Sardinia and in the highlands of the Nuoro Province lives a community where men living the longest. These men regularly live over the age of 100 with life and vigor. At 103 they are riding their bikes, chopping wood and arm wrestling.
They eat a primarily plant based diet, but also consume wine that is 3x’s higher in phenols than found in other parts of the world. They also consume raw, unpasteurized cheese from non-genetically altered cows that contain healthy levels of omega-3 and CLA (same type of cheese found on our Beyond Organic store).
Although their diet is primarily plant based they do consume sprouted unleavened wheat bread from Durum wheat similar to what you would find in sprouted Ezekiel bread. They also eat grass fed sheep and beef a few times per week (it’s not uncommon that they wait until Sundays and special occasions to eat meat).
A major distinction is that as one ages, the more social equity they have. The community gives more respect and will treat them with more honor and care.
Longevity reseearcher Dan Buettner says:
But the real secret I think lies more in the way that they organize their society. And one of the most salient elements of the Sardinian society is how they treat older people. You ever notice here in America, social equity seems to peak at about age 24? Just look at the advertisements. Here in Sardinia, the older you get the more equity you have, the more wisdom you’re celebrated for. You go into the bars in Sardinia, instead of seeing the Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar, you see the centenarian of the month calendar.
As I will show you at the bottom of this article, not only is it important to keep a close group of family and friends, but researchers have shown that it’s worth another 4-6 years on the end of your life!
Sardinian’s Longevity Lessons:
- Eat a lean, plant-based diet accented with meat
- Put family first
- Drink goats milk
- Celebrate elders
- Take long walks
- Drink 1-2 glasses of red wine daily
- Laugh with friends
Case Study #2: Okinawa – Where Women Regularly Live Over 100 With Beautiful Skin, Health and Purpose
The area of the world where women live the longest is a small community in the mountains in Okinawa Japan. Okinawa consists of 161 small islands, and on the northern part of the main island is where some of the most powerful longevity lifestyles exist.
They too eat primarily plant-based diets consuming a variety of different vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds of different shapes, colors and sizes. They like to eat stir-fried vegetables, sweet potatoes, tofu, and goya (aka bitter melon or bitter squash).
Nutritionally they also consumed meat and fish but it’s healthy organic meat and they only consumes them in moderation. They eat a variety of herbs and spices and consume wormwood, ginger and turmeric every day. This is very reflective of the Advanced Fatloss Plan found in our online, weight-loss and lifestyle program ReNew.
They eat off of smaller plates to prevent over eating and serve the food at the counter as oppose to on the table to maintain smaller portion sizes.
From a young age they teach to “only eat until you’re 80% full”. They also have a saying called “ikigai” which means “the reason why I wake up in the morning”. This mission driven statement gives them a drive to live each day with purpose.
These women also maintain a “Moai”, which is a secure social network of a small group of friends (usually 6) that emotionally, physically and sometimes financially supports one another.
Dan Buettner says:
But, like Sardinia, Okinawa has a few social constructs that we can associate with longevity. We know that isolation kills. Fifteen years ago, the average American had three good friends. We’re down to one and half right now. If you were lucky enough to be born in Okinawa, you were born into a system where you automatically have a half a dozen friends with whom you travel through life. They call it a Moai. And if you’re in a Moai you’re expected to share the bounty if you encounter luck, and if things go bad, child gets sick, parent dies, you always have somebody who has your back. This particular Moai, these five ladies have been together for 97 years. Their average age is 102. (see picture above)
Americans typically split their life into two sections: their “work life” and “retirement”. We look at “work” as our productive years and retirement as the “easy” years.
Dan goes on:
In the Okinawan language there is not even a word for retirement. Instead there is one word that imbues your entire life, and that word is “ikigai.” And, roughly translated, it means “the reason for which you wake up in the morning.”
Okinawa’s Longevity Lessons:
- Embrace Ikigai
- Consume a primarily plant based diet
- Get out in nature and perhaps even garden
- Maintain a Moai
- Eat until your 80% full
- Stay active
- Enjoy the sunshine
- Consume more herbs and spices
- Keep a good attitude, leaving the past in the past focusing on now and the future
Case Study #3: United States of America – The Community That Has The Most Healthy and Vibrant Centurions
In Loma Linda California, live the most Americans that are over 100 years of age, that are still active and in good health.
Interestingly, they are a heterogeneous community (of all races and backgrounds) of Christians who are 7th Day Adventists that follow very powerful longevity strategies.
As you can see below, Adventists women live 9 years longer than the average American women. Adventists men live 11 years longer than the average man.
Nutritionally they follow the “Biblical” rules for eating as outlined in Genesis chapter 1 verse 29, and literally look at the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
They believe that “things that impair you body and your mind cut off your ability for God to express His love, joy, peace and happiness through you.” What a great worldview right? I have a very similar view, which keeps me motivated to eat foods that enable me to express health, love and happiness to those around me as well.
Dan Buettner says:
For 24 hours every week, no matter how busy they are, how stressed out they are at work, where the kids need to be driven, they stop everything and they focus on their God, their social network, and then, hardwired right in the religion, are nature walks. And the power of this is not that it’s done occasionally, the power is it’s done every week for a lifetime. None of it’s hard. None of it costs money.
The group within the Aventists that live the longest were lactovegetarians or those that eat a primarily plant based diet sprinkled with eggs, and unprocessed organic cheese (again like the hypo-allergenic, non-toxic cheese we have in our store that you can see here).
Loma Linda’s Longevity Secrets:
- Create a sanctuary in time each week (a day of rest, relaxation and relationships like the Sabbath)
- Maintain a lean body mass
- Get regular exercise (no marathons, just short bursts and long walks)
- Serve the community and give back to the world (proven to increase longevity)
- Drink several glasses of water per day
- Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper (eat early, light dinners)
The Inspirational Story of Ellsworth Whareham, A 99 yrs Old Multi-Millionaire
Ellsworth Wareham is a 7th Day Adventist who is now 99 years old. He recently had a contractor estimate that the cost of installing a fence in his back yard. The total estimate came out to $5,000.00. He decides he could save a few thousand dollars and get some exercise to boot by doing it himself. He did, and on the 4th day he ended up having to go in for open-heart surgery at a community hospital in Los Angeles.
The kicker is… he was the one performing the surgery! In his late 90’s he’s still doing 20 open-heart surgeries per month!
If that doesn’t inspire to you know that you can extend your life through following a healthy lifestyle design, than I don’t know what will!
The Inspirational Story of Marge Jetton, A 104 Year Old Weight Lifting Queen!
What about Marge Jetton, who’s 104 years “young”.
Here’s what her day looks like. She gets up at 4:30am to read the Bible, pray and reflect. She drinks 6 glasses of water while she goes for a brisk walk around a community room in her apartment complex, then “I get my face on, make the bed, clean the bedroom, and then go to breakfast.” After that she jumps on her exercise bike and then lifts weights!
Dan Buettner goes on:
… after she rides her bicycle she then gets in her root-beer colored 1994 Cadillac Seville, and tears down the San Bernardino freeway, where she still volunteers for seven different organizations.
This shows the importance of living a life that is service centered, active and purposeful. Best of all… every one of these longevity strategies don’t cost you anything!
What Are These Different Healthy Lifestyle Design Strategies Really Worth To Us?
If I we could extract what the research says about these lifestyle strategies and give an average number value attributed to each healthy lifestyle habit, what would they be?
According to the “BlueZones Research” and other sources:
- Treating people that age with more respect, honor and care = 4-6 more years
- Vocabulary for purpose, talking purpose and living purpose = 7 years
- Stop eating when 80% full = 5 years
- More of a plant based diet = 15-20 years
- Strictly vegetarian diet = 2 years
- Consuming variety of nuts = 2 years
- Exercise and movement = 6-8 years
- Faith Based community = 4-15 years
- Focus on a healthy social network of family and friends = 6-8 years
So, what kind of healthy lifestyle design elements could you do? For a healthier and longer life, how can you think, and eat in order to maximize your life experience? What can you do to build deeper, more intimate and authentic social relationships that support good habits?
The Longevity Lifestyle Conclusion
An interesting fact about these people groups is that most of them don’t go out of their way to exercise, rather, they set up their lives so that they are constantly moving and physically engaging their body.
Stress creates inflammation in their bodies which causes damage and disease. They reduce stress through maintaining the right outlook on life. They are purpose driven and mission centered.
They eat wisely, mostly plant based foods, follow the “80% full rule” and have the occasional glass of red wine around a family or social setting.
They regularly connect and laugh with loved ones and friends that share similar beliefs and lifestyle habits with. They put family first. They understand the influence people have on you and pick the “right tribe” to ensure positive habits and emotions are rubbed off on them.
Finally, the people that live the longest on earth have a faith that they hold onto, and a spiritual community where they get a deep sense of “belonging”. They live with purpose and serve others in one way or another.
NOTE: These people were often born and raised in these healthy communities. Although we can take some profound notes from this priceless insight, western nations have exposed us to toxins, processed foods and poor lifestyle choices. In order to maximize your health in the long term and reverse disease processes within your body so you can maximize your health for life, it’s essential to purify your body through removing the toxins and live a customized healthy lifestyle design. This is what my company specializes in helping people do all around the world. For more information and to get set up with a consultation please see www.DesignerHealthCenters.com
To Living The Longevity Lifestyle,
The Blue Zones – Dan Buttner