What is longevity diet?

The longevity diet is a set of tips for healthful eating developed by USC biochemist researcher Valter Longo, Ph.D., and is supposed to guide people in living longer and healthier lives. He has dedicated decades in research to discovering connections between nutrition and productive aging. His study aims to extend healthy life spans and finding ways to prevent and cure aging-related ailments like cancer and cardiovascular disease.

He is the author of "The Longevity Diet" shows the role that food can play in keeping us young. The longevity diet advocates a plant-based diet, which includes little-to-no poultry and meat and periodic fasting. Even though the diet was designed for older adults, it's possible health payoffs for individuals of every age and life stage. He explains how the Mediterranean diet can help longevity and clarify common misconceptions about how and when we ought to eat.

See: Fruit and vegetable consumption and cognitive decline in aging women.

Longevity diet health benefits

The principal tenets of this longevity diet--eating more crops, less protein, and fasting--derive from Dr. Longo's research of long-lived populations worldwide, such as in Greece, Italy, and Japan addition to studies he was involved in America. One research published in October 2016 at JAMA Internal Medicine, assessed the dietary habits and health of more than 130,000 healthcare professionals. It found that "high animal protein intake correlated with cardiovascular mortality and higher plant protein intake was inversely related to all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, particularly among people with at least one lifestyle risk element. The substitution of plant protein for animal protein, mainly from processed red meat, was associated with lower mortality, indicating the importance of protein supply. Dr. Longo's research also discovered significant advantages of fasting-mimicking diets (like intermittent fasting). Such diets enhance many factors for healthy aging, such as blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and blood sugar levels.

See: Ayurvedic Diet

Foods & timing of meals in longevity diet

The longevity diet looks like a modified vegan diet where fish and tiny amounts of milk and meat are allowed. It's just as much a lifestyle as an eating plan and may be followed for an indefinite period. It advocates a five-day fasting-mimicking diet occasionally throughout the year. 

Foods to have are vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oil, low-mercury seafood, and beans. 

Foods to avoid are meat, processed sugar, saturated fats, dairy

The longevity diet steers you away from meat, poultry, and dairy products, for saturated fat content. If completely cutting out meat and poultry is not do-able, the recommendation is for minimal use for the taste to plant-based dishes only.

Dairy products: If you must have cheese and milk, the longevity diet recommends goat's milk, cheeses, and yogurt, instead of cow's milk and cheeses. 

Diet Timing

For meal-planning purposes, those who are overweight or tend to put on pounds readily are advised to eat two meals--breakfast and either lunch or dinner--and two low-sugar snacks every day. Those people who are in a healthy weight or who lose weight quickly are advised to consume three meals per day and a low-sugar snack.

All food should be eaten within 12 hours. The guidelines discourage eating during the three to four hours prior to bedtime.

Individuals who adhere to this longevity diet also follow an eating plan that imitates fasting several times annually. This involves consuming limited quantities of foods, mainly vegetables, nuts, and seeds, for five days. Total calories for daily range from 800 to 1100, with 60 percent of calories from carbohydrates, 10% from protein, and 30 percent from carbohydrates.

See: Black tea polyphenols mimic insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signalling to the longevity factor FOXO1a.

Foods for healthy aging

As you grow older, your cells begin to break down. Although you can't reverse the aging process, you can slow it down and keep your skin young-looking for long. 

Essential Nutrients for healthy aging

Fresh and healthy food comprises vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that keep your cells prevent any age-related ailments. These nutrients fight the dangerous free radicals that damage your skin, thus reducing aging symptoms drastically. Critical nutrients include:

Vitamin D protects your skin cells from UV exposure, prevents skin infections, also contains an anti-aging impact.

Selenium promotes the antioxidant defenses of your skin, protects skin cells from UV damage, and contains anti-inflammatory consequences.

Vitamin C protects your skin from pollution, and other environmental consequences boost collagen production with antioxidant properties.

Vitamin E protects your skin from oxidative stress and prevents long-term harm such as erythema, wrinkles, edema, and skin thickening.

Amino Acids: Stimulate elastin and collagen production for skin with a wrinkle-free and smooth look.

Polyphenols: The Use of polyphenols protects you from UV damage. They have anti-DNA damage effects, potent antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents.

Carotenoids (Retinol, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A): Fight the dangerous free radicals. A study found that individuals with a higher level of carotenoids (antioxidants) in their system had younger-looking skin.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: They've anti-inflammatory properties, and their supplements have shown to slow down the aging process.

Flavonoids: They prevent oxidative stress, thus preventing the symptoms of aging (9).

Green Tea Polyphenols: The topical application or ingestion of green tea polyphenols prevents damage due to UV rays and chemical carcinogens. The tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that prevent antioxidant depletion in the skin.

Fruits for healthy aging

- Blueberries

Blueberries are rich in flavonoids like quercetin, myricetin, and kaempferol. These are also rich sources of vitamins C and K with other nutrients that have an anti-aging impact and protect against cell damage.

- Avocado

Avocado is an excellent anti-aging food with terrific health benefits. It's full of potassium, vitamins A, C, E, and K, and antioxidants that combat the effects of aging. What's more, it's good for your general health.

- Pomegranates: Pomegranate contains essential compounds such as vitamins C, D, E, and K, along with magnesium, selenium, and proteins. These compounds have an anti-aging impact and help your body fight diseases and also the symptoms of aging.

-  Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain lycopene, a non-provitamin A carotenoid that protects your skin from sun damage. Additionally, tomato's skin has an anti-inflammatory influence on the human skin, and the flavonoids in the fruit slow down aging.

- Broccoli: Broccoli is packed with vitamins C and K1, potassium, folate, and other nutritional supplements. The vegetable's high antioxidant content makes it the ultimate superfood that makes it possible to fight the symptoms of aging.

- Carrots: These crunchy and yummy vegetables are excellent sources of beta-carotene, potassium, and antioxidants. They help weight loss and keep your skin healthy.

- Red Cabbage: Compared to its green version, red cabbage is high in lutein, beta-carotene, and antioxidants that keep you healthy and slow down the aging process. 

- Spinach: Spinach contains vitamin A, carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron to upkeep cellular health. Additionally, it is full of antioxidants, which help you with skin health.

- Cucumber: It comprises 96% water and is full of antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress in the human system. Additionally, it contains tannins and flavonoids, which block the harmful free radicals.

- Green Tea: Green tea contains polyphenols that boost the creation of keratinocytes, thus slowing down your skin's aging process. It decreases the extracellular matrix damage in your skin to eliminate wrinkles.

Herbs and Spices

- Turmeric: This spice is nature's gift to a lot of health concerns and has anti-aging properties. Turmeric contains curcumin that could slow down oxidative damage and low-grade inflammation that leads to aging. 

- Parsley: Parsley is not only for garnishing your meals but also for a storehouse of vitamins A, C, K, B1, and B3. It's full of flavonoids, particularly luteolin, which prevents oxidative cell damage, maintaining your skin glowing and healthy.

- Garlic: A study indicates that garlic contains antioxidant, antibacterial, and cleansing properties with youth-preserving and anti-aging results on your skin.

- Saffron: This aromatic herb inhibits tyrosinase action and reduces melanogenesis (a process whereby melanin is produced). This action has an anti-aging impact. Moreover, it comprises phenolic elements such as monoterpenoids, kaempferol, and quercetin that inhibit melanogenesis.

- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil contains oleic acid to neutralize C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is related to age-related difficulties. Additionally, it impairs the cell regeneration process in your body. By reducing its impact, olive oil can help you stay young. Mix olive oil on your salad dressing, use it in the marinades and sauces, or just use it as dips rather than mayo or butter.

- Maca: Maca root has enormous health benefits. A study also found that maca extracts prevent skin damage due to UV exposure. They feature polyphenol antioxidants that keep your skin healthy.

- Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds contain sesamin. This kind of lignan (phytoestrogens) has anti-aging effects on the epidermis.

- Yogurt: The fermented milk products are packed with gut-friendly bacteria, which act as probiotics. A study claims that probiotics slow down both intrinsic and extrinsic aging and maintain your skin glowing.

- Oatmeal: Oatmeal contains avenanthramide. This chemical is only found in oats and is a powerful antioxidant. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that assist with slowing down aging.

See: Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart .

Healthy eating habits for life

The longevity diet is not a calorie-restrictive weight loss program. Rather it is a guide for lifelong healthy eating habits. By focusing on healthful foods, it's built-in nutritional benefits as vegetables, beans, legumes, and nuts are rich in a vast array of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. When prepared in healthy ways, these foods are also lower in saturated fat and calories. A fasting-mimicking diet for five days is only suggested a couple of times annually, which might well be worthwhile for the sake of living a longer, more vibrant life.

Lab research has concentrated on restricting calories as a means to extend life spans.  We have known for a long time that reducing calories without malnutrition can prolong healthy life spans in animal models. Cancer and cardiovascular disease in calorie-restricted monkeys are roughly 50 percent lowered.  If the same is replicated in humans, it could be revolutionary and remove the need for many medications. But we also know that caloric restriction can be detrimental. Periodic diets that mimic fasting provide a circumscribed approach to supply caloric restriction. Lab and clinical studies reveal it is perhaps the most potent method to trigger protection, rejuvenation, and repair processes within the body. Present research on fasting, including a fasting-mimicking diet, represents attempts to understand and leverage caloric restriction benefits in a safe and manageable way.

See: Pros And Cons Of Keto Diet

Precautions & side effects

There are no hard-and-fast rules concerning food preparation on the wellbeing diet, even though it's ideal to use low-fat cooking techniques such as grilling, grilling, and sauteeing instead of frying. Olive oil is used liberally in the Mediterranean countries where lots of the longevity diet's tenets arise. High in omega-3s, it is also a versatile cooking oil which works nicely in the kitchen for salads or baking. The longevity diet recommends restricting protein intake to between 0.31 g to 0.36 g per pound of body fat for people under 65. Older adults may eat slightly more than this, such as animal protein, to be able to help preserve muscle mass.

Virtually anyone can safely stick to the food recommendations of the wellbeing diet, except people who may be sensitive or allergic to nuts or some other compliant food. The combination of a regular diet, based in part on centenarians' studies and in part on clinical and scientific data, with a regular fasting-mimicking diet, has clinically shown remarkable beneficial effects on aging and disease risk factors.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and individuals who have diabetes shouldn't do the fasting component of the plan. People should speak with their physician or dietitian before making any changes to their diets.

See: Heart healthy diet plan to prevent heart disease

Summary

Other than genes, it's difficult to think of something which may be more potent than food in determining someone's age. We already know that Type 2 diabetes is the creation of a modern diet. This condition is now among the largest diseases in the world. On the other hand, eating the right foods, ideally via a diet full of vegetables, fish, legumes, nuts, and whole grains, can offer the least costly means to look after a good deal of issues and maybe the key to a healthier and longer life.

See: How to lose belly fat naturally

References

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24. Wei M, Brandhorst S, Shelehchi M, et al. Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Sci Transl Med. 2017;9(377). doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.aai8700

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See: Foods High In Potassium

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