I was watching some webinars in the name of self-betterment over the weekend and I stumbled across the topic of “Longevity: Genetics of Choice.” I found this session unbelievably enlightening which in turn prompted me to pen my thoughts.
What is Longevity?
In a nutshell it is about prolonging your life but doing so while maintaining the “Quality” of life! While there technically is no such thing as extending your life, what we mean is the ability to live for your “purpose” longer and to the fullest while looking after yourself.
An article in The Japan Times professes: “The number of people aged 100 or older in Japan has surpassed 80,000 for the first time amid the rapid aging of the country’s population, government data showed Tuesday.” While this is amazing, it just goes to prove it is possible, and perhaps it is worth a moment to examine what it is that they are doing, not only to live, but also to live optimally.
What is at the core of longevity?
Based on the development of medicine, the life expectancy of a person now is expected to be 127 years by the year 2050!
Diet and Nutrition, Science and Medicine, and Technological Advancement are all contributory factors to longevity. From 1954 with the first organ transplant (Kidney) and the Pacemaker in 1960, to all the modern-day innovations, these advances have contributed to the ability for people to live longer and fuller lives, compared to our ancestors.
The basic ingredients of a healthy life are a combination of many things. There is no set of special ingredients, it’s more about assessing your own health and well being and then taking the right care of yourself with diet, lifestyle, and care. It is no longer reliant on a genetic predisposition. Given the right tools, your body can rebuild itself to achieve more and live longer.
Are genetics hardwired or can they be manipulated?
Genetics are what you have inherited from your family line but does not always mean that you will inherit the health complications that those before you have. On the contrary, it provides you with the knowledge of how to strengthen the weaknesses your parents have – so that you don’t fall prey and unwittingly activate the weaknesses within you. On the flip side, if you are of a stronger genetic makeup but abuse your body, then you curtail your body's ability to age better.
How do I determine my genetic makeup?
“Anti-Aging tests'' are Lab tests which are the most foolproof way to determine your genetic makeup, to determine markers and establish your strengths and weaknesses, and get your framework in place. An imbalance in the minerals or acids in our bodies keeps it from functioning well. The same way we are made up of 70% water, and if our bodies do not absorb or rebuild is necessary, then we know our bodies are not performing optimally. Unless you know what’s going wrong – there is no way to fix it or replenish your body with what is needed. Unfortunately, most of these tests are not covered by insurance, thereby limiting accessibility. In the USA the American Anti-aging Society is who you need to research to learn more.
On Longevity and Diet…
With all these diets out there, there is no one size fits all for sure. Usually, diets are hard to stick to and you end up despising your diet and dropping his mid-way. Adapting a diet to suit your body's deficiencies is always the best way to go. Your diet needs to be personalized. Sometimes a food intolerance testing is helpful in determining this. Also, be mindful of the timing you consume your meals. Diets that work are those based on your culture and lifestyle. There is a purpose for food, to provide your body with the nutrients and energy it needs to its best to ensure your food is doing this for you. Eating with purpose helps you achieve your goals.
On Supplements and Herbs for Longevity…
No capsule or supplement can work miracles on its own, and as always, nothing is one size fits all. Multivitamins are good to supplement your meals with, but you need to be mindful of the brand with good potency. It’s good to supplement with the right combinations, but make sure you use the best brands available to you. Also, you need to know exactly what you are supplementing for, because sometimes this only goes to create further deficiencies. Consult with your doctor, but mostly try and get all your nutrition through your food, and your body can absorb only what it needs.
On Fasting and Longevity…
Fasting done right can contribute to longevity. Keep in mind that your body was not designed to fast for extensive periods. But if you do give your body enough of hydration, remember dehydration is the fastest way to age! Fasting dinner rather than breakfast is better for you. Ensure what you eat during fasting supplicates all your minerals and vitamins. Fasting is a great tool – but make sure you know what you are doing; done the wrong way, it is the easiest way to disrupt your body's balance.
On Longevity and Brain Health…
Brain health and longevity is related. Your brain Is 80% water, so you need great hydration and also the right kind of hydration. Bottled water doesn't contain the electrolytes and minerals your body needs, and electrolytes and minerals are essential to ensure your body is absorbing the water it needs. This ensures that your brain cells are absorbing more and are having a fuller life cycle. Antioxidants help to rebuild your brain cells too and water that contains the right amount of oxygen helps supply essential oxygen to the brain.
Omega 3 in the form of fish oils are excellent for boosting brain health, and the DHA in Omega 3 is excellent for concentration and focus, in ensuring your brain is functioning optimally. Really focus on keeping your brain active which in turn helps in longevity. Everyone needs purpose and activity - which is at the core of longevity.
Supplementing without knowledge is dangerous – so be mindful of getting what you can from your food.
Often your lifestyle has a massive bearing on your longevity.
Cultivate activities that are not online all the time – move away and give yourself a break from the rays that affect you adversely.
The basic points to focus on are: Eating well, drinking well, sleeping well, loving to the fullest and really seizing your life and living it to the fullest.
Longevity is not living forever, but living your best life