What to eat at 50 to live up to a hundred

In our opinion it was one of the best news of yesterday. Mainly because it tells us that even if you only start improving your diet after middle age (so very late), you can still add a decade or more to your life expectancy. And also because this miraculous regime includes a lot of things that we feared having to exclude. The way in which the scientists have obtained the information is quite reassuring: they have analyzed the eating habits and lifestyle of centenarians. A bit like the late Maurizio Costanzo said when speaking of the collars of Dino Erre’s mustache shirts «And if it goes well with me, good shirt to everyone»: if centenarians don’t know how to live for a long time… Indeed, it seems that the duration of everyone’s life is attributable to genetics only for 25%, all the rest is due to diet, environment, physical exercise and, in practice, lifestyle, in fact.

Spying on the table set for longevity, to amaze us first of all are the walnuts, who would have ever attributed all this power to the kernels? Moreover, we thought we had to sip them because they make you fat, but it turns out that they are practically a medical prescription if you consider the fact that those who consume them have a 20% lower mortality rate than those who don’t eat them. Centenarians allow themselves a handful (if they are not walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews) every day, perhaps as a snack. Another galvanizing discovery: centenarians drink coffee. It seems to protect against dementia and Parkinson’s disease and even, in diabetic subjects, would reduce the incidence of mortality by 18%-20% due to cardiovascular diseases. Customs cleared, indeed recommended, the adorable eggs: from two to four a week. They can replace meat proteins (which it is not advisable to abuse, no more than twice a week) and have also been “cleared” of the accusation of increasing cholesterol. However, there is no good news for added sugars and aged cheeses and dairy products: the former must be reduced to the bone, the latter as well, the latter must be kept in the diet for their calcium intake but sparingly and in any case they should be consumed skimmed. If you want to know, but you don’t like it, some of the centenarians under consideration replace a glass of milk with a cup of cooked cabbage.

We should eat fish every day (up to 85 grams, to be exact) and the best would be to choose it from sardines, anchovies and cod. Just as every day it is essential to consume cooked legumes which are the real secret of long life: black beans, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, white beans. The true healthy carriers of fibres, vitamins, minerals… only they would be able to prolong the life of even a head of lettuce which notoriously struggles to get over the top by the week. Speaking of lettuce, 95% of the food that fills our plates should come from plants: in season, of different colors and of proven origin (the classic zero-km purchases). Avoid foods that have entire encyclopedias instead of lists of ingredients, if they exceed four or five, put them back on the shelf from which you felt like grabbing them. And so they do, the fabulous centenarians. Just as it is clear from their habits that the cereals we use should be whole grains: rice, pasta and bread.

Ah then obviously water, no less than eight glasses a day or alternatively green tea which seems to reduce the risk of heart disease and various types of cancer. In general, eat less! And try to do it in the 12 hour period from 8 in the morning to a little before 8 in the evening. There’s a reason why at a certain point of the day the light goes out and there’s a reason why we say «go to bed with the chickens». They, the longest-lived in the world, behave like this, one might say with nature. You have the information, the choice is yours.

#eat #live
2023-05-26 04:00:00