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Secret of long and healthy life: Do we need to go back to roots?

Secret of long and healthy life: The factors that contribute to the long and healthy lives of those who surpass the average life expectancy are attributed to natural and healthy nutrition, as well as working and avoiding stress.

Living a long and healthy life is possible with the assistance of medical science and sophisticated technology, but some researchers vouch for some age-old approaches. The tried and tested methods such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and watching one’s diet still are the most preferred. Some of the leading scientists and experts in the field are also stressing having a positive frame of mind to live up to a hundred!

Vegetarians tend to live longer – Research

Dr Scharffenberg, a celebrated professor at California-based, Loma Linda University, has spent much of his career studying the connection between diet and lifestyle choices and longevity. He is an advocate for plant-based diets and has found that people who follow this type of diet tend to live longer and healthier lives.

According to Dr Scharffenberg, people who stay away from meat and follow a vegetarian diet have a higher chance to live longer. He mentioned a study conducted in California, which considered the people who live up to the age of 85 and above. Vegetarians consisted of 48.6% of those who made it to the age, while the general population were just 19.5%. Interestingly, only about 39% of women from the general population made it to the age of 85, while 60.1% of vegetarian women lived up to that age. The chances of developing diseases are lesser if one is vegetarian, according to Dr Scharffenberg.

Consuming less food as we age

Luigi Cornaro, in his book, How To Live One Hundred Years raises a point in this direction. According to him, as we age, our bodies become less efficient at producing and using energy, which means we require less food to maintain our health and well-being. It’s a fact that is often overlooked, but one that has important implications for our health as we get older. In fact, according to recent research, overeating in middle age and beyond can not only lead to weight gain but also to a depletion of our body’s limited energy reserves.
What elders who lived a long life have to say

According to research involving the elder population published in the Pakistan Journal of Medical Science in 2020, there are certain lifestyle factors that can contribute to healthy ageing. Being married, living in detached houses, living in a nuclear family, owning your own house, and not having a car are all associated with long and healthy living. Additionally, the study found that consuming less ready-made food can also have a positive impact on health in later life.

Interestingly, the research also revealed that the majority of the elderly surveyed reported having good economic situations and not needing outside assistance. This suggests that being content with one’s life circumstances can have a beneficial effect on longevity.

The factors that contribute to the long and healthy lives of those who surpass the average life expectancy are attributed to natural and healthy nutrition, as well as working and avoiding stress. In light of these findings, promoting natural and healthy eating habits and reducing stress in daily life may be beneficial for individuals seeking to increase their chances of living a longer, healthier life.

Some key takeaways for a healthy and long life

Leading a long and healthy life involves some commitment and certain types of foods also play an important role in it. Some common observations made about people who live up to a hundred years include:

Plant-Based Diet

Centenarians tend to eat a plant-based diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. This type of diet is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre and low in saturated and trans fats, which can help prevent chronic diseases and promote longevity.


Centenarians often incorporate nuts into their diets, particularly almonds, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. They are an acclaimed source of healthy fats and protein.


Soy-based foods are a common component of many centenarians’ diets. Soy has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.


Regular physical activity is an important component of longevity. Many centenarians engage in regular exercises, such as walking or gardening, which can help maintain cardiovascular health and prevent age-related decline.

Social Connections

Social connections are important for longevity. Centenarians often have strong social networks, which can provide emotional support and help reduce stress.


Many centenarians also have a strong spiritual or religious practice, which can provide a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude and outlook on life is one of the most important components of longevity. Centenarians often have a positive and optimistic attitude, which can help them navigate life’s challenges and maintain mental health.

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