Contributors: Dr Roman Pawlak (Author)
Genre: Books, Diet & Nutrition
Aging is associated with many physiological and anatomical changes. These changes can be modified by several factors, the most important of which include diet, physical activity, smoking and obesity. The research described in this book quite convincingly demonstrated that a healthy diet, one that is based on unrefined plant products, engaging in regular physical activity and other lifestyle factors are associated with prevention of many age-related health conditions. In fact, lifestyle factors including diet are effective in reversing some chronic health conditions that are prevalent in the elderly.
In addition to research studies, observations of the longest living populations in the world confirm the effectiveness of diet and other lifestyle factors in increasing longevity and living disease-free. The longest living people from places such as Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, Loma Linda, California or Vilcabamba, Ecuador have some aspects of their lives in common. Their diet is based on unrefined plant foods (some of them eat fish, while others are vegetarians), they get plenty of physical activity, the vast majority of them do not smoke and are not obese. On the other hand, individuals living in the same areas who adopt a Western type of lifestyle with diet based on meats, animal products and refined plant foods and who get little exercise have a lower life span and experience higher rate of chronic health conditions.
The overall message of this book is that longevity and disease-free aging is more so about lifestyle than about genes. In fact, an argument could be made that genes do not have all that much to do with longevity. And even if they do impact life span of one generation, the genes of the generation that follows may be impacted by the lifestyle of their parents. Such conclusion is supported by research done of twins. In perhaps the most important of such research projects, due to the high number of twins included (2872 twin pairs) researchers concluded that “longevity is only moderately heritable.” The same authors further stated that “robust people may die young and frail people in old age, depending on the individual’s exposure to environmental stress.”
In order to achieve the most benefits, healthy lifestyle factors along with healthy diet should be implemented from youth. Children observe and learn how to live and how to eat from their parents. As indicated in the book, many of the health conditions that are so common in our society are completely preventable. Thus, aging does not have to be associated with an increased prevalence of detrimental health conditions. However, it is never too late to adopt healthy lifestyle principles. As pointed out on the pages of this book, healthy diet along with physical activity can reverse some of the health problems and age-related changes.
In conclusion, reaching 100 or living past 100 is in our hands. The quest begins now with every meal, snack and every bite. It begins with every step and every other decision that impacts our health.