Improving and maintaining a high quality of life long past retirement is something most of us aspire to. Cardiovascular issues, brain health and loss of bone and muscle tissue are big age-related health conditions that can negatively impact longevity and quality of life. While there are many things in life beyond our control, “healthy” habits such as diet, exercise, and community are well within our reach and could lead us to a ripe, old age.
Nutrition plays a critical role in helping to stave off these conditions and aging factors. Here are the top nutrition tips on eating for longevity.
1. Aim for 25-35g of protein per meal or .6g per 1 lb of bodyweight.
Maintaining or building muscle as we get older has incredible anti-aging effects, including an increased metabolism. Since protein synthesis declines with age, hitting daily protein goals is the nutritional key to prevent muscle loss.
2. Cut out industrial seed oils.
Oils such as soy, corn, safflower, cottonseed and canola are known for increasing inflammation. Fats from butter, grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil will have a more balanced omega 3:6:9 ratio and better protect our cells and DNA.
3. Backload your carbohydrates.
We tend to have greater insulin sensitivity in the evening, especially if carbs were kept relatively low during the day. Timing your day to eat carbs in the later part of the day can improve thyroid function and promote more restful sleep.
An Evidence-Based Day of Eating for Longevity
Breakfast | Organic Breakfast Sausage and Cheddar Scrambler
- Protein: Your body uses the first 25g of protein eaten each day for repairing the immune system, detoxification and building neurotransmitters so pack in the protein for breakfast.
Snack | Mixed Nuts
- Nuts: research links eating 1 oz. (28g) of nuts each day to a 20% reduced risk of death from any cause, including cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease.
Lunch | Shepherd’s Pie
- Eat high-fiber ingredients, and low glycemic meals to maintain steady blood sugar, aiding in satiety.
- Grass-fed beef: contains a fatty acid called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). CLA can help prevent several diseases and conditions like obesity and diabetes.
- Olive Oil: new research highlights the fat in olive oil can play an integral role in the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, plus activate pathways in cells that are linked to longevity.
- Garlic: helps counteract age-related changes in gut health associated with memory problems. The benefit comes from allyl sulfide, a compound in garlic known for its health benefits relating to immunity, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and more.
Dinner | Panko-Crusted Chicken + Sweet corn Risotto
- Evening Carbs: By consuming a measured amount of carbs later in the day, the added glycogen can lower cortisol, ramp up your metabolic rate and help you sleep deeper.
Dessert | Double Chocolate Cookies or Berries
- Dark chocolate: data suggests a link between consuming 6 grams of high cocoa daily and a reduced risk of heart disease and mortality.
- Berries: contain a variety of phytochemicals that fight certain cancers and heart diseases. Their flavonoid content has also been found to help short- and long-term memory.
Want to design your own day? Check out the menu for ready-made meals, signature sides, premium proteins and desserts.
Additional Lifestyle Habits that Benefit Longevity
- Move: turn back the clock with regular movement and exercise. Calculations based on the Harvard Alumni Study suggest that men who exercise regularly can gain about two hours of life expectancy for each 1 hour of exercise.
- Establish a consistent bedtime: a recent study reports that longevity is likely linked to regular sleeping patterns, such as going to bed and waking up around the same time each day.
- Seek joy: a review of 35 studies showed that happy people may live up to 18% longer than their less happy counterparts.
- Build your village: Researchers report that maintaining healthy social networks can help you live up to 50% longer.