Longevity is one of the top focus areas for many people who love biohacking, including us. The idea of having the abilities of someone who is 30 when you’re 50, or 50 when you’re 80 is exciting. As humans, we often sacrifice our future wellbeing for things that bring us pleasure in the moment.
We don’t care if the sugarand junk food we are eating now will damage our health in the future. It is hard to comprehend future consequences, but what if you decided to live with a different mindset. If you made decisions around your health based on whether something is good for both present and future you, you won’t have as many regrets when you are older and cannot do the things you enjoy anymore, or die earlier because of poor health decisions throughout your life.
We are inspired and driven by the idea of promoting longevity, and having a high quality of life for as long as possible. We are on a mission to try and preserve our bodies for as long as possible through diet and biohacking, and invite you to do the same. Of course, we are aware that there are limits, but we are still determined to do everything in our power to not end up with aching joints, the loss of mobility, chronic disease, and premature death.
When researching diet, biohacking, and lifestyle decisions that promote longevity, we came across the five Blue Zones.
Best Tips for Longevity from The Blue Zones
Who does one turn to for inspiration when aiming for longevity? The blue zones and biohacking community of course. The five blue zones are places where people have a high life expectancy, and many live to 100+ while staying healthy. They are known for their exceptional longevity, but the people who live here also seem to have a higher quality of life. The five blue zones are as follows:
– Sardinia, Italy
– Okinawa, Japan
– Loma Linda, California
– Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
– Ikaria, Greece
There are a few lessons we can take from these areas in order to improve our own quality of life, and potentially increase our own lifespan by years or even decades.
1. They Eat Whole Foods
What all of their diets have in common is that they include very little processed food and they include mostly home, or locally grown foods. Refined carbohydrates and artificial ingredients are usually avoided. In terms of nutritional profile, their diets are very similar to the Mediterranean diet, which is one of the healthiest diets for promoting longevity and overall health.
2. They Eat a Lot of Plants
The majority of their food sources come from plants with a focus on herbs, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. They eat a moderate amount of animal proteins, and include healthy fats like olive oil. One benefit of a diet high in plant foods is that it provides a lot of antioxidants that protect against cell damage. It also ensures that they consume a lot of fibre, which is something we often lack in the western diet.
At The Hart of Health, we love meat, but if you consume cooked meat and saturated fat without plant polyphenols, then it can cause inflammation. Pair meat with vegetables and other sources of polyphenols, such as herbal tea or cacao. An anti-inflammatory lifestyle is crucial for anti-ageing.
3. They Don’t Overeat
In Japan, the blue zone centenarians follow the rule of “Hara hachi bu,” where they only eat until 80% full. The blue zone residents also have a healthier attitude towards food, and practice portion control, which helps to prevent overeating. They also sit down to enjoy their food. With our modern-day lifestyle, we often eat in front of the TV, the computer, or even while on the run. This mindless eating usually leads to over-consumption. Try eating at the dinner table, and make it a social event.
4. They Drink Alcohol in Moderation (One to Two glasses a day)
A daily glass or two of red wine is common in Sardinia and Greece. Red wine contains a compound called resveratrol that has been linked with a variety of health benefits. Moderate amounts of alcohol can even help prevent cognitive decline.
5. They Consume Fermented Foods
Probiotic-rich fermented foods, such as yoghurt, miso, natto, tempeh, and kefir appear regularly in many of their diets. Probiotics, paired with the abundance of fibre-rich vegetables, help ensure a healthy and strong gut microbiome. Having a healthy digestive system has been linked with less inflammation, improved cognitive functioning, and yes, longevity.
6. They Focus on Having Strong Relationships
Healthy relationships have been strongly linked to a longer lifespan. Nowadays, we are becoming more and more disconnected due to our obsession with technology. Spending time with family and friends can relieve stress, and create a strong feeling of being connected.
A Few Biohacking Tips for Longevity
An article about longevity would not be complete without a few biohacking tips. Biohacking allows you to explore a variety of things that promise to promote longevity. We find biohacking to be a lot of fun. Here are a few biohacking tips that you can start incorporating regardless of your age:
Try Intermittent Fasting: Short and extended periods of fasting stimulates your body’s cell-recycling and process, known as autophagy. When cell turnover slows down, ageing speeds up.
Meditate: Meditation stimulates the production of an enzyme, known as telomerase, which can lengthen your telomeres. Telomeres are the caps that are found at the end of your chromosomes. When they become shorter, ageing accelerates. Therefore, meditating can slow the clock (it sure can feel like it slows time).
Occasionally Restrict Your Calories: Calorie restriction mimics fasting, and also stimulates autophagy. Occasionally restricting your calories to between 750 and 1100 calories a day for five days can be very beneficial if your goal is longevity.
These are only a few biohacking tips for longevity, but we will explore more in future blog posts. But, with the tips in this post, you can start our own biohacking journey and start the anti-ageing process.