5 Keys to Longevity
So who are the longest lived cultures around the world and what is their secret? It is easy for us to dismiss these groups as folklore, or assume we can’t achieve the same results. But can we? I absolutely think so. Here are what these long lived people groups have in common and the steps we can take to prolong our own health.
First, some sobering statistics:
- America ranks 17th out of 32 industrialized nations in life-span.
- Most people “assume” they are aging or getting old after 40 or 50 years of age.
- By age 50, 90% of Americans are on pharmaceutical drugs.
- Even though life span is technically increasing, our quality of aging is rapidly declining. People are “surviving” on pharmaceutical drugs, oxygen tanks and living in pain and limited mobility.
- Our current generation of children will be the first to have a lower life span than their parents.
Are humans different than other animals?
In many ways of course. However, with rare exceptions, animals live 5 to 6 times past their prime age. In other words, past the height of their sexual maturity. They age gracefully, with plenty of life force and little degenerative illness or disease. The peak of maturity in humans is about 25 years of age, therefore humans should be living to 125 or beyond! If you look at animals in the wild, they have very little gray hair, and no trouble with basic life functions up until death.
Who are the longest lived cultures?
- Andorra: mountains between France and Spain Vicalbamba and the mountains of Peru
- Hunzas of the Himalayas
- Okinawans in Japan
What do the longest lived cultures have in common?
- Nutrition: Without exception, these cultures all eat a local, plant based diet. They are anywhere from 90% to 99% vegetarian. We have been brainwashed by the meat and dairy industry to believe that meat and dairy products are the most important thing to a healthy diet. The fact is, they are not, because of the way animals are treated today they can cause much illness. Among the longest lived cultures, many consume dairy products, but pasteurization and homogenization would be a foreign concept to them.There are over 80,000 identified plants we use throughout the world as food. Each of these cultures eats a wide variety of foods. In America, over 60% of food supply is wheat, corn and soy. These are allergenic foods that cause major weaknesses in the body.Each of these cultures has a fresh source of mountain spring water available to them. Water and minerals are the single most important things that go into the human body. We must do the best we can here in our location to duplicate quality, fresh, mountain spring water.Without exception, each of these cultures eats VERY FEW CALORIES! Although food is social and enjoyable to them, it is never gluttonous or in excess. They eat to live, not live to eat as we do in America. Not one of these cultures, on average, eats over 1,000 calories per day! To us, 1,000 calories per day seems like starvation!Probiotics are an important part of their lifestyle. This does not mean pills. It means fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, or fermented vegetables. Not one of these cultures has processed foods, packaged foods, fast foods or artificial chemicals, flavors, colorings, and other poisons in their food supply. This perfectly describes the complete poisoning of the American food supply. This is 95% of what most Americans eat!Because they do not eat packaged foods they eat seasonally. They eat whatever foods are fresh at that time of year. If they don’t have apples, they don’t eat them. This is why shopping at your local farmer’s market is crucial and important for long-term health!The Okinawans have a motto to push away from the table when they are 80% full. They never stuff themselves. These cultures all eat slowly, with intention, and quit before they are full. They also take more time to eat, chew slowly, and use meals as quality family time, never rushing.They all use herbs. They drink herbal teas and then pass down that knowledge and wisdom from generation to generation.
- Positive Outlook: These cultures enjoy life. They are not stressed out! They work to live, not live to work. This was a motto that I first heard when I lived in France. They laughed about how Americans “live to work.” These cultures typically spend more quality time with each other and are never hurried, or pressed for time. Life is to be cherished and enjoyed.They are less fearful of what is going on around the rest of the world. Why? They don’t watch TV! News is fear based, rarely positive. TURN OFF YOUR TV! Television can completely alter our ability to interact with other people on a social level.
- Exercise: I am not talking about going to the gym, that is an American phenomenon. For these cultures, exercise is daily life! They don’t have to think about it. They walk everywhere. In our culture we drive around for 5 minutes looking for the spot closest to the front door. They are building fences, playing outside and walking to work. We hire someone else to build our fence, waste our life playing video games and watching tv, and drive door to door.
- Family Importance: These cultures have 4-5 generations of family living in the same household. This would make most all of us cringe and scream insanity. However, they don’t abandon the elderly which common in the US. They take care of each other! And they do this for life. Many Americans don’t want to be inconvenienced from their daily lives by having to take care of someone else. Americans are so trained to be independent, we forget about the importance of community, even when they live in the same town as us!
- Spirituality: American independence has unfortunately turned many away from God. We claim to believe in God, but very few actually make the attempt to have a personal relationship with the God who created us in His image. It’s easy in America to say one thing and do the opposite. Living in nature, as these cultures do, grows a closeness and awareness for God lacking in American culture. I originally found God in nature, well, because He made it! When you rely on yourself for strength, you leave God out of the picture. This was never His intention for us. God is not a mystical, untouchable, new age force of energy. Our God is a living God, longing to have a close, personal relationship with us. You will never know how much God truly loves you, until you reach out to Him and He will show you that He is right there waiting for you. This doesn’t just mean the bad times. This means being thankful for everything and searching Him out, because His heart longs for you! May favorite book was written by Paul to the church of Ephesus, also known as the book of Ephesians in the Bible, which is an amazing description of God’s love and his intentions to have a living, personal relationship with us.
5 Steps to take towards longevity:
- Spirituality: Develop your spiritual aspect. I put this number one on purpose. When I was living a “worldly” life, my life was always a roller coaster. I am weak on my own. With God I have strength to get through all of life’s ups and downs. It’s still a roller coaster, but the ride is so much more enjoyable! Living ON PURPOSE is how God created us. When you live with purpose, when you learn to love others unconditionally, when you learn truly not to judge others, when you learn the glory and the beauty that awaits you on the other side, and when you live a life of sacrifice and servitude towards others, you can’t help but prolong your life. Living with hope, peace, and joy in your heart is immeasurable!
- Nutrition: We must get away from the poisoned American food supply if we want to prolong life. Americans are being cut short of their potential because of the fork. Start making wiser choices. Choose life. Eat what God gave us, not what man processes, chemically alters, and refines. GO LOCAL! Plant a garden! Go to the Farmer’s Markets! Buy Seasonal!
- Use herbs and supplements wisely:
- Key longevity herbs as used by long lived cultures and studied extensively by the Chinese: Deer Antler, Ginsengs, Schisandra Berry, Jiaogulan, Chaga, and Reishi Muhsrooms.
- Minerals: Without fresh mountain spring water, supplementing minerals is KEY!
- Greens: Because we eat few fresh quality, local produce, supplementing greens is important! A good greens powder will do wonders for energy levels.
- Fats: We need good quality fats and they are missing from the diets of many people! This includes nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut, avocado, flax, etc.
- Probiotics: Either eat fermented foods or supplement with quality probiotics
- Exercise: Move, walk, play sports, jump on a Cellerciser rebounder, do something! Just walking is amazing and what most cultures around the world do as their main exercise component. Try parking at the far end of the parking lot when you go to the store and walk!
- Enjoy Life: Don’t be bitter. Forgive anyone you think is unforgivable. Forgive YOURSELF! Do not walk around in shame or guilt. Give it all to God, that’s what He wants you to do! Don’t be angry at others or get angered easily. Live with love, joy and intention. Serve others. Everyone feels good when they help out someone in need. Volunteer. Give to charity, Do not be resentful or regretful of anything in your past. If you’ve done something horrible, ask God for forgiveness! We are forgiven, if we truly repent in our heart. NOTHING is unforgivable!
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32