Learn More about Nutrition

What can we learn from Longevity Hot Spots?

Around the globe, there are places where people live healthfully and vibrantly well into their 80′s, 90′s, and past 100! To boot, their populations have far fewer cases of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. These areas are known as Longevity Hot Spots.

The people inhabiting the Longevity Hot Spots share common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their longevity:

  • Prioritizing family relationships

  • Socially well-integrated communities

  • Frequent moderate physical activity

  • Infrequent tobacco use

  • Mostly vegetarian diet

  • Frequent consumption of legumes

In virtually all Longevity Hot Spots there are also certain foods that are credited with contributing to the phenomenal health and longevity of the inhabitants. These "superfoods" include:

  • Acai berries

  • Apples

  • Apricots*

  • Avocados

  • Blueberries*

  • Beans

  • Brassica vegetables*

  • Buckwheat*

  • Chocolate (cacao)*

  • Chlorella and Spirulina*

  • Cinnamon*

  • Flax

  • Garlic 

  • Ginger*

  • Goji berries*

  • Green tea*

  • Mushrooms*

  • Red Wine and Resveratrol*

  • Soy

  • Spinach*

  • Sprouted Foods*

  • Sweet Potatoes*

  • Tomato Paste and Tomatoes

  • Turmeric*

  • Yogurt*

* Found in AKEA

The goal isn’t to consume superfoods in pharmacologically huge doses. Rather, it’s to learn to enjoy superfoods as part of a daily routine, as longevity populations do. Keep in mind:

  • Be practical. Some superfoods will be more within reach than others. If you live near an organic apple orchard, for example, as opposed to a lush valley in remote China, you can choose to eat apples more often than goji berries.

  • Put color on your table. The more vibrant the color of a plant food, the greater the benefits, since the phytochemicals (plant chemicals) are represented by the plant pigment. A table rich with reds, yellows, oranges, blues, purples and dark greens will bring you a wide range of nutrients working in concert to rejuvenate your cells.

  • Go organic when you can. While organic plants don’t necessarily have higher mineral levels, they do have more phytochemicals. That’s because they use phytochemicals to grow strong and protect themselves against bugs. When you eat them, you get the benefits, too.

And, as with all nutritional and wellness advice, remember that:

  • Individual nutrients work best in the context of the food they are in.

  • Foods work best in the context of the diet they are part of.

  • Diet works best in the context of overall lifestyle.

And just as there are similarities in what people in each longevity hot spot do, there are also specific things they don’t do:

  • Eat sugar, white flour, or refined salt

  • Drink much caffeine

  • Use tobacco

  • Live a sedentary life

  • Subject themselves to chronic stress

  • Use pesticides

  • Eat fatty meat

  • Eat processed foods containing additives

  • Use cosmetics containing carcinogenic chemicals

Would you like to bring your nutritional choices closer to those of long-lived hot spot residents?

Start today by incorporating any one of the food or lifestyle principles above to your life. Once you have mastered that one step, add another simple step. Soon, you’ll enjoy better tasting, healthier foods — and your body will thank you for the support of its longevity.

For more information about incorporating the Longevity Hot Spots principles into your own wellness, set up an individual wellness consultation with Dr. Werness!