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General characteristics

General characteristics

Longevity, simply put, means living for longer. However what we will be discussing here are ways in which we can maintain the health and vigour of our more youthful years long into the twilight years of our old age. In other words, its not about how to live to be 120 years old but rather how it can be possible to feel and act like a healthy 40 year old when well into ones 70's or even 80's, 90's and beyond.

Today's science struggles to agree on why and how ageing occurs. Explanations for the physical causes of ageing range from inevitable and progressive damage to our DNA, the action of free radicals, our metabolic rate and calorific intake. This seems to imply that ageing and physical degeneration is encoded into the very heart of our genetic make-up and the entire process begins the moment we are born. Others dispute this.

Even if we are genetically encoded at birth to spend the best part of our lives sliding towards entropy, it appears there are many ways to keep the body and mind healthy and vigorous well into our advanced years.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

The individuals and cultures that tend to have longer, healthier lives have several dietary factors in common; they don't overeat; they do not eat many processed foods; they generally eat a balanced diet based around fresh foods; they are often vegetarian or eat good quality meat in moderation; they consume alcohol in moderation; they have a great respect for nature and others sharing the planet. Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible, with very little processing.

Avoid non organic foods as they are loaded with chemicals that are harmful to health.

Fresh green leaves, in salad form perhaps each day, provide a wealth of nutrients and anti-oxidants to delay ageing and promote youthful health and vitality.

The culinary herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, parsley, mint, marjoram, sage, basil, thyme, rosemary etc, can be added (fresh or dried) to all meals for their beneficial effects on digestion, blood circulation, the brain and nervous system and the immune system.

Eat products that come form the bees. It is an indisputable fact that people who keep bees, and therefore have a diet rich in honey, propolis, pollen & royal jelly, live very long and healthy lives. Make sure the bees are foraging for pollen from flowers and not fed on white sugar solution...that is NOT honey! Find a list of beekeepers in your area and get in touch to get a supply of local good quality honey and bee products.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Herbs such as ginkgo and gotu kola are renowned for their positive effects on the brain and nervous system.

Nettle tea has a wealth of nutrients that benefit the urinary system, help keep joints healthy and fluids balanced and acts as a tonic to the whole body.

Sage tea is another classic old style drink touted as keeping both body and mind active and healthy.

Lemon balm is a safe, gentle herb that helps to keep depression away and induces a sense of calm well being and enhances brain function.

Rhodiola root has some interesting anti-ageing properties that seem to work at the DNA level, well worth further investigation.

Schisandra berries have a long held reputation as a herb of longevity.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Low intensity, regular physical activity seems to be a common feature of staying healthy into old age. Activities that are enjoyed by the individual, such as walking the dog, recreational cycling, ambling daily through nature, gardening and growing your own food, even beekeeping or animal husbandry are common features in the lives of those who have healthy and long lives.
Find your purpose in life. Keep learning and growing as a person, have hobbies that you enjoy, take time for regular relaxation and 'me' time, socialise with good friends and family often, keep the company of like minded and inspiring people wherever possible. Be positive wherever possible.
Honey and other bee products such as royal jelly, propolis and pollen provide many nutrients that may help keep us youthful and vigorous into old age.

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