Want to live to be 100?

By | March 4, 2008

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The New York Times ran a set of pieces on a very cool Japanese monk, 100-year-old Rinzai Zen master (one of the oldest in the world) Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi, who tells followers, “Excuse me for not dying.” – souljerky

… avoid alcohol, caffeine and tobacco … Scientists working for the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Japan’s Ministry of Health have been following oldsters like Toguchi since 1976 in the Okinawa Centenarian Study (OCS) and they’ve learned that he’s typical. Elderly Okinawans tend to get plenty of physical and mental exercise. Their diets, moreover, are exemplary: low in fat and salt, and high in fruits and vegetables packed with fiber and antioxidant substances that protect against cancer, heart disease and stroke. They consume more soy than any other population on earth: 60-120 g a day, compared to 30-50 g for the average Japanese, 10 for Chinese and virtually 0 g for the average American. Soy is rich in flavonoids—antioxidants strongly linked to low rates of cancer. This may be one of many reasons why the annual death rate from cancer in Okinawa is far below the U.S. rate.

But it’s not just what Okinawans eat; it’s how much. They practice a dietary philosophy known as hara hachi bu—literally, eight parts out of 10 full. Translation: they eat only to the point at which they are about 80% sated. That makes for a daily intake of no more than 1,800 calories, compared to the more than 2,500 that the average American man scarfs down. And as scientists have learned from lab animals, the simple act of calorie restriction can have significant effects on longevity. – time

2 thoughts on “Want to live to be 100?

  1. Xeno Post author

    It is possible:

    100-year-old credits beer, fun and family for her longevity By Marisa Donelan, Sentinel & Enterprise
    LEOMINSTER — Irene Alice Goguen may know a secret potion for longevity. “Drink beer,” the lifelong
    Leominster resident said. “I did, I’m still living.” Goguen celebrated her 100th birthday Monday, and joked that she enjoyed a beer now and then while she and her late husband, Jack, owned the Blue Moon, a restaurant in Leominster. But her husband never drank, she said. “It was nice, we had a good business. We sold beer,” she said. “We sold beer over the counter for years, and he never drank any of it.” Birthday cards, posters and balloons crowded the area around Goguen’s bed in the Keystone Center, where she has lived for about five years. About 30 friends and family members went to the nursing home Sunday for a party in her honor. “There were flowers all over,” she said. “We had fun.” Irene Belrose, who lived near Goguen in the high rise apartments at 161 Spruce St. about a decade ago, said she wishes Goguen a happy 100th birthday. “Well, enjoy life,” Belrose said. ‘If it’s the beer, the laughter, whatever. You take one step in front of the other,
    and it’s about not being afraid of your age.”

    Also see this, ah, entirely believable story. Smoke and Drink Every Day: Secret to Longevity.

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