Author:Sharlet Briggs, PHD

Knowledge is Power

Some of you may read this blog and feel smug. You have great blood pressure, BMI, your diet impeccable and you wonder when you look around how other people your age got so decrepit while you're still young and spry.   Some of you won't read this blog unless someone send you a link. And some of you may suspect that you have every disease you read about and death is just around the corner.   As a wise friend of my once said "knowledge is power."   She is right, of course.   So in the next...

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Help Yourself

In 1979 there was a wonderful study completed by a Harvard Professor by the name of Langer. She recruited eight men who were in their 70’s who were neither healthy nor unhealthy for a five day retreat. These age-appropriate men, slow, bent, and easily fatigued were shown vintage TV programs from 1959, listened to music from that era, and overall treated as if they were still in 1959. No one offered to carry their bags in or fetch them something to drink or a blanket. They kept their topic to...

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Your Destiny

When it comes to aging, your DNA is not your destiny; you are your destiny. That means your future is mutable and is mostly your choice. So what to do? Fine-tune your cuisine? Work out in the gym or go for a walk? Get a good night’s sleep? All of these things are important to a Longevity Lifestyle and play an important role but there is something equally or perhaps even more critical: your outlook. You have perhaps heard to the old adage “You’re only as old as you feel”—this...

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Miraculous Shortcuts

One of the reasons that the Mediterranean choice of cuisine is so loved by experts is that it is not restrictive. The focus is eating lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts and whole grains. It allows for moderate amounts of fish and poultry, and for the wine drinkers, it allows for a little bit of wine with meals. It discourages red or process meats, most dairy products, snacks and sweets—all linked to death and disease when consumed frequently. Did you notice the lack of supplement’s, lemon-water binges, or any of the other...

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Nutty for Nuts

Did you know that nuts of all type may help you live longer? Yes, some have more fat than others but they are all full of protein, vitamins, and good fats. In a study of 76,000 women, those who regularly ate nuts of any kind had a 20% lower death rate after four years than women who didn’t have nuts as part of their daily cuisine. Eating walnuts has been linked to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It may even calm the body’s stress responses. Besse Copper, at age 116 when...

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The Protein Craze

Your body requires protein, many of us may be eating way too much of it, especially the kind that comes from animal sources. A 2014 study found that people between50-65 years of age who eat 20% or more of their daily caloric intake as protein, suffer a 75% jump in mortality risk and are four times as likely to develop cancer as those who restrict protein to 10% of their calories. Yes, my friends, that puts heavy meat eating on par with smoking when it comes to health damages. The...

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What to do…What to do

Have you ever found headlines confusing or that advice from one source contradicts another. Take the word diet, it is thrown around as something good to do to live longer and at the same time there are weight-loss schemes including pills, enemas, nasal sprays and tasteless foods. The reality is that your diet is everything that you eat or drink: good or bad, healthy or over the top. Experts state that approximately 25% of your risk of death is due to genetics and the other 75% is most likely the...

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Brains and Bones

Under normal circumstances you typically don’t lose your mind all at once, but by 70 you may start to see age-related brain changes speed up. It is important to focus on mental activities to keep you engaged and stimulated. It is never too late to take up a new hobby, take a class, or visit someplace new. Your bones start giving up earlier; around 35, bone mass tends to go downhill at a rate of up to 1% per year. For ladies it is even faster after menopause. This is a...

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Olive Oil

One question I am frequently asked is the nutritional value of olive oil and its use in the Mediterranean diet. The good news is that research from Greece’s Hellenic Health Foundation has shown that regular olive oil consumption extends life. The oil’s antioxidant and monounsaturated fat content may be a contributing factor. It may also be that olive oil improves the flavor of vegetables and other healthy foods increasing people to choose healthy options. The bad news is that you can still overindulge on a good thing. For instance, substituting...

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Telomeres –Your Time Keeper

Alice Parks describes telomeres as the timekeepers of your cell’s life: each time a cell divides, it copies its chromosomes’’ DNA, and like a knot tied at the end of a thread, telomeres signal the end of the copying process. With each cell division, these little squiggles, which are the final segments of DNA at the ends of chromosomes, shorten—eventually disappearing altogether. If you are healthy you have a dance going on between telomeres shortening and telomerase, an enzyme, which lengthen them just a bit, restoring some of the DNA...

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