The quest for immortality is as old as history itself. Today, we study the habits of those who live the longest, and invest countless billions in technology we hope will allow us to live forever.
Life expectancy is the statistical measurement of the years a newborn child can expect to live, barring accidents and unnatural events. Live expectancy in the U.S. is currently 75.7 years for men and 80.8 years for women. No one has found a way to cheat death, at least not yet. The top causes of death in the U.S. are heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease, and accidents.
Specific lifestyle choices may help you live a longer, healthy life. While many seem simple, there is a science behind how they slow the aging process.
4 Ways to Add Years Onto Your Life
1. Restrict your work week: Working no more than 40-50 hours each week adds a year and half to your life. However working reasonable hours through retirement actually adds years to your life.
2. Calorie restriction: The theory is simple: Eating less helps you live longer. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 25 percent. Being in a state of slight hunger stresses the body, making it stronger and more resistant against the aging process. Taking in fewer calories also slows metabolism, and studies suggest people with a slower metabolism live longer. Calorie restriction gives cell autophagy process a boost. Autophagy is how cells remove damaged parts and recycle these materials into new parts. By removing these damaged parts, cells may age more slowly, increasing longevity.
3. Red wine: Resveratrol is a natural ingredient in both red and white grapes. Its benefits include cardiovascular health, protection from macular degeneration, protection from free-radical damage, and healthy blood sugar levels. Low doses of resveratrol protect both the heart and brain by preventing cell damage, activating a cell’s survival mechanisms. Free radicals are unstable, organic molecules responsible for aging and tissue damage.
4. Death by chocolate: Dark chocolate is a great source of flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants that reduce oxidative cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radical damage has been linked to aging, heart disease, and different types of cancers. Studies suggest the flavonoids in dark chocolate actually slow the aging process and help prevent age-related disease.