Longevity as a wellness approach is an essential aspect of promoting good health and well-being, especially as we celebrate World Health Day.
This approach recognises the numerous physical, emotional, and social factors that contribute to sustained health over time.
In particular, the longevity approach emphasises the importance of making small, consistent changes to our lifestyle habits that will have long-term positive effects on our health.
One benefit of a longevity approach is that it helps individuals to adopt a more holistic approach to their health, focusing not only on physical health, but emotional and social health well-being as well.
By prioritising habits such as regular exercise, healthy eating, stress management, and social connectedness, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) established World Health Day to raise awareness of global health issues in hopes that everyone, everywhere can achieve the maximum possible degree of health and well-being. This year marks the day’s 75th anniversary.
According to Kim Hofmann, a registered dietitian with a BSc degree in Medical (Honours) in Nutrition and Dietetics and a BSc (Honours) in Psychology, diet is one of the most significant influencers of our health, well-being, and the ageing process.
“We’re living in a time where we’re being told that deprivation is the key to looking good and feeling good. Diet deprivation focuses on all the foods we should not eat – and often the list is a long one,” said Hofmann.
Raising awareness during this World Health Day, Hofmann, a wellness expert, shed light on the problematic practice of labelling foods as either “good” or “bad” and constantly depriving ourselves of the foods we enjoy.
According to her, this mindset can lead to a host of negative consequences, including excessive cravings, overeating, and even binge eating. Furthermore, depriving ourselves of certain foods can cause us to develop a distaste for more nutritious options, ultimately sabotaging our efforts to maintain a healthy diet.
But perhaps the biggest issue with this deprivation mindset is that it is simply unsustainable in the long term.
As Hofmann explained, we may initially succeed in avoiding certain foods, but eventually we will fall off the wagon and likely do so in a big way. In the end, this approach to eating is not conducive to overall health and wellness, and we must adopt a more balanced and sustainable approach to our diets.
According to research, global rates of adult overweight and obesity have climbed by 27.5% since 1990, while those for children and adolescents have increased by 47.1% during the same period. When compared with today (41%) only 10% of US individuals were obese in 1950.
The prevalence of noncommunicable diseases that are predominantly brought on by lifestyle choices, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and mental health problems, has increased significantly during the past 75 years.
The increase in processed foods, the “upsize” mentality while dining out (the average restaurant meal is now four times larger than it was in the 1950s), and the insertion of additional salt, sugar, and other additives are all contributing factors, explained Hofmann.
A fresh approach
The foundation of healthier living comprises vegetables. They’re nutrient-rich and calorie-controlled, and research proves that eating a diet rich in vegetables helps to stave off chronic conditions.
Vegetables also influence our gut health. As one of the most fibrous foods, vegetables improve the gut’s microbiome – the trillions of bacteria in our GI tract – which play a role in maintaining the immune system.
They strengthen bones, slash the risk of heart disease, and help maintain good vision it’s even been found that people who eat more servings of fruits and vegetables may sleep longer and more restfully than those who eat fewer.
Not convinced yet?
“It may come as a surprise that vegetables literally feed your face. They are loaded with nutrients that help maintain healthy skin and reduce damage caused by UV light.
“An increase in daily intake of veggies can temper chronic inflammation that helps slow down the ageing process and loss of collagen that accelerates the appearance of wrinkles.”
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