We are not helpless. About 80% of health outcomes are caused by lifestyle choices, starting with nutrition – only 20% are genetics that we don’t control. Just consuming ingredients in our foods that our brains and bodies require can change our health and wellness, and can lower our chances of getting a heart attack, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and even 13 types of cancer.
The human brain and body are amazing, and if fed the right ingredients, they can heal themselves. Generally, it takes less than a week for the brain and body to respond to good nutrition, which means improving the physical and mental development of kids, healing the bodies of those with inflammation, who are sick or injured, slowing the aging process, and the big one, reducing the risk of chronic disease. A seminal European study concluded can reduce the risk of chronic disease by 80% with good lifestyle choices starting with nutrition.
With such good data, you’d think that most people would adopt these healthy behaviors, but they don’t. Two-thirds of Medicare recipients have one or more of these conditions, all of which shorten lives and are costly to society.
Eating a nutrient-dense diet and having a healthy body weight are particularly important. Those who do this have a 50% better chance of achieving a long life, free of chronic diseases. Adherence to a healthy diet in midlife that provides micronutrients, fiber, and antioxidants while regulating calorie intake, may help to promote healthy aging. Diets of people living to 100 years are typically rich in the anti-oxidants (e.g., vitamins C and E), vitamin D, folate, and vitamin B12. Eating like this will help you avoid a heart attack and congestive heart failure.
Aging is characterized by a progressive decline in the efficiency of physiological function and by increased susceptibility to disease and death. Currently, one of the most plausible and acceptable explanations for the mechanistic basis of aging is the "free radical theory of aging." This theory postulates that aging, and its related diseases, are the consequence of free radical-induced damage to cellular macromolecules and the inability to counterbalance these changes by endogenous anti-oxidant defenses. In layman's terms, this is commonly referred to as oxidative stress of the entire body.