Are you looking for a diet that would satisfy all your nutritional needs and help you reach your goal? Some diets are focused on weight loss, some are prescribed by doctors for medicinal purposes, to treat certain health conditions, or to avoid the complication of certain diseases, and some aim for a general wellness and good health. In that ocean of different nutritional plans, there is one called Methuselah diet that stands out in particular. You may have never heard of it before, but today it is about to change. You will get familiar with what the main principles of this diet are, who this diet is named after, and what result this diet claims to bring. If you wish to get clued up about the ins and outs of Methuselah diet and how it can help you, read on.
Who is Methuselah?
Methuselah is the oldest among all the people mentioned in the Bible. He reached the age of 969 years. Some claim that such a number is a mistranslation, but there is no evidence that would prove or deny this statement. There are no records on how or when the man died (8). However, the fact that he lived for so long makes people wonder how he achieved that. That is how the name of the Methuselah diet occurred.
What are the main principles of the methuselah diet?
It is unlikely and even almost impossible to find a meal plan for an authentic methuselah diet. Why? Because the main principle by which Methuselah consumed food was to “eat what he has on the plate”. Unlike other diets, which usually have certain food limitations, as for example, a gluten-free diet or keto diet, the Methuselah diet preaches eating whatever you desire and have at hand. However, there is no reputable source that would confirm whether it really was such nutritional practice that improved his longevity.
How to increase longevity with the methuselah diet?
If you are disappointed by the fact that there is no certain meal plan or instructions of the Methuselah diet, fear not, because there are three science-supported methods, a combination of which can boost your chances at living a longer life (7). Those methods are regular exercise, mental balance, and healthy nutrition (5).
It is common knowledge that regular moderate physical activity has a good influence on our bodies. It doesn’t have to be a vigorous exercise in the gym, it can be a part of your everyday life (3). Even such thing as simple walking may be of great significance when you are trying to lose weight, get a toned body, or improve health. If you are strapped for time, you can incorporate some physical activity into your routine. For example, take stairs instead of an elevator; involve some movement when you are waiting for something; give at-home exercises a try, instead lounging around and wasting away your precious time.
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Having a sound body is great but coupling it with a sound mind is even better. Mental balance is also supremely important when it comes to longevity. Stress and anxiety can take a significant toll on your health. Annually they cause lots of breakdowns and deaths. That is why to live a long and happy life, you need to reduce the level of stress and anxiety. Avoid the causes of stress as much as possible, if it is a relationship – try to fix it or leave it behind, if it is a job – be honest and accept criticism more lightly. You can also practice yoga and meditation, which are highly effective for stress relief.
Although there are certain aspects that influence our longevity negatively, there are quite a number of factors that do the opposite. A spiritual attachment and support are some of them. One study among churchgoers found that providing (though not receiving) support to other church members reduced the negative effects of financial strain on mortality. In other words, people who perhaps found purpose in providing support to other members of their church community lived longer in spite of stressors they had in their own lives (2). However, that is not all. Even such thing as your personality may affect the number of years that you will live (6).
Healthy nutrition as a part of the methuselah diet
Nutrition plays a prominent role in your wellness. A healthy diet not only helps you stay fit, but also promotes the correct functioning of all the organs in your body. Although proper nutrition is highly beneficial for your health in general, there are certain foods and components that are particularly effective for your longevity and may slow down your aging (1). These are (4):
It is a well-known fact, that vegetables are good for your health. They are filled with fiber, antioxidants, and loads of vital nutrients that boost your immune system and help you reduce the risk of numerous serious diseases. Leafy greens and sound health are inseparable notions. Packed with vitamins, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and others, are a great addition to any vegetable salad or a smoothie. Carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, cucumber, broccoli, tomatoes – choose whatever vegetable you like more, or combine them, sautéing, roasting, boiling, or consuming some of them raw.
Whole grains, fruits, legumes, vegetables – they all are rich in fiber and add to your digestive processes. And a healthy gut is the key to a sound body. Fiber can also help lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. Another positive effect of fiber is that it can help control blood sugar levels and, therefore, reduce the risk of diabetes.
Berries are overflowing with antioxidants and may minimize the chance of developing cancer or some brain diseases. You can add berries to your oatmeal, eat them as a snack, or use as an ingredient of healthy desserts.
Olive oil is a shining example of a “good fat” all fitness blogs can’t stop harping on about. It possesses antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and may improve cholesterol levels. Use it as a dressing for a salad and you could live a longer and healthier life.
Do you think it’s a coincidence, that in almost all of the areas which are famous for the longevity of the people who live there, fish is consumed regularly? Not at all! Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are important for the health of your brain and nervous system. Eating fish twice a week may lower your risk of dementia. Due to the presence of Omega-3 fats, salmon and trout can reduce the “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, helping you ease the inflammation that leads to atherosclerosis. You can cook fish in lots of different ways – roast it, make a fish soup, bake a fish pie – whatever you prefer.
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Eating a handful of beans 3-4 times a week may be a wise choice if you want to improve your health. They prolongate the feeling of satiation, promoting weight loss. Due to the high content of fiber, beans may boost your digestion and help reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Add them to your soup, salad, or stew them in tomato paste. It’s up to you.
Yogurt is filled to the brim with probiotics, promoting good digestive health, and sustaining your intestinal microflora balance. It is also rich in calcium, which improves your bones, which tend to weaken as you age. A cup of yogurt is a great choice for breakfast or a snack. You can combine it with fruits, berries, nuts, or use it as a base for cereal or oatmeal.
Another Omega-3-rich food – nuts. They are a good source of unsaturated fats, fiber, and protein, which promotes a healthy heart and brain. There is a great variety of nuts, such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts, so you can mix them up or consume separately. A 1-ounce serving per week will be enough. Add them to your oatmeal or cereal, sprinkle salads with them, or use as an ingredient in bakery.
- Red wine
Alcohol is not always bad for you. Moderate consumption of red wine may help prevent blood clots, ease blood pressure, and reduce “bad” cholesterol. One glass of wine a day is a perfect amount. However, if you don’t drink alcohol, then it is better if you keep it that way.
Water may not be a type of food, but its regular consumption is as important. When you age, you may drink less water, as you don’t feel as thirsty. However, staying hydrated may improve a lot of your body processes, as well as your general well-being. Gulping down a glass of water first thing in the morning has great benefits and may help you live longer.
Finding a diet that would perfectly fit your tastes may be difficult, especially considering how many diets there are nowadays. Some diets are based on scientific evidence and have proven their effectiveness in practice. And some diets are relatively new and unknown but promise some incredible results. It is important to remember, that not all the diets on the internet are safe and some may even irreversibly harm your health. That is why, before following any new nutritional plan, please visit a dietitian.
Methuselah diet claims to improve your health and add to longevity, but is it really true? As there are no reputable sources that would prove this information, it is not clear, if it really works. However, such things as healthy nutrition, regular exercise, and a sound mind may be the key to a long life and healthiness.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Best Foods for Your Anti-Aging Diet (2016, webmd.com)
- Church-Based Social Support and Mortality (2006, academic.oup.com)
- Does fitness trump thinness? (2016, mayoclinic.org)
- Foods for a Long, Healthy Life (2019, webmd.com)
- How Healthy Living Helps Longevity (2007, webmd.com)
- How your personality could affect your longevity (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Longevity Secrets of ‘Super Agers’ (2017, webmd.com)
- Methuselah’s Age and the Patience of God (2016, blog.tms.edu)