Top 10 Longevity Habits for Good Digestion and HealthTop 10 Longevity Habits for Good Digestion and Health

By Soeon Park, L.Ac.

Did you know that your body was designed to live 100 years or more? If we aim to live a healthy, long life, what we eat is very important because of the relationship between diet and the immune system. At least 70 percent of immunity dwells in the digestive tract. Here are the top 10 longevity (centenarian) habits for good digestion and good health, excerpted from Dr. Maoís Secrets of Longevity Cookbook.

1. Eat less to live longer; try to control the amount of food you eat at each meal by stopping when your stomach is three-quarters full. When you overeat, you stress your digestive and other organ systems, consuming precious energy by overworking your system, and producing more waste products and toxins.

2. Eat five smaller meals a day; eating five small meals a day delivers a steady stream of nutrients, blood sugar, and energy to your body throughout the day and is much less taxing on the digestive and metabolic systems.

3. Your body functions best when fed at regular intervals. As a general rule, I suggest eating your meals during these times: breakfast between 6 and 9 a.m.; mid-morning snack between10:30 and 11 a.m.; lunch between 12 and 1:30 p.m.; mid-afternoon snack between 3 and 4 p.m.; dinner between 6 and 7:30 p.m.

4. Eat slowly and enjoy your food; the digestive process begins in the mouth, where enzymes are produced to help break down and absorb nutrients.

5. Take your meals sitting down; focus on the flavor and texture of the food, sit down at the table, and interact with others during your meals.

6. Eat for your body, not your taste buds; you will feel healthier and more energetic if you eat for nutrition instead of immediate pleasure.

7. Eat for the right reasons; we sometimes eat out of habit at a certain time of day without realizing that we are not even hungry.

8. Bring awareness to mealtime; eating in a relaxed frame of mind is essential to proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

9: Eat food at the proper temperature to support your digestive fire. Cooking food thoroughly helps break its nutrients down so itís easier for your body to digest them without your stomach having to do the heavy labor.

10. Everything in moderation; keep in mind that you can eat for longevity without completelysacrificing your favorite treats.

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