Some debates here:
I absolutely believe our health is tied into our food choices. It is influenced not only by what foods, but the quantity and quality of our food choices. When a person eats healthy their eyes shine bright, their hair is healthy, their weight is reasonable, they glow with vitality.
I think shooting for your 80’s is too young. I have had the pleasure of knowing those that are 100, 103, even 106! Taking good care of yourself now will give you an extra 10-20 years of life! It also keeps you younger, longer. A few years back a man ran the Boston marathon at 100 years old. Don’t limit yourself. Dream as if your going to live forever, but live like your going to die tomorrow.
Of course! The older generations on both sides of my family are all in their 80s and 90s, and my great grandmother reached 105. I had a great uncle who lived to almost 100 and he wore a three piece suit and hat every day of his life until the end. He lived on his own with minimal assistance, just family members dropping by every once in a while to keep him company.
I think it has a lot to do with the food. Most of the family I mentioned live in a small town where they still go to an actual butcher and know the guy who raised the cows, free of most of the junk that is pumped into animals most other places. Seems to me that the more commercialized food gets, the more we lean towards agribusiness instead of agriculture, the more unhealthy we will be.
One of my relatives will be 90 this summer; she fell a few months ago and broke her femur. Of course she had excellent medical care and tremendous family support, but she is walking today, (up and down stairs), without a wheelchair, walker or cane, and she does not have a limp. Amazing! Her lifelong diet has been balanced and she walked everyday.
I firmly believe that diet and exercise are fountains of youth. I try to eat a balanced diet and exercise daily. I think what we don’t eat contributes more to our health and longevity, i.e., foods loaded with sodium, sugar, saturated fats, partially hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrup.
We all know people who smoked, drank, and live to be 95. We also know people who live a “healthful” life and die young of a heart attack. These are anecdotal stories that should not be applied too liberally to the population at large. It sure seems reasonable that too much alcohol and tobacco will shorten your life, no matter how long it would have been otherwise. If some foods or spices are shown through scientific study to reduce blood pressure or cholesterol, or to contain antioxidants for example, it seems equally reasonable that they may extend life, no matter how long it would be otherwise. I’m going to take the middle road: reduce alcohol and fat, and increase “healthy” food. Maybe I’ll throw in some exercise too!