How Are These Elders Living Past 100?

October 26, 2015 95 Comments

This week, it occurred to me that there is one question that only an elder can answer from real experience: what is the key to living a long life?

When asked her secret, 102-year-old Kamada Nakazato of Okinawa replied, “Eat your vegetables, have a positive outlook, be kind to people… and smile.”

Sounds like a simple bit of wisdom, but it pretty much encapsulates what modern science is now understanding to be the most important factor in longevity.

Until a few decades ago, most doctors believed that our life-span was largely determined by our genetic makeup, but recent discoveries have changed all that. Nowadays, it is commonly understood that our genes only have about 25% to do with how long we live – the other 75% is a result of our lifestyle and environmental factors.

My ears perk up at data like this, because I know that behind those stats there is usually an even richer story. “Lifestyle” and “environmental factors” are sterile ways of saying, “living a fulfilled existence” and “maintaining a healthy connection to spirit and nature.”

In researching longevity, the first places we looked were the “blue zones” — pockets around the world with unusually long life expectancy, where locals outlive the rest of us by a long shot. Well-funded studies have found that the inhabitants of these blue zones are up to 10 times more likely to reach the ripe old age of 100 and are 3 times more likely to live to 90. Not bad huh?

Oddly enough, these countries are thousands of miles apart, tucked away in remote regions of Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, Central America, and the west coast of the United States. So the secret can’t be in the water!

What then is the unifying factor that is propelling these folks well past their golden years and into the record books?

Below are three main “secrets to longevity” that each of these communities share:

A Sense of Belonging:  These elders never stop being an integral part of the community. Whether you are speaking to a centenarian (100 year old) in Sardinia or Costa Rica, they usually have a very good reason for getting up in the morning – this is what the Nicoyans refer to as “plan de vida.” Unlike here in the States, the younger generations in these communities truly respect their elders and will regularly come to them for advice. Their role as oracle or knowledge-keeper is beyond mere symbolism. They are cherished as true wisdom in the flesh.

Imagine living in a neighborhood where an elder was consulted throughout the day, as if he or she had some sort of PhD in “life studies.” It just makes sense – and is a pretty lovely thought!

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Putting Family and Faith First:  Unlike many in the western world, these 90 and 100 year olds have prioritized their loved ones and their spiritual practice above any other life pursuit. Many of these communities religiously take a day off on the weekend, and spend it solely with their families – no technology, no outside distraction.

These great, great (and sometimes greater) grandparents have a multi-tiered perspective on how our human existence works. At 97, my own grandfather seems to have a great grandchild coming each year – not a bad reason to stick around!

Primarily Plant-based Diet:  Most of these elders take very few pills or supplements, but they do eat well. A largely plant-based diet with small portions of well-sourced meat on special occasions seems to be the general rule.

Possibly even more important is the size of each portion. In Okinawa, there is a household saying,”Hara hachi bu,” which translates to “eat until you are 80% full.”

Enjoy and appreciate each bite, but know when to put the fork down.

One more observation:  None of the centenarians we have studied uses tobacco on a regular, non-ceremonial basis.

Reverence for family, the transfer of hard-earned wisdom to future generations, conscious nutrition, and appreciation of the “big picture” – these proven longevity practices are another bright twinkly intersection between the sacred and the science.

A question for you: Do you know any elders who are ninety and older? If so, what is their secret?

Taking a moment to ask them might help you both live longer!

Stay curious,

Nick Polizzi
Director, The Sacred Science

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Filed Under: The Sacred Blog

About Nick Polizzi

Nick Polizzi has spent his career directing and producing feature length documentaries about natural alternatives to conventional medicine. Nick's current role as director of "The Sacred Science" stems from a calling to honor, preserve, and protect the ancient knowledge and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the world.

View all posts by Nick Polizzi

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  1. Nancy Nolan-Jones says:

    I truly appreciate your desire and extensive research to bring hopeful understanding to guide us back on track to achieve a long and healthy life; mind, body and spirit. May the Creator bless and richly reward you for this valuable work you do on behalf of the greater good!

  2. Sreenivasan says:

    Dear Nick.
    Thank you for sending me this article. Well researched and to the point that touches the heart and not the mind.
    I read: Walk the mystical path with practical feet.
    I know what it meams. But I do not have the technology to share this and its meaning with the world. Can we do it together?
    Love
    Sreenivasan
    [email protected]
    603-78035545 (Malaysia)

  3. Stevie says:

    Youve got my curiosity up! Where in the “western US” is the pocket of centegenarians??

  4. L Lancaster says:

    Read Okinawa Project – it contains detailed information about all of the tips pointed out in Nick’s article! And this information is scientifically based NOT just conjectures!

  5. Cliff says:

    My in-law is 93 & she smoked Pall Mall and has a Margarita when out and drinks white & red wines at home daily. My grandfather smokes & drank to 85 as did my mother & father. Can you explain that. Just some people are more equal. I’m 77, don’t smoke but have wine with dinner. Red according to my doctor . Can you explain my elders?

    • Joan says:

      Hi Cliff, I can tell you what my father said to someone who told him these kinds of statistics… perhaps it they hadn’t smoked they would have lived even longer, maybe 110 +. Who knows? what works for one may not necessarily work for another. We are meant to listen to our bodies needs. Simple Is as simple does….

    • kayvee says:

      Hi Cliff

      They are the exceptions…not the rule! Data proves this

    • VeggieTater says:

      There are exceptions to everything, we aren’t all that lucky. Why leave our lives to chance when we can always make them better?

  6. Duke says:

    i think it a good idea to include a way to easily forward a friend after the post.

  7. wILLIAM says:

    William, thanks Nick=appreciate your passing on all your knowledge and experiences in your studies.

  8. Carol says:

    Lovely article. I am turning 80 in Apr. I feel like a kid of 50..so I have about 30 more yrs to enjoy this beautiful life. Thanks for the uplift.

  9. Debby says:

    My 103 year old cousin says the secret is to have a purpose. She still writes.

  10. Marilyn says:

    My mom,who lived until March, 2012, was 99 1/2 years old when she passed. I would attribute her longevity to
    1. Music – she accompanied her mothers violin students for many years. Her mother taught violin until well into her nineties and my mom played piano daily until she was 98.
    2. being kind to everyone, – her mom ( my grandmother) always said, “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.”
    3. She ate three square meals a day, always lots of vegetables and
    4. She was a top notch athlete, both a tennis and golf champion.
    5. She was surrounded by people who knew and loved her.
    Interestingly, my dad lived similarly however only to the age of 86. He had been a smoker most of his life.
    I’m following in their tracks. See you on the other side of 100!

  11. Paula says:

    I happended upon a 100 year birthday celebration at my mother’s assisted living home for seniors. Miriam gave a brief speech that brought tears to my eyes. She spoke how we all need to love and support each other, smile, ask people how they are doing, be kind to one another, ‘like a family’. Miriam takes a walk outdoors everyday. When I visited my mother just this month, the activities director was not there and guess who volunteered to lead the exercise class? Miriam, at 100 years old! She is a beautiful soul.

  12. Monique DiCarlo says:

    Thank you, you just wrote the blog post I planned writing for a while 😉 Namasté Mo

  13. Sylvia Schulman Benatar says:

    Thank you for your interesting article. I am interested to know where “Streenivasan” (below) found the phrase “”walking the mystical path with practical feet”. I know a source and wondered if it was the same! Incidentally, I am almost 89 years old, feeling at least 20 years younger, very active as a concert pianist, involved in a multi-level marketing business in nutrition and have many other interests. I am a vegetarian and do not smoke nor do I drink alcohol. I expect to live many more years in health and happiness. Being positive in outlook, having many good friends – all contribute to a happier life which I suppose contributes to longevity. No one believes I am the age that I am!

  14. Claude says:

    My mom lived till 83, my ded till 88 and my mother-in-law is going to be 91 in June and is in great shape. hr still travels all over the world is curious about everything, has many friends of all ages, has enough projects to keep her going for at least another 30… She’s been active all her life, still goes swimming a few times a week, walks everywhere. there’s no stopping her. she is young at heart and always ready to try something new. what she has in common with mom and dad is the zest for life, curiosity, a strong social system and family and friends all around and meaning in their life. I think attitude and expectations have a lot to do with it too…

  15. miro says:

    the secret to living healthy looking and feeling great is in a glass of urine first thing in the morning and again before bed ! strictly vegetarian diet and lost of fun and laughter … 200 here we come !

  16. jake says:

    I repeat Stevie’s question about the Western US.

  17. Xanthe says:

    I am very interested in this subject and always ask them

    “Keeping active, never smoked and dont do junk food”

  18. Diane says:

    This again go along with what I have learned of Christianity. Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. (Positive future) Church is supposed to be about learning (wisdom of the elders) food and fellowship (sense of belonging. The building of relationships that go outside the church. If you read in Daniel there is a diet that proved to be better than the fine foods offered by the king. (Pulse) fruits and vegetables.

  19. Maria says:

    My grandmother lived to be a healthy 97. Her secret, according to her, was to partake of everything in life with moderation and to pay attention to the rhythm of one’s life.. She regularly rose at 5pm to spend the early hours in prayer and contemplation as a foundation for her day. She then spent time outdoors in fresh air and ate healthy food throughout the day. The mornings were reserved for work and the afternoons for personally fulfilling projects and gathering with friends and family. She felt secure in the rhythm of her life, which served as a container for her life rather than as a restriction.

  20. Brian says:

    This was a great read, and good insights. I will get to the point where, vegetables will be my full time diet, and meat as a once in the blue moon thing. It truly shows that, our elders knew how to cultivate their body with more vegetables, while maintaining their meat intake to a bare minimum.

    And also appreciation for others. Thanks for sharing this article! 🙂

  21. TimA says:

    Thankyou Nick, very timely. I continue to hear by mainstream that ‘there is more cancer because we are living longer’. Complete nonsense, infact one author the other day said that he himself had overcome it in his ’20s’….there goes that logic.
    But on a positive note, I am truely aiming for longivity myself. I have been fortunate to have been drawn to Dhamma, practicing daily and have a very wholistic outlook to food knowing that without it, it is difficult to maintain a healthy spiritual life. I’ve found it very difficult to practice whilst still walking the mundane life so have chosen to step up and continue my practice at a deeper level in a monastery. Renonucing everything is something I’m really looking forward to.
    Keep up your beautiful inspiring work Nick and all you readers 🙂
    Love and peace
    TimA

  22. Joe says:

    Great article, interesting research! Something to think about. Everything in moderation. Blessings… Joe

  23. jean says:

    Hi Nick, here on the Island of Barbados in the west Indies ,we have lots of elders living to well over a 100 years old.

  24. primrose wylde says:

    I totally agree with this life-style.It is much the same as the way The Ancient civilizations lived their lives. Hopefully this will come back as we move into The NewEarth

  25. Vera says:

    I absolutely love what you do and your wisdom. Please, never stop!

  26. paula says:

    Interesting thanks. I wonder if any of these areas have wireless frequencies to contend with? Or even electricity? My guess is the pulsed wireless frequencies we are now subjected to from smart meters and other wifi/ microwave gadgets will make it very difficult for longevity and for the attitudes that predispose one to it.

  27. Pia says:

    My grandfather is 95 and still going by bicicle every day. Also he has
    This positive thinking and I believe his contentement is the key
    He never complaned about anything 🙂

  28. julia says:

    You mentioned a healthy West Coast of the United States. I am curious as to which part you are referring. I am hoping it’s near my home! Thank you.

  29. Kathy Chiavola says:

    Actually, in addition to what you have mentioned, the answer may be in the water: http://www.medicalbiophysics.dir.bg/en/longevity.html

  30. pat says:

    t totally agree i amstill working go to the gim and try to walk for a hour or so i injoy 3 veg or plenty of colour on my plate i love life i like to smile and laugh a lot and i wouldnt be dead for quids and i am only 80 in may i love your sacred science seasions anda big beleiver in the spiret beings keep sending them in regards andlove pat

  31. Jean says:

    I work with older people in my local community (rural West Cheshire. UK) and can say that many of them are in their late 80’s and 90’s and couple have celebrated their 100 birthday’s. I have recently had the pleasure of working with a gentleman of 93 who cares for his wife and his take on life is laughter, being happy, and having a spiritual belief. I agree with him and also feel that as the article states, having a sense of community and a reason to get up every day is of the utmost importance.

  32. Chuck says:

    By Paul Yim MD… Loma Linda, California, the only Blue Zone in the United States. Located in an essentially 
         desert area of Southern California with some of the highest levels of air pollution in America, Loma Linda 
         seems an unlikely place for a Blue Zone. But a genetically diverse faith-based group called Seventh-day
         Adventists have put Loma Linda on the map with their lifestyle and longevity. Living in an area surrounded 
         by fast food restaurants, pollution, traffic congestion, and stress, how do these Christians manage not only 
         to survive but to extend their life expectancy beyond any other group in America?

                 1.    Rest – they have a literal 24 hour Sabbath each week. Unplugging from the stress and demands
                        of the work week, they spend time with friends, family, nature, God.

                 2.    Social network – Adventists have a large social network of people who follow similar lifestyles

                 3.    Breakfast – they emphasize the importance of a big and healthy breakfast

                 4.    Plant-based foods – Adventists are generally vegetarian, taking their cue from Genesis 1:29 where
                        God prescribes a plant-based diet for His newly created human family.

                 By following these simple guidelines and avoiding substances such as tobacco and alcohol, they extend their
    life expectancy to equal the Japanese, who have the highest life expectancy in the world. Adventists are not
    only the most genetically diverse Blue Zone but also the only Zone not losing their longevity. 

                Why is this? Until recently, a Western diet and sedentary lifestyle were relatively unknown in the other 3 Blue Zones. 
    But when these life-shortening factors were introduced, they adopted the new culture and are now rapidly losing their lead on longevity. 

  33. Eddie says:

    They all get more sunshine

  34. Juliana says:

    Thanks for a “different” article!!!
    tradition,respect,community,aim,sence of belonging are replaced by egotism,success,therapist,
    life style(SIC!) ,self development etc…
    “STEP ON THE BONES OF THE DEAD” said William Blake.
    but yet”who on earth is William Blake??”
    we will pay for this ignorance -arrogance.
    thanks again

  35. Hortensia B. Villa says:

    Nick, you are generous with your knowledge. Thank you. God bless you!

  36. Evan says:

    I work at a old folks home and they are not treated with respect and hardly ever asked for there advise.
    It’s very sad to see when one stops and asked them for a bit of info you see there eyes light up.

  37. Peterh says:

    I would like to know if any of these oldies use alcohol at all?
    If so, in what amounts? I am largely a vegetarian and don’t smoke but I would love to have to not give up on the occasional glass of wine or Whisky. I am in my eighty first year by the way.
    Keep up the good work,
    Peter.

  38. mayan says:

    Thank you, very inspiring. love your emails and all the knowledge and discoveries you have shared so freely.
    many blessings
    Mayan x x x

  39. Jerry Johnston says:

    What strikes me along with family and spirituality or someone or something inside that is watching you and has designed you, and who you feel guilty to if you aren’t ethical. These senses of right and wrong because your maker is watching you stops there in most places on this plantet. If you really want to go to the real Ancients, they are the Saints of India, Persia, actually a perfect Saint can come from any country, but the thing is you’ll never notice them. They takes x number of souls to take back but spend their lives watching the lives of their followers, so that world won’t get to much of a grab on them. You see, all true Ancients know you can have God or Mammon but not both. The main part of their lives is that they teach their followers to plan for their demise. That’s not as bad as it sounds. It just means that you were given x number of breaths, Karma, so use them wisely, as after death, which went it comes is looked forward to, is a chance to meet the Radiant Master inside, or unless you worked very hard with your meditation and were able to see Him before that inside. Many spiritual sect elders are quoted as seeing the Radiant form of their Master inside and talkes to them. The time of dealth is happier for a disciple that a bridegroom on his or her wedding day, and I’m not talking about some cult where you all kill yourself in some ceremony, as suicide is more spiritually unhealthy than killing someone, as we didn’t give ourselves these lives and have no business taking them. The True Ancient lives in the Punjab state in India, and is called the Science of the Soul, but is only meant for those souls who are ready and don’t have a pile of karma that cannot be paid off in this life. We all have the innate desire to meet and search for our maker, and some are lucky to find the guide to take us their.

  40. Jack Jesse, Ph.D. says:

    Thanks, Nick. Is it time for another documentary on longevity that highlights what you have shared but on a more intimate level of stories.? Peace, Jack

  41. Joyce says:

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  42. Roxana Berggren says:

    My father in-law passed away 8 months ago (97) and when I asked him what was the secret he replied: “Stay busy being creative, be of service in whatever way you can but most of all be GRATEFUL for all the blessing you get”. I call that wisdom.

  43. Berni says:

    One other thing not really mentioned here, individuals in the blue zones are not sedentary. I read that many of these elders walk quite a lot, many still garden and some chop wood daily or tend to farm/flock animals. I think the sense of connection is such a key – yet statistics show that in the US, community involvement is at its lowest point in probably the last century. While some people have family close-by, many of us do not (we’re a rather mobile society, especially out here in the West). Finding a group of individuals to be connected with, like family, is something I need to work on.

  44. Eva Hamrick says:

    My great-grandmother lived to 90 years of age. She was born Feb. 2, 1908 died Feb. 5 1998. She didn’t smoke or drink anything stronger than coffee. She always ate veg. and grain diet. with thrown in. Fats sparingly. She died of a stroke, but had lived through a heart attack in the 1970’s and of 5 miscarriages, altogether she would have had 7 children if all had lived, and two husbands. She was the eldest daughter of 19 children and she out lived 9 I believe of her siblings. Oh by the way she was from West Virginia.

  45. LOIS FERDINAND says:

    I just saw the DVD and was blown away. Thank you for recording this important film.

    Are there volunteer opportunities available at this time?

  46. Vivian Richard Thibodeaux says:

    My paternal grandmother was 104 when she died. Her secret was moderation. Also fresh vegetables from the garden, grass fed beef and home grown chickens and eggs. Never ate pork in the Summertime. Attended mass every week and recited the rosary everyday. She was very loving and kind.

  47. Laura says:

    I love your articles Nick. Thank you for such interesting information. Please keep on doing what you do best. Namaste

  48. Donna says:

    These folks were interviewed and are featured in The Happy Movie

  49. Lynnie says:

    Have a short memory over the little things like insults, etc… Don’t let it weigh you down, focus on the positive and meaningful moments in life.

  50. Carol Ann Wright says:

    Thank you for the lovely story Nick.Glad to hear about the genetic side of things as both my parents died at 63 around 30 years ago. As I am approaching my 62nd birthday in 6 months I do feel a constant reminder about this situation.
    Furthermore I have four healthy lads who are 40, 31,30 and 26. Finally I have 2 lovely grandchildren who are 11 and 6 years. Very interesting post and made me feel quite happy. Namaste Carol Ann

  51. Kim says:

    Thanks, Nick. I enjoy reading your articles.
    Kind regards,
    Kim

  52. Paolo says:

    Thank you My brother!!

  53. Joye Fuller says:

    My mother is turning 100 in January 2016 and her advise to others follows along the same path:
    She always has had her own garden, eats mostly fresh vegetables from the garden, uses little salt, eats very little meat; has had a VITAMIX since the 70s and ground her own grain and made her own peanut butter.. She is CURIOUS and tries to learn new things all the time; she continues to GIVE to the community and to her family; she never drank or smoked; she says one has to keep moving and have an interest in life. She knits and crochets and never lets her hands be idle..She still cooks, gardens and lives in her own home.. She has a memory that would challenge any 50 year old… She is continually reading and keeping up with the local changes in her community.. Up until a couple of years ago she helped with the community VICTORY GARDEN by contributing seeds, helping to plant, weed and harvest…SHE IS SUCH AN INSPIRING PERSON…to others… May any one of us be more like her at any age.

  54. Barbara says:

    Nick, I just wanted to thank you for always sending such interesting & thought provoking articles. I always look forward to hearing from you.

  55. Marcy Nordwall says:

    Good Morning Nick,
    I very much appreciated this article but there is something missing…there is an even bigger
    reason that Okinawans live to be some of the longest living people on earth,,
    Care to know what it is?
    I’d love to hear from you…Thank’s, Marcy

  56. Molly Marks says:

    Thank you, for uplifting and useful information.

  57. pamela says:

    I love the information you provide. It is food for the soul. I always share it with others.

    Thank You.

  58. Sue Colin says:

    I love your blog and as a 77 year old live in a facility that has many 100+ year elders. I have also been with many Shamans and have had an holistic counseling center before retiring here.
    I believe “being in community is very important to elders socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
    I will try to get this article printed in our daily sheet of health news, meals, activities, classes, bus rides, speakers, art and mindfulness classes, and parties.
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with the greater community.
    Hugs (also very healing!) Sue

  59. Linda Schreiber says:

    Thank you for the interesting article. I look to the Indigenous people for their knowledge of the Great Spirit and our oneness with all life.

  60. Raven Cohan says:

    Most really old elders are occupied with activities. They are working for charities or to keep alive. One friend who is near 90 is amazing. She knows much about many things, keeps learning, going to artistic events often. Doesn’t watch TV, tho’ and has quite many friends who cherish her like my husband and I. But she eats meat! (She was born in Poland, came to Argentina at a young age to survive the Nazis… and she won’t be told anything about eating habits.

    • Gail says:

      Vegetarianism is highly overrated, in my opinion. Connecting to our ancestry is also promoted by many wise souls, so eating as those in your family, has been proven to be healthy. As a Paleo for over eight years, I am a happy, healthy (at 73), busy woman, eating as this diet is designed; all things ( especially those of flesh) that have been consciously and humanely raised. . Everyone has different needs, so please loose the ‘all knowing’ attitude that you know best, for anyone besides yourself. However, it is of Universal value, to insist that whatever you consume, be raised and slaughtered, humanely.

  61. Nai`a says:

    Please post a link to the map of these communities; mahalo!

  62. Peggy says:

    My father lived to the ripe old age of 100 years and two months. Although he smoked in his 20s, he quit when I was born. He had a cocktail frequently, he exercised regularly . He lost his sight when he was in his early 90s but it did not stop him from walking every day and going to the gym on a regular basis until he was 96 years old. When he was totally blind his caregivers would take him for walks every morning and every evening. He was treasured by his family. In spite of losing his site and having hisworld shrink into a very small space compared to his very successful career, he excepted every change with Grace. Although as a younger man he was very ambitious and short tempered, as he aged he became more mellow and kinder and sweeter. I miss him very much. Even though I am now in my early 70s I was always daddy’s little girl And I always will be.

  63. S. T. says:

    Not a spammer

  64. Lineen says:

    Thank you for the article. I love reading articles that confirms the direction that I have been heading. My grandfather is also 97 years of age. He eats mostly veggies, and believes in holistic healing. I have picked his brain on quite a few occasions.

  65. Drs. Wim Lauwers. says:

    Thanks, my dear Nick 4 this subject. Yes: my mother is 92. She takes every thing/every person as it/(s)he is. She lives all-one, but has so many people, who call or visit her. She smokes and drinks every afternoon her 2 glases of sherry. She 4gets a lot, but is very present and interested in the moment.

  66. Steve says:

    Loved the book The Blue Zones and this article refreshing us with the prospect of longevity. I cannot say that I am eating corn tortillas from Costa Rica, Goya melon from Okinawa, almonds and assorted nuts from Loma Linda, CA or drinking super antioxidant wine from Sardinia just yet. I so enjoyed hearing of each community and their purpose and respect of the elderly. They all worked physically but were not stressed in their work. I trust that all three of those components, purpose, diet and exercise go into improving genetics (DNA repair and/or maintenance). Thanks for posting this and other articles Nick. When I see and read things like this it makes me ask the greater question, “is life random (like the evolutionists preach) or is it planned and we have certain control in that planning? I don’t see science as wrong….don’t let me be misunderstood. I just see science, especially how it is doled out in the west, as incomplete. Those beautiful folks who are in their 100s and 110s have tapped into a dynamic that perhaps is beyond clinical explanation. Just a thought….thanks again for the post. Steve P.

  67. Rebel Harjo says:

    check out morocco too. I visited the Berber people of the Atlas mountains in 2010 and met quite a few people who were more than 100 years old with the ability to walk trails, and get up from sitting on the ground without any assistance, and who remembered events that occurred from their youth, and had both long term and short term memories intact.

  68. diane says:

    I’m amazed it has taken so much research to line up with the Bible. God gave the herbs of the field the trees that have seed with in for mankind. Family is all God wanted. Be fruitful and multiply. and yet it seems we have lost this in our race for technology and power. Families struggle trying to balance work, family with their own outside activities. We now know that stress is a major cause of illness and even cancers, these centenarians proof faith and family and good food is what keep us balanced and healthy. Thanks for this article

  69. Tiffany says:

    In my heart I know this to be true and try to eat as many vegetables as I can but not always pissible to do what I need. I taught my childten to be as much a part of their grandparents lives as possible, but as they got oldet it seems their own lives became more important and that applies to me as the only surviving parent and grandparent that I am almost an outsider and I see them struggle emotionally to keep up and feel they have to do it on their own without mommie’s help. I pray for Spiritual eyes. Ty for sharing this needed article. Nameste’ Tiffany

  70. Susan Hirst says:

    Thank you for this wonderfully written article. I teach fitness to ‘Older Adults’ and wish to share
    this wise writing with them. Susan

  71. Atchiman says:

    My daughter’s grand father is 111 years old in Portland, Oregon ( West Coast of the United States) and he lives the life style you described in your blog.
    My great grand mother also lived to be 103 in West Africa. She indeed ate well. One particular thing was that when she ate, by just watching her you wanted to eat too. She took her time in eating and she only ate good quality food. In fact, once her new housekeeper tried to trick her and cooked a frozen fish for her. Although my great grandmother at that point was blind she was able to recognize the fake fish and the housekeeper was worn. She never tried it and shortly left the house on her own.

  72. Lona says:

    I think that love of family and spiritual community is extremely important to ones body, mind, and spirit. I notice that none of the centenarians used tobacco , but did any use alcohol on a regular basis?

  73. Manuela says:

    Dear Nick,
    Thank you for bringing light to everyday monotony .
    This article made me think of a documentary movie titled “Happy” : it won many awards and it is so beautifully inspiring. It took 10 years to make it as they toured all the world interviewing all sort of people, asking them about happiness and it ended in Okinawa with exactly the same points you wrote about. Please check it out if you haven’t already. It should be played in all grade schools.

  74. Linda Allen-Tawes says:

    My mother is now 102 years & 5 months young! I believe her longevity is because she loved what she did, nursing. Many times people would stop me & tell me, “Your Mother was such an Angel of Mercy when I was in the hospital. She is one of the kindest and caring Soul that I know & I am blessed to have her still in my life. She laughs a lot and enjoys her family.

  75. cynthia olsen says:

    We live in a chaotic world. One can seek more harmony and balance by being mindful each day. Let us help others, smile and have gratitude in our hearts for ourselves and others. We are all the same,just living our lives in various ways.
    http://www.cynthiabelliniolsen.com author of living healthy books

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  77. Great News says:

    My dads Grandma, my great grandma was 98. A nurse in 2 wars, was taking care of a elderly couple younger then her when she was in her late 70’s. She loved her work as a nurse and old remedies passed down. Great cook yet she ate awful! Never drank or smoke yet her diet was just awful! Yummy though. She was never under weight or over weight. Worked until 92. Got tongue cancer at 98 and never smoked. Passed 3 months later. Her daughter my grams died at 90! Same story. Grandfathers past in their 80’s. Moms side Native Indian back almost 40 years ago lived until their late 70’s yet both sides had Auto Immune issues, SLE Lupus, RA including me. Everyone had their own companies except my dads dad who was CEO of GE until a heart attack. Never knew him. No one allowed any illness to stop them from living fully and strong women who ran big companies except 2 nurses one being a charge nurse. Moms dad was a inventor who sold his patent to our government, farmed and ran a company. Fiesty bunch both sides!

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  81. Benigno Chavez says:

    My family , my mother side they were simblings 7, 3 man and 4 women.
    3 of they past away 87, 92, 90.
    My grandmother past away at 93
    My grandfather past away at 97
    My mother birthday was January 17 and she is 84 years my uncles are 80, 78 my aunt is 82
    And all of them they do every day duties like every body else.
    One of my grandmother brothers lived 110 years.
    I did my research why they are living past the 80s
    They tell me that in the growing time they do not have junk food they only eat what they grow in the farm.
    Olso they drink coffee since they were very jung and still drink coffee..
    My understanding is the coffee is important in their diet.
    Probably i can live past the 80s , 3 years ago i changed my diet and today i m a deferent person then when i was 3 years ago.
    I m 58 years old and my friends doesn’t believe it, they think that I’m 50 or less.

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  83. "Green" Gene says:

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  84. Gail Fore says:

    I do love the idea of valuing the elderly. It is true, that “our” culture is more disrespectful of this source of wisdom than most. Here’s my thought on that subject. Many in the US are raised with very low self esteem. As long as we do not value our own life experiences and the wisdom therein, it is not likely that others, especially the young, will be drawn to us. Along with good food, exercise, and, sense of purpose, some would gain and be sought after, if first ‘doing the psychological/spiritual work’ to discover and embrace, our own value.

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