Longevity logo

Longevity Diet

The best ways to live a long and healthy life

By Inibehe ObotPublished 2 months ago 11 min read

Simply eating as nature intended will result in a healthier and longer life; this is the longevity diet.

Animals in the wild who consume their natural food live on average 10 times as long as it takes them to reach adulthood (for example, chimpanzees achieve adulthood by the time they are five years old and live for roughly fifty years).

The average human lifespan is only around five times longer than the time required to attain adulthood.

How much longer should we live?

Steve Charter, in Eat More Raw: A guide for health and sustainability, cites Dr. Joel Wallach, who emphasizes the scientifically accepted view that the genetic potential for longevity in humans suggests we should live to around 120 to 140 years old.

Dr. Wallach lists a few more cases to further support this, including Russian Georgians who commonly live to 120, and the Armenians and Ebkanians, where living to 140 is not uncommon.

He cites one Armenian who, from his military records, is thought to have lived to 167 years old, and the Titicaca Indians of south-east Peru who lived to between 120-140 years old. There’s also the case of the Niger chief who died at 126 with all his teeth, and a Syrian in the Guinness Book of Records who fathered 9 children after 80 and went on to live to 133.

To put things in perspective, the average age of Americans in 1994 was 75.5 years old. It was 58 for doctors. These numbers, according to Dr. Wallach, indicate that self-care (via dietary and lifestyle adjustments) is far more valuable than entrusting your health to medical professionals.

If you consider it logically, the fact that we do not consume our natural food is the reason why there is such a disparity in our lifetime (as compared to chimps or others who manage to live to a ripe old age).

In this essay, I'll talk about some of the tribes that have a long lifespan and what aspects of their diet and way of life, or what I like to call the longevity diet, are typical.

"Good men eat and drink so they may live, whereas bad men live so they may eat and drink.''— Socrates

The longest-living societies' diets

In Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples, John Robbins discusses the dietary habits and way of life of the long-lived cultures of the Hunza of North Pakistan, the Abkhasia of Southern Russia, and the Vicalbamba Indians of Ecuador's Andes.

He discovered that between 69 and 73% of their daily calories came from carbohydrates, 15 to 18% from fat, and 10 to 13 % from protein.

Overall daily calories ranged between 1,700 -1,800, while the Abkhasia ate 90% plant foods and the Vilcabamba and Hunza ate 99% plant foods.

All three ate low amounts of salt, zero sugar or processed food, and had no incidence of obesity and other common diseases.

He also discussed the Okinawa, who, though eating a more animal-based diet, had a similar lifestyle.

Let's now examine each of these cultures, which are rich in centenarians, to find what else unites them.

The Abkhasia

The people of Abkhasia reside in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, which was formerly referred to as "the longevity capital of the world."

According to Dr. Leaf, professor of clinical medicine at Harvard University and chief of medical services at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Abkhasia has a large number of centenarians, all of whom are in remarkable health. Dr. Leaf conducted a study with National Geographic to confirm these claims.

The Abkhasia eat mostly whole grains, nuts, and fresh fruit and vegetables that are harvested and consumed very immediately. The Abkhasia rarely eat any animal products, with the exception of matzoni, a fermented beverage prepared from cow, goat, or sheep milk, and fresh meat that has been defatted.

The Vilcabamba

Vilcabamba is a tiny community in southern Ecuador that is inaccessible due to its location in a high valley. Due to their isolation, the Vilcabamba are forced to be quite active. They go on frequent hikes, labor in the fields to cultivate their land, and gather fresh fruit and vegetables to eat.

All of their veggies, nuts, and seeds are raw, despite the fact that they do consume some cooked (whole) grains. Their diet consists virtually entirely on plant foods, with no packaged or prepared meals.

Vilcabamba residents have a strong sense of community; their everyday joys of laughter and simple pleasure are enhanced by a spiritual perspective. The Vilcabamba look forward to getting older since senior citizens are respected and valued in their society.

In order to prove their claims, some Vilcabambas exaggerate their ages, which generates confusion among academics. Regardless of their exact ages, it is undeniable that the Vilcabamba people lead longer, happier, more active, and healthier lives than the majority of Westerners, with some surviving as long as 110 and beyond.

The Hunza

The Hunza are an isolated people who lead a basic life in a rich valley high in the mountains. They hike up and down hard peaks because of the challenging terrain in their mountain home, which keeps them in shape and active.

They put a lot of effort into farming their land, which gives them access to enough high-quality produce to sustain them well into old life.

The Hunza were "unsurpassed in the perfection of physique and in exemption from disease in general," according to British surgeon Sir Robert McCarrison. The average lifespan is incredibly lengthy. In the seven years that I lived among them... I have never witnessed an instance of cancer, an appendix problem, a stomach or duodenal ulcer, or asthenic dyspepsia.

For the majority of the year, the Hunza consume only fresh fruit, but they also stockpile enormous reserves of dried fruit for the winter. They consume up to 80% raw food in the summer, but in the winter they consume cooked beans, corn, root vegetables, squash, and sprouts.

The Hunza refrain from cooking as much as they can because there is a lack of wood in their isolated mountain valley. They do occasionally consume a tiny amount of meat and dairy, but this is the exception rather than the rule because there are no grazing fields for animals.

The Hunzakuts have a strong sense of community where everyone is respected for their contributions, much like the Vicalbamba and Abkhasia.

Perhaps it's not surprising that they have a deep spiritual connection to nature.

The Hunza undoubtedly have a lot to offer our purportedly advanced society. They are boisterous, passionate, and have an almost childlike respect for their modest lifestyles.

The Okinawa

The Okinawa tribe, who enthusiastically live out their lengthy lives on islands in Japan, is another well-known long-living group. Okinawa, often known as "the home of the immortals," has 900 confirmed centenarians, the highest number in the world.

Most of the food consumed by the locals is mildly steamed. They do ingest certain minor amounts of animal items, but they generally eat them uncooked, like fresh fish. They consume an abundance of various fruits and vegetables, as well as more tofu and soy products than any other population in the globe.

The Okinawans practice physical activity and have a spiritual viewpoint that reduces stress. They primarily reside in villages, allowing for a laid-back and rural style of life with a strong feeling of community that allows them to share both the joys and struggles of life.

They hold elders in high regard and recognize their value to the community.

Lessons learned from the world's oldest societies

It should be obvious by this point that the longevity diet has some similar components. Which are:

  • Diet consists of largely natural, organic, vegan foods with less animal fat and product.
  • Exercise and vitamin D
  • strong local values
  • Religion and a sense of mission

The top six doctors worldwide

And nobody can refute it.

Are exercise and diet, as well as sunlight, water, rest, and air.

If only you are willing, these six will be happy to have you there. They won't even charge you a shilling and will soothe your worry.

~Wayne Fields cited this nursery rhyme in What the River Knows in 1990.

Longevity Diet lesson 1: Whole, organic fresh food

One of the most noticeable aspects of the longevity diet is that the majority of the food consumed by these long-living communities is vegan, entirely organic, and just-picked.

Despite include certain animal products, they are mostly supported by locally grown, organic plant-based foods (and apparent health).

The longevity diet contains little fermented food and is strong in natural carbohydrates, low in protein, and fat. It is mostly raw, which means it is rich in fiber and packed with the nutrients and enzymes that come from fresh, raw food.

Furthermore, processed food, pre-packaged goods, or microwaveable meals that have already been prepared do not exist. They cultivate their crops without the use of pesticides, chemicals, or fertilizers, and by avoiding pre-packaged goods, you naturally avoid GM foods, additives, colorings, preservatives, and high salt intake.

Because there is no packaging (and hence no waste), no fossil fuels are used for transportation, and food is typically consumed in its purest natural form, it is also the diet that contributes the most to save the environment (thus saving energy used on cooking).

in order to teach us the important lesson that these cultures do. Cut off the manufactured junk food and try to eat as naturally as you can if you want to live a long and healthy life. Reduce your intake of meat and dairy products, go vegan, and eventually try eating more (or only raw) food.

''he greatest human blessing is health, according to the wise man. Food can serve as your medicine''— Hippocrates

Longevity Diet lesson 2: Vitamin D and exercise

Exercise and sunlight are two more things that these cultures all have in common. They receive plenty of vitamin D, which is necessary for health and vigor, because they are frequently outside planting, harvesting, and trekking.

The workload is also fairly heavy among the Vilcabamba, Abkhasia, Hunza, and Okinawa (by modern standards). We all strive to be as physically fit, athletic, trim, and muscular as they are.

So, make an effort to consistently exercise each day, ideally outside. The importance of getting at least 20 minutes of sunlight each day cannot be overstated.

“Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness”

– Edward Smith-Stanley

Longevity Diet lesson 3: Strong community values

These tribes are linked to the environment and to nature. They constantly communicate with one another and work closely with the land.

They cherish the contributions of every individual, young or old, and have a strong sense of community. They establish strong relationships with neighbors, friends, and family because they are socially active.

Our society in the West is completely different. The majority of us don't even know (or acknowledge) our neighbors as we like to stay to our own and keep to ourselves.

It might be time to consider what we're giving up by leading normal urban lives and to embrace a stronger feeling of community, even if it means just getting involved in a few common interest groups.

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. – World Health Organization

The Longevity Diet lesson 4: Spirituality and a sense of purpose

Even the elderly are actively involved in these communities. Everyone has a function to do that benefits the community, whether it be farming, healing (medical/herbal), spiritual development, building, gathering water, or gathering food.

Greed or self-interest are non-existent. And they believe in something bigger than themselves, regardless of the religion or spirituality they practice.

They have a connection to both the spiritual and physical planes, which allows them the faith to accept any challenges they may encounter without complaining. Their basic lives are filled with love and laughter, and they have a good attitude on life.


It is obvious that these civilizations are resistant to the leading causes of death in the West, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia/flu, diabetes, liver disease/cirrhosis, suicide, and Alzheimer's due to their nutrition and way of life.

And as the Okinawans who were raised abroad show, these groups' healthy propensity for longevity is not solely the result of a lucky genetic break. 100,000 Okinawans immigrated to Brazil during the 20th century, where they began eating the usual (meat-based) Brazilian diet.

According to a research titled "Impact of nutrition on the cardiovascular risk profile of Japanese immigrants residing in Brazil," exposure to a "Western" way of life reduced Okinawans' average longevity by 17 years. Japan had record-high rates of obesity, cardiovascular illness, and early deaths as their youth embraced a Western diet that was heavy on fast food.

Therefore, try incorporating some of the teachings from the longevity diet into your lifestyle if you really want to achieve long-lasting health and virality. The best reward for your efforts is a life full with joy, contentment, and good health all the way into old age.


About the Creator

Inibehe Obot

I am Inibehe Obot, a content developer, writer of articles, and a coach or counselor for health and fitness.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.