Friday, April 18, 2008

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Eat, Drink and Be Merry! A recent British study revealed more about how important it is for overall health, and especially brain health, to strike the right combination of food, drink and enjoyment. The study underscored some of the tips that are now becoming common knowledge, but still so hard to implement regularly in our lives. Eating fruits and vegetables every day is a sure bet for helping extend a healthy life. They contribute enormously to sound functioning of the brain as well. Drinking plenty of water and a little alcohol (or grape juice if alcohol does not or should not be a part of your particular regimen) also play a role in adding to your overall physical and brain fitness. And, most importantly, enjoying life and minimizing the effects of stress offer the most advantage to living a full, long, healthy life.

Fascination with centenarians (those who live to 100 or more) builds among scientists as the list of those living to 100 and beyond grows. There are new studies now for what are called supercentenarians, those who live to 110 and beyond, currently numbered at 75 known examples by the Gerontology Research Group of Inglewood, CA. For those who have been identified, the New England Centenarian Study draws some blood to research and analyze. Analyzing DNA and genetic composition are the keys to uncovering some commonality that will crack the code of longevity.

Edna Parker of Shelbyville, MD knows all about this exclusive club. She turned 115 on Sunday, April 20. During her celebration her 59 year old grandson commented that she had never been a worrier. Maybe staying cool and calm, handling stress effectively, does have something to do with staying alive longer. Dr. Tom Perls who directs the New England Centenarian Study says that people like Edna handle stress better than most of us.

She was widowed in 1938 and lived alone until 100. She has now outlived her two children, however, and lives in assisted living. She had on a polka dot dress and pearls for her birthday party. She outlives her two sisters, one of whom lived into her 90s and the other 88. Dr. Nir Bazilai, director of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Institute for Aging Research in New York says that “longevity is in family history,” among other factors.

As Edna reminisced and looked at family photos, she became the oldest living person on record. Happy Birthday, Edna!

To see what your prospects are of living to 100, go to and take the survey. It’s an interesting way to see what kinds of habits and lifestyle choices (at least for the moment) that science is considering to be part of the formula.

As for brain health, learn how to get 10 years of your brain life back, Sign up for a free demo of the Brain Fitness software program on June 10. Learn the science behind brain fitness and how fun focusing on your brain health can be. See our Events calendar for more details and to RSVP.

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