Monday, June 26, 2017

How to live forever, even though you're old

I woke up the other morning and discovered I was a day older. My situation wasn't unique: everyone else was a day older. Scary.

And it adds up: The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group's share of the total population will rise to nearly 24 percent from 15 percent.
Won't remember this tomorrow.

Well, I'm not looking forward to 2060, that's for sure!

So for all of you getting a day older each day, here's some things you need to know.

Extra-virgin olive oil preserves memory, protects brain against Alzheimer's. The Mediterranean diet is associated with a variety of health benefits, including a lower incidence of dementia. Now, researchers have identified a specific ingredient that protects against cognitive decline: extra-virgin olive oil. In a new study, the researchers show that consumption of extra-virgin olive oil protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain -- classic markers of Alzheimer's disease.

However, beware: It’s important to know that there’s been confusion about which extra-virgin olive oils are actually extra virgin, and which ones are cut by the mob with lesser oils, Stephen Green writes
My wife Melissa researched and found three brands which are believed to be the genuine article, one in each price category of low(ish), medium, and high. 
For everyday use, Kirkland’s (yes, the Costco house label) extra virgin is supposedly just that, and it’s what we use for non-fancy salad dressings, frying croutons, adding depth to red sauces — anywhere you want good olive oil but don’t need to break the bank. The next step up is from California Olive Ranch. It’s great for Caesars, dipping bread, tossed pasta, and the like. And for when the tomatoes are in peak ripeness for making Caprese, we have a bottle of Bariani stashed away in the back of the pantry. The three bottles all cost about $20-$25 but vary greatly in size. Mostly what you’re paying for is the greater concentration of grassy/fruity/buttery flavor as you step up the scale. 
Flavor-wise though, even the Kirkland stands head and shoulders above typical supermarket fare, and I suspect that the same is true of the health benefits.
Older adults can improve movement by using same motor strategy as babies. "In early development, babies seem to make random movements in all directions until they learn to purposefully reach for objects," says Dr. Shelly Levy-Tzedek. "Their movements are variable until they find a solution for the problem at hand, like reaching for that Cheerios bit. When they find a good movement plan, they exploit it."
Practicing for 2060.
In the study, the arms of older adults (ages 70+) were connected to a sensor that measures the rotation of the arm at the elbow. Participants were then asked to make rhythmic movements of the forearm in a "windshield wiper" motion while trying to maintain certain speeds and arm amplitude, with and without visual feedback. 
The researchers hypothesized that older participants would not be able to maintain an increase in speed and amplitude of movement over time due to fatigue, but were surprised to discover that making mistakes helped improve future task performance. They also found that once a better movement pattern was established, the variability dropped. Making exaggerated movements actually helped them fine-tune their control.
Forget five a day; eat 10 portions of fruit and veg to cut risk of early death. Five portions of fruit and veg a day is good for you, but 10 is much better and could prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year. It is associated with a 16% reduced risk of heart disease, an 18% reduced risk of stroke, a 13% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, 4% reduced risk of cancer and a 15% reduction in the risk of premature death.

Here's what that looks like:
      

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