Genetics determines roughly 25% of your longevity; the rest results from the lifestyle choices you make. You have control of the vast majority of the factors that will increase your lifespan. If you want to ensure you enjoy as many years as possible, pay attention to these essential factors of longevity.

Incorporate the Top Five Factors of Longevity

Studies have identified five essential factors of longevity. If people achieve all five low-risk lifestyle factors, they can increase their life expectancy at age 50 by 14 years for women and 12.2 years for men compared with individuals who achieve none of the factors. These factors work in conjunction with one another, delivering a longer life span in any combination. 

Eat Well

Maintaining a healthy eating pattern lowers your risk for diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Certain foods are associated with longer telomere length, which increases the lifespan of cells. Adopting a healthy diet by age 20 can increase life expectancy by 13 years for men and almost 11 years for women. If you start eating better by age 60, you can add about eight years to your life. Reduce your risk for all-cause mortality by maintaining a high intake of the following foods.

Whole grains

Whole grains give your body a healthy source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa, barley, oatmeal, and wild rice are whole grains. Choose these instead of refined grains like white rice, white bread, white pasta, and corn grits. Adults should aim to eat three servings of whole grains each day and eliminate refined grains.  Some, like Dr. Gundry, suggest that lectins, a protein plants create to protect them from being consumed, are detrimental (see video) and you should process your grains properly to limit the amount of harmful lectins.

Fruits and Vegetables

Although most Americans fall short of the recommended produce consumption, you should consume two to three cups of veggies and 1 1/2 to two cups of fruit daily. Eating lots of non-starchy fruits and vegetables can help you control your weight and will help fill you up while adding a minimal number of calories to your diet. Produce has a low glycemic load, helps prevent blood sugar spikes, and controls hunger.  Be cautious with fruits that have a high glycemic index.

Olive Oil

Monounsaturated fat oleic acid, which helps reduce inflammation, is the primary component of olive oil. It also contains beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. You can further boost the benefits of olive oil by choosing products with ESS60 for longevity. The benefits of ESS60 for health include regulated inflammation, decreased muscle fatigue, and enhanced cognitive function.


Nuts contain protein, fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats. One study showed that increasing nut consumption helped decrease waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and weight. Some “nuts” on the market are actually legumes, which are beans.  Make sure not to confuse nuts with legumes like peanuts.


Coffee may seem like an indulgence, but it delivers many health benefits. Individuals who drink more coffee are less likely to get type 2 diabetes or develop Parkinson’s disease or colorectal cancer. Women who drink two to three cups of coffee a day are less likely to develop dementia, and drinking even one cup a day decreases women’s chances of having a stroke, which is the fourth-highest cause of death for females.


In terms of supplementation regarding longevity, there are no supplements that can claim this.  Mostly because the cost of any sort of longevity experiment on humans would be prohibitively expensive. But the single longest longevity experimental result in history, peer-review published article here, used the MyVitalC olive oil formula which you can get here.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

There’s a direct link between weight and longevity. Individuals with a BMI over 30 are considered obese and have an average lifespan of 77.7 years, 10.2 years of which occurs in poor health. Those in the overweight range with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 live 80.8 years on average. Those with a normal weight enjoy an average life span of 82 years. Being overweight or obese is the cause of 44% of diabetes and 23% of ischemic heart disease.  Losing even 5%-10% of your body weight can add years to your life.  You can calculate your BMI index here.

Fortunately, many of the other significant factors for longevity mentioned here will naturally contribute to weight loss, such as eating a healthier diet, becoming more physically active, and reducing alcohol consumption.

Minimize Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption is a tricky topic when it comes to your health. Drinking alcohol increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, depression, anxiety, dementia, and liver disease. However, moderate alcohol consumption can lower your risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and death from cardiovascular disease. With alcohol, moderation is best. If you don’t drink, do not start because of this data.  Moderate alcohol consumption means having one drink or fewer per day for women and two drinks or fewer per day for men.  

However, you may want to cut back from daily drinking, as adults who drink seven to 14 alcoholic beverages a week shorten their life span by six months at age 40. Those who have 14 to 25 drinks a week shorten their life span by one to two years, and those who have more than 25 drinks a week shorten their life expectancy by four to five years. 

Don’t Smoke

Smoking increases your risk of developing cancer, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular diseases. It contributes to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, which may lead to a shorter life span. It’s best never to smoke, but quitting at any age yields dramatic health benefits. Eliminating cigarettes can add as much as a decade to your life expectancy.

Just 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate drop. Carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal within a few days, and your circulation and lung function will improve within two to three weeks. Your risk of heart attack drops a year or two after you quit. After five to 10 years, your risk of stroke and certain cancers decreases.

Ten to 15 years after quitting, your lung cancer risk falls to half that for a smoker. Once you’ve stayed away from cigarettes for 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is near that of someone who never smoked.

Get Regular Physical Activity

Physical activity lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and diabetes mellitus. It also improves your mental well-being, prevents hypertension, and helps you maintain healthy body weight. Each week, to increase your longevity adults should get at least the following:

  • 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise.
  • Moderate or higher intensity muscle-strengthening activities two days a week.

You’ll increase your longevity even more if you engage in more than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activities or more than 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

In his best selling book, Why We Sleep, Dr. Mathew Walker, a UC Berkeley professor who has done 25 years of sleep research, recommends 7-9 hours of sleep opportunity.  All cause mortality increases with less than 7 hours of sleep.  Surprisingly, more than 9 hours of sleep also increases mortality.

Maintain Strong Social Bonds

Having deep, meaningful connections with others increases your longevity. Married individuals live longer than those who are unmarried. This effect is present in both sexes, but it’s enhanced for men more than women. At 65 years old, the total life expectancy is 2.2 years longer for married men and 1.5 years longer for married women than their unmarried counterparts. Individuals who have never been married have the shortest life expectancy, followed by individuals who haven’t remarried due to divorce or the death of a spouse.

While marriage is one of the most obvious ways to strengthen your social bonds, it’s far from the only social contributor to longevity. Having healthy and supportive relationships with friends and other family members will also increase your health. In one study, participants with broad social networks were 45% less likely to die. This finding mimics the results of another study where individuals got infected with the cold virus. Those who maintained social isolation were 45% more likely to get sick. 

Loneliness increases inflammation and the stress hormone cortisol. Social interactions like making eye contact and receiving hugs release oxytocin, lowering cortisol and reducing pain. Oxytocin even helps boost the growth of new brain cells. Maintaining good relationships is an excellent way to improve longevity while adding more meaning to your life.

Keep Learning

Albert Einstein said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” Every time you learn something new, your brain forms a fresh pathway that strengthens it. Think of these paths as a web of shielding that protects your brain from dementia and helps maintain cognitive function. Continually learning improves memory and mental efficiency in relation to the new topic at hand and across all functions. One study even found that every year that you spend studying beyond your time in school adds nearly a year to your life. 

Higher levels of education correlate to lower rates of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, emphysema, asthma, and ulcers. Highly educated individuals also enjoy lower levels of anxiety and depression. Reading can lower your stress levels in as little as six minutes. Continually learning, exploring, and trying new things are all activities that can enhance your self-esteem and physical well-being.

Numerous factors impact your life span, from the food on your plate to your relationships with people. Mindfully addressing these factors of longevity can help you add years to your life. Not only will you likely live longer, but you’ll enjoy enhanced mental and physical health throughout your years.