Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The statement released by the royal family said the monarch died “in peace”.
In power for 70 years, the queen had been experiencing health problems. In October of last year, she spent the night in the hospital and had to rest. Elizabeth was also diagnosed with covid-19 in February, when she was already vaccinated. Months later, she revealed that she was “very tired and exhausted” after contracting the virus.
What’s the secret to living so long?
Elizabeth’s longevity has always drawn attention, as has her husband Prince Philip, who died at 99 in April last year. Despite the mysteries, it is no secret that the queen led a healthy life, with a balanced diet, in addition to the constant practice of physical activity.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), healthy aging is the process of promoting and maintaining functional capacity, which enables well-being in old age. Functional capacity consists of having attributes that allow all people to be and do what is important to them, such as mobility, memory, language, among others. Genetics and healthy habits are one of the secrets to a longer life.
Below, see 7 healthy habits adopted by the queen:
1. Had a balanced diet
According to the English website independentElizabeth ate four meals a day—eating small portions at each. According to the queen’s former chief, Darren McGradythe monarch partook of breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
For lunch, for example, she preferred grilled fish, spinach and zucchini, and grilled chicken with salad — always with a low-carb option.
And, well, it’s no secret that a balanced diet is essential for a healthier life, in addition to other important measures.
“Those who reach 100 years of age in a lucid and healthy way have in common a balanced diet, without exaggeration; the presence of physical activity in everyday life, throughout life, such as gardening, cleaning the house, walking, keeping the body healthy ; and good mental health, resilience and the will to live”, explains Simone Fiebrantz Pinto, nutritionist and president of the Department of Gerontology at SBGG (Brazilian Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology).
2. I ate dark chocolate
According to Darren McGrady, Elizabeth was a chocoholic: “Anything we put on the menu that had chocolate on it, she would choose it, especially chocolate pie. [uma torta em camadas com chocolate branco e amargo e raspas de chocolate]said the former boss to the Hello! in 2016.
But McGrady reinforces that the queen’s favorite was dark chocolate, which is really good for health, as long as it is consumed sparingly — a maximum of 30 grams a day. She preferred chocolate with 60% cocoa or more, according to an Insider report. And the more cocoa, the better. So 70% cocoa is good, 90% is better and 100% is ideal, but it is not always easy to consume chocolates with such high percentages.
“Many scientific works prove that dark chocolate is good for hypertensive patients, as it reduces blood pressure”, says nutritionist Regina HM Pereira, director of the nutrition department at Socesp (São Paulo State Cardiology Society). The trump card, she explains, is cocoa: “It has antioxidant properties that improve vascular function, that is, the vessels can dilate more easily.”
3. Constantly practiced physical activity
Queen Elizabeth was also in the habit of taking regular walks through the grounds of Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace, alone or in company. She also enjoyed horseback riding, an activity that can burn up to 400 calories an hour, according to the website. Woman & Home.
It is no surprise that physical activity is also essential, as well as food, for a long and healthy life.
“There is no healthy aging without physical exercise. Regular practice causes the inflammatory markers to decrease significantly”, explains geriatrician Paulo de Oliveira Duarte, responsible for the Super-elderly Outpatient Clinic (Longevos) at the Hospital das Clínicas da FMRP-USP (Faculdade of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo).
4. Had quality sleep
Also according to the report, the queen also had a strict sleep routine. She would normally retire to bed around 11 pm to ensure 8.5 hours of rest — an absolute necessity for her — and wake up each morning feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.
The benefits of quality sleep are numerous: it helps to avoid complications in health in general, in work and school, psychological and cognitive activities, in personal and social life, and reduces the risk of accidents. Among other benefits, it regulates appetite, weight, blood glucose levels, blood pressure, antibody production and libido.
5. Had contact with animals
The queen had over 30 corgi dogs during her reign. The first female dog she had was Susan, which she got when she turned 18 in 1944. The monarch also had Labradors and Cocker Spaniels.
Pets help “human friends” in the search for emotional and physical well-being, which brings many benefits. In addition to helping with anxiety and stress, contact with animals can reduce blood pressure, in addition to increasing mental stimulation, especially for elderly people with neurodegenerative diseases. Simple contact can stimulate the work of the mind, in addition to bringing good sensations.
6. I couldn’t go without afternoon tea
Second McGrady, the queen always had her afternoon tea, “wherever she was in the world”. In fact, she generally avoided the use of sugar in her drink.
Although teas and infusions have some harm in some situations, the list of benefits is much longer. For Luna Azevedo, nutritionist specializing in conscious eating, the drink, when consumed in the right way, can bring several advantages.
Teas help in well-being, treatment and prevention of diseases. In addition, they may have numerous anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiallergic, immunostimulants. However, it is worth remembering that the benefits are consequences of the type of herb used.
7. There was no fluctuation in weight
The queen also never showed weight fluctuation. According to doctors, the accordion effect, the up and down of the scales, can be harmful to health.
Fluctuating between a state of plenty and a state of deprivation unbalances the concentration of hormones important for the neural control of eating behavior, such as insulin and leptin. As a result, metabolism slows down and appetite increases. In addition, every time a person loses weight, they lose some fat and some lean mass.
When she regains weight, if she is sedentary, she tends to gain more fat than lean (muscles). Therefore, in the comings and goings, body composition worsens over time, accumulating fat mass and losing lean mass (important for health and longevity).
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