By Dr John Barnett

Did you know that your body was designed to live 100 years or more? If we want to live a long and healthy life what we eat is very important because of the relationship between diet and the immune system. At least 70 percent of immunity is directly connected to our digestive system. This is because of the large number of microscopic organisms that live there. Here are the top 10 longevity habits for good digestion and good health from a large number of Centenarians who were interviewed about their diet and health.

1. Eat less to live longer; try to control the amount of food you eat at each meal by stopping when your stomach is three-quarters full. When you overeat, you stress your digestive and other organ systems, consuming precious energy by overworking your system, and producing more waste products and toxins.

2. Eat five smaller meals a day; eating five small meals a day delivers a steady stream of nutrients, blood sugar, and energy to your body throughout the day and is much less taxing on the digestive and metabolic systems.

3. Your body functions best when fed at regular intervals. As a general rule, I suggest eating your meals during these times: breakfast between 6 and 9 a.m.; mid-morning snack between 10:30 and 11 a.m.; lunch between 12 and 1:30 p.m.; mid-afternoon snack between 3 and 4 p.m.; dinner between 5 and 7:30 p.m. It is especially important not to skip breakfast. Not eating late in the evening can improve your blood sugar metabolism.

4. Eat slowly and enjoy your food; the digestive process begins in the mouth, where enzymes are produced to help break down and absorb nutrients.

5. Take your meals sitting down; focus on the flavor and texture of the food, sit down at the table, and interact with others during your meals.

6. Eat for your body, not your taste buds; you will feel healthier and more energetic if you eat for nutrition instead of immediate pleasure.

7. Eat for the right reasons; we sometimes eat out of habit at a certain time of day without realizing that we are not even hungry.

8. Bring awareness to mealtime; eating in a relaxed frame of mind is essential to proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

9: Eat food at the proper temperature (warm) to support your digestive fire. Cooking food helps break its nutrients down so it’s easier for your body to digest them without your stomach having to do as much work.

10. Everything in moderation; keep in mind that you can eat for longevity without completely sacrificing your favorite treats.