Oct 6, 2009

Longevity With A Love Of Ice Cream

I had never heard the name of Getrude Baines until recently. Aged 115 she had become the world's oldest woman but sadly passed away last month. The story of her life is a fascinating one and was reported around the world. The biggest single point of interest seemed to focus on her diet. Let's face it, if someone could come up with the exact diet that allows longevity beyond 100 years, there would be serious demand for that knowledge! So naturally the media focused on what Getrude had enjoyed eating all her life. To the astonishment of many she said she enjoyed eating 3 things:

  • fried chicken
  • bacon
  • ice cream

Eating ice cream until you're 115 - what an amazing thought!

Thinking about this reminded me of how two of the oldest women that have ever lived (ages 119 and 122) had admitted to being big eaters of chocolate all their lives. Could it be that ice cream and chocolate, two of the foods most vilified for their potential negative impact on health, could in fact have a special, hidden secret? If so, just imagine the potential of chocolate ice cream!

It might be just a coincidence of course. My own belief, however, is that these foods can have a very positive effect upon a person's frame of mind. Chocolate has been proven to contain a mood enhancer called phenylethylamine and as for ice cream, well, anyone who really enjoys ice cream knows the good feeling they experience when they eat it. What's that if not mood enhancement? Don't get me wrong, I'm not endorsing the idea of people over indulging in chocolate and ice cream. No, I think it's simply a case of 'a little of what you fancy does you good'. In fact I've just Google'd the phrase and a BBC article came up in the results with a report on how researchers have discovered that physical and emotional enjoyment can enhance immune function for hours afterwards. Effectively, life's small pleasures may be able to boost the immune system over a long period. Perhaps Getrude just knew it all along.

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