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Lifespan Vs. Healthspan


This time, I want to draw your attention to a focus area regarding wellness, beyond just choosing the right foods and food ingredients. Even if is from us at Bloom! As I have said often, if you support us by your custom, we appreciate it very much and thank you. And may you stay well. And even if you are not our customer at the moment, we can still have these healthy conversations that might enrich our lives.

In this context, I want to take up the lifespan vs. healthspan debate. What is important, the fact that you have lived up to a ripe old age of 90 or how healthy you have been during that long stint? Unfortunately, for many, it is a fact that their last years are spent in various stages of disabilities. Is there a better way of looking at human health beyond lifespans?

True, most population statistics point to the average lifespan of an individual within a country as an indication of the overall health of its people. Over the last century, thanks to public health initiatives (largely) and interventions by modern medicine, societies have achieved lifespans never before seen in human history.

Let’s take some of these stellar examples. Life expectancy in Canada has greatly improved since the early 20th century. The life expectancy at birth for men has increased by 20.5 years, from 58.8 years in 1920–1922 to 79.3 years in 2009–2011. During the same period, the life expectancy of women increased by 23.0 years, from 60.6 years to 83.6 years. 

Now take a country like India that was late to many of the health breakthroughs enjoyed by the West in its historic journey in the same period. In 1920, average life expectancy in India was estimated to be 22. In the century that followed, it has shown an impressive gain to reach today’s average life expectancy for an Indian citizens at 70.

These are all good news, and we need to celebrate these milestones that we have achieved. At the same time, let us not ignore the elephant in the room – lifespan vs. quality of life. If you are a Canadian, some of us can hope to live to very old age. What that old age looks like is uncertain given the current level of diseases thanks to a deterioration in the quality of life, sedentary lifestyle, poisonous environment and a food system that is loaded with dangerous chemicals.

You know that as well as me. Maybe I do a little more reading. But the words of wisdom are all over the Internet. We need to turn over a new leaf that is good for us as well as mother earth. The trick is to start early and not wait for healthy living wisdom to dawn on you when the trouble arrives. True, embracing an organic/natural way of life, can bring benefit and relief at any age.

If you want to increase your lifespan, i.e., live life to its full extent till however long you exist, certain adjustments are in order, in your food, in your lifestyle and in your mood. And some of the common sense stuff that helps may be even free. Like deep breathing that has proven to be effective remedy for anxiety. No, we don’t have it for sale on our website! But there are other life enhancing stuff for you and the family that are worth checking out.

I always stress the word ‘family’ because that is where you can bring about the maximum change and have the most beneficial impact. When you introduce the principles of healthy eating, holistic living, to your family, you are helping transform the health of generations. Do it slowly, be patient, and someday, they will thank you for being such a ‘pest’!

Sunil Kalra
CEO, Bloom Organic Bazaar
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