The Big Five For Longer Life, Better Health

I want to die young. But Dr. Sanjiv Chopra (Deepak’s brother) won’t let me.

He recommends five things for long life and health. Unfortunately, I was doing some of those five things because I thought they would hasten my death.

But apparently, once again, I messed up.

1) Coffee

Apparently there are more antioxidants in a cup of coffee (not including the caffeine, hence tea is not as good) as a day’s worth of vegetables and fruits.

He told me Voltaire drank 70 cups of coffee a day and died at 83.

So… license to kill it with coffee.

2) Vitamin D. i.e. sunshine

But he also answers my recommendation about how little we are able to digest Vitamin D supplements. (Part of answer: take smaller tablets.)

Also, for people who live in the sun: don’t overdo it on sunblock. Vitamin D by the way is a hormone and not a vitamin. When he said that I said, “I never hear a whore moan.”

I made Deepak Chopra’s brother laugh.

3) Exercise

Seems obvious. But how much is enough? How much is too much? I like to walk, so I drilled down on that. And I hate running, so I was begging for permission not to run.

He said, if you walk the same distance as you run (not the same time – the same distance) the health benefits are just as good. Do it 3-5 times a week.

I do that. Because I hate running for anything. I hate speed.

4) Nuts!

I brought him a bag of pistachio nuts as a gift. Turns out it’s good for not only longer life, but for erectile dysfunction. So if you are going to live longer….might as well. He gives me the hierarchy of nuts.

I said to him, “But peanuts are a legume.” He said they have the exact same health benefits.

In his book he specifically likes Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, and almonds.

Here’s my problem: I eat these nuts and then my stomach hurts. He said, “chew them.”

OK. Good advice.

5) Meditation

A lot of research on this already. But he talks about possibly the most important thing for longevity is the “telomere” attached to chromosomes and why meditation elongates it, which is key for long, high quality life.I told him, I haven’t been to a doctor in 30 years, I’m 48. Should I at least check my prostate?I really don’t want a doctor to stick his finger into my…He said, maybe not. And explained why.Phew!

I guess I’m going to have to live longer.

This is teaser post for my upcoming podcast with Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, author of The Big Five.

To make sure you don’t miss the episode, subscribe to the podcast here:


Update: Podcast available here

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