Benjamin Setiawan is the owner of PT Kalbe Farma, Indonesia’s pharmacy giant, and he is also a pharmacy graduate from University of California. Therefore, you can expect him to have some secrets for energetic golden years. At the age of 81, he is still capable of doing a lot of activities, including being involved in many Kalbe Group activities and events despite no longer sitting in the director’s seat. As a guest on Hari Lansia (Elderly Day) event at Taman Impian Jaya Ancol last year, Benjamin spoke to audiences about his secret of abundant energy and good health in his golden years.
Choosing the Right Food
According to Benjamin he has spent the last two years without eating white rice, and replacing it with other carbohydrate sources such as banana and papaya. Unlike many Indonesians, who eat a lot of rice in every meal as ‘filler,’ he prefers banana and papaya because of one research he read about eating papaya and banana as carbohydrate sources. According to the research, he said, papaya and banana has complex carbohydrate, while white rice has simple carbohydrate. Complex carbohydrate is way better for the body because it gives more energy but reduces sugar intake, especially since Indonesians have easy access to banana and papaya.
Besides eating banana and papaya for breakfast, he also drinks a lot of water and consumes more plant based protein, with occasional fish.
Another secret for life longer from Benjamin Setiawan is being active even in later years. We know that he always tried to expand and added his business branches during the ups and downs of Kalbe Farma, and he found satisfaction from working and thinking actively. To take care of his own health, he always has time for walking at least three days in a week, which is cheap and easy to do. He also always finds time to get involved in various Kalbe Farma activities and events. According to him, all those activities help him to be always healthy and needed, and avoid dementia and other degenerative disease.
Finally, he put emphasis on the importance of always working and thankful of what we got. Things like working, handling household matters, cooking, sewing and writing are activities that make any older people feel happier and needed, which is important for physical and mental health. Also, by being thankful of what we got, we can feel calm and not stressed all the time.