Living a long and healthy life is the goal of many smart people if they want to experience happiness and vitality. Many think that life expectancy can be determined by genetics, but this research showed it is clearly factors such as diet and lifestyle that are the key determinants of how long we are meant to live.
Here are x13 smart habits to get into if you want to increase your life span…
- Eat Plenty of Plant Foods. Eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses and legumes has been linked with a decreased risk of disease and a longer life. Various studies are showing that the Mediterranean Diet for example is linked with a lower risk of premature death. Other links include a decreased risk of brain deterioration, cancer, depression, heart disease and metabolic syndrome. Eating plant foods has been thought to attribute to these effects as they can provide a wide range of nutrients including carotenoids, folate, polyphenols and Vitamin C. Several studies have also linked vegan and vegetarian diets with a 12-15% lowered risk of premature death.
- Avoid Smoking. Smokers can lose up to 10 years of their lives and may be three times more likely to die prematurely than those who don’t smoke cigarettes. Smoking is also strongly linked with disease and early death. Men and women who smoke can lose up to 10 years of their lives and are three times more likely to die prematurely as opposed to those who have never picked up a cigarette. The good news is that it’s never too late to give up smoking and one study shows that even people who quit smoking by age 35 may be able to prolong their life by 8.5 years. While quitting smoking in your sixties can add up to 3.7 years to your life.
- Keep Alcohol to a Minimum. Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol is linked with a higher risk of developing liver, heart and pancreatic disease along with an increased risk of early death. But moderate consumption fairs better and this is associated with a reduced likelihood of developing several diseases, along with a 17-18% reduced risk of premature death. Drinking red wine occasionally therefore may be beneficial as it contains a high level of polyphenol antioxidants and wine has been shown to have protective benefits against diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and neurological disorders.
- Increase Exercise and Activity Levels. Staying physically active can keep you healthy and increase your longevity. There are many benefits to regular exercise and it’s been found that as little as 15 minutes per day can add an additional 3 years of life. One recent review found that there was a 22% lower risk of early death in the individuals who partook in exercise but did less than the 150 minutes per week that is recommended.
- Take Curcumin. The bio-active compound known as curcumin that is found in the Indian spice turmeric contains numerous antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to maintain brain, heart and lung function and this can also protect against age-related diseases and cancer. Curcumin has also been linked to an increased life span in test subjects. For all of these reasons Curcumin has many potential health benefits when taken daily.
- Avoid Eating Carbs and High Sugar Foods. Certain test subject studies have shown that it’s possible to have a reduction in carbs and high sugar intake and this may increase maximum lifespan. Calorie restriction has also been linked to reduced excess body weight and belly fat and that both of these have been linked to shorter lives. If you want to get healthy, eat smaller amounts and try fasting for one day a week or month. Long-term calorie restriction can be unsustainable and this can include negative side effects like hunger, lowered body temperature and a diminished sex drive.
- Eat Nuts. Rich in antioxidants, fiber, protein and beneficial plant compounds, nuts are a good source of various vitamins and minerals, like copper, folate, magnesium, potassium, niacin, along with Vitamins B6 and E. Meanwhile a recent study has also indicated that eating at least 3 servings of nuts a week is associated with a 39% lowered risk of premature death.
- Drink Tea or Coffee. Tea and coffee are linked with a decreased risk of chronic disease. Green tea contains polyphenols and catechins that may decrease the risk of developing cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Coffee consumption is also linked with a lowered risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, brain diseases, cancers, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Both tea and coffee drinkers can benefit from a 20-30% lowered risk of early death when compared to non-drinkers. Too much caffeine however can lead to anxiety and insomnia, so limiting your intake to 400mg per day is highly recommended – around 2-4 cups of coffee or less.
- Avoid Chronic Stress and Choose Relaxation. Anxiety and stress can play a role in significantly decreasing your lifespan. Women with anxiety and stress are believed to be up to 2 times more likely to die from heart disease, lung cancer or stroke for example. The risk of premature death is also three times higher for stressed men too.
- Maintain Healthy Social Networks. Researchers have found that maintaining healthy social networks can help you to live up to 50% longer. Studies show that there’s a link between healthy social networks and having positive changes within the brain, heart and that it may also benefit immune function which can also decrease the risk of chronic diseases. It’s believed that a strong social network can help you to react to stress less negatively, which could perhaps further explain the positive effect on your lifespan.
- Become More Conscientious. Based on data of 1,500 boys and girls from young to old age, kids that were considered disciplined, organised and persistent grew up to live 11% longer than their non-conscientious counterparts. Conscientious people have lowered blood pressure with fewer psychiatric conditions along with a lowered risk of diabetes, heart and joint problems.
- Be Happy. Feeling happiness can increase your longevity and a study over a 5 year period found that there was a 3.7% reduction in early death. A review of 35 studies has also shown that happy people can live up to 18% longer than people who are less happy.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep. We need sleep as it plays a vital role in regulating cell function and enabling the body to heal. Recent reports have suggested a link between regular sleeping patterns (i.e. going to bed at the same time each day) and longevity. The duration of sleep also seems to play a major factor and surprisingly, sleeping too much is associated with a 38% decrease in lifespan. Not getting enough sleep can also promote inflammation within the body and increase the development of certain health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity. All of these are associated with a shortened lifespan.
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Relaxwell® available from Good Health Naturally contains L-Tryptohan, L-Theanine and Vitamins B3 and B6 that can help to relax the mind and body, creating a stress free lifestyle and providing relief from anxiety.
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In conclusion: In all of my articles the story never changes, only a really healthy diet and the vital nutrients to support a healthy immune system will prevent and make you strong to defeat these diseases.