Habits that help you live longer and healthier
It’s never too late to make some simple diet and lifestyle changes which will have a profound impact on your health. Here are some healthy habits that can help to slow down the aging process.
Skip the soda -Yes, this includes diet soda as well! Sodas contain high amounts of sugar, sodium, phosphoric acid and calories, and the diet ones contain artificial sugars which may be even worse. Sugar increases blood sugar levels and if consumed over a long period of time can lead to other health problems such as weight gain, dementia, and diabetes. Excess phosphoric acid prevents adequate calcium absorption in the body and can interrupt essential nutrient absorption(ie Zinc and Iron), and can put you at risk for Osteoporosis and bone loss. In addition, diet soda intake can lead to numerous health issues over time including increased risk of cancer and Metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that can put you at risk for diseases including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, etc. The artificial sweeteners in a diet soda are also much sweeter than the sugar in a regular soda. These slow down your body’s metabolism, making you hungrier and craving sugary and starchy foods. When you need something to drink, choose water!
Brisk Walking - Brisk walking can be just as effective as running, and may help to manage a healthy weight, heart disease, high blood pressure, type two diabetes and may help strengthen your immune system and improve your mood. Thirty to sixty minutes per day is ideal, however for beginners ten to fifteen minutes a day is a good start. Proper posture is just as important, so it is important to keep your head up and look straight ahead, slightly tighten your stomach muscles, swing your arms loosely, and step by rolling your feet from heel to toe.
Eat purple foods - Make sure you include five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Purple foods such as concord grapes, blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, purple cabbage, purple carrots and potatoes are all filled with antioxidants. One antioxidant in particular known as ‘anthocyanin’ (a flavonoid) may help to reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, inflammation, heart disease, and hypertension. Consuming foods high in anthocyanin may also help with memory and brain function in (older adults), and can help your body to fight off colds by strengthening your immune system. Elderberries may help to shorten the duration of a cold.
Drink wine in moderation(red or white) - This is a five ounce glass/day. Wine has many health benefits including boosting your immune system, reducing risk of heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, stroke , certain types of cancer, and more. Wine contains resveratrol, a plant compound which may have anti-aging effects, protect brain function and help to improve acne.
Choose ripe fruits - Ripe fruits mean more nutrition, and contain more natural sugars. For example as bananas turn from green to yellow, the amount of antioxidants in the fruit increase. Antioxidants help to fight free radicals Some fruits may increase in vitamins, minerals and calories as they ripen. Unripe fruits, such as green bananas also are filled with more complex carbohydrates and starches which are harder for the body to digest.
Don’t char or overcook meat - You may want to rethink about how you cook your meat. Some cooking methods like frying, grilling and broiling at very high temperatures can produce a chemical known as ‘Acrylamide’ when the meat becomes charred on the outside. Acrylamide is considered a carcinogen, so it is recommended to cook meats at lower temperatures for a longer time.
Eat fish that are rich in Omega-3- Omega 3 is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid. Fish that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are great for your health and include Mackerel, Salmon, Albacore tuna, sardines and Lake trout. It is recommended to have two servings per week. Omega-3 are helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, can help to give you more youthful skin and hair, help your memory, reduce joint pain and more.
Drink green tea - Green tea is filled with antioxidants and can help to speed up your metabolism, fight cancer, help reduce cholesterol levels, can help to fight inflammation and has many more health benefits that make it worth including in your daily diet. Green tea contains flavonoids which may help with asthma, eczema, allergies and more.