Add more quality years to your life by doing these 10 really simple habits!
1. Eat more plant protein
People who ate a diet high in processed meats like sausage and hot dogs were at a higher risk of death—but those who got their protein from plants had a lower risk, especially of heart disease-related deaths. That’s according to a study from Harvard. “The study said that for every 3 percent increase in calories from plant protein there was a reduction in risk of death by 10 percent.” Plant proteins supply all nine amino acids the body can’t make on its own, and “unlike animal proteins, plant-based proteins can help lower blood pressure, lower risk of heart disease, and decrease the risk of cancer.” Some of the good plant-based protein foods are tofu, chickpeas, almonds, lentils, and spirulina.
2. Get more sun, but not too much
Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” is so beneficial to health. It has been shown to improve bone health, fight disease, and ward off depression. One study even found it to extend lifespan (of a worm, but still) by 33 percent. Our modern lives don’t let us spend much time outside, so we might not be getting enough. Getting outside with normal clothing for 15 to 30 minutes a day should be adequate for vitamin D production. Remember not to expose yourself to sunlight for too long, and if you need to, be sure to apply sunblock to your skin.
3. Take care of your teeth
Don’t neglect your oral health because the condition of your teeth could be a reflection of your overall health. Daily brushing and flossing may help extend your life. Studies have shown a link between poor oral health and risk of death, and gum disease has also been associated with mouth cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Healthy teeth lower the number of bad bacteria in the body and also allow us to eat a fuller and more diverse diet.
4. Drink alcohol, but in moderation
We all know that heavy drinking increases health risks, but drinking in moderation—particularly red wine—could help you live longer. According to a study, those who drank lightly (no more than one glass a day for women and two for men) to have reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Red wine has a small amount of one antioxidant called resveratrol- which gives protection from heart disease, decreasing inflammation, and good for overall health.
5. Stress less
Avoid stress and live longer. The impact of stress on our overall health is huge, so reducing stress is one way to lower our risk of many deadly diseases. A study found that stress increased the risk of heart attack and stroke. Stress also leads to chemical changes in the body that cause increased harmful particles called “free radicals” to be released, which can cause damage to organs, raise blood pressure, result in emotional change, and damage genes resulting in mutations that raise the possibility of cancer or psoriasis.
6. Get quality sleep
You need enough shut-eye if you want to actually have more days in your life. The part of our day that often ends up getting cut is sleep because of our busy lives. You should aim to have at least seven to eight hours of good sleep each night- any less will decrease the immune system. Studies show that poor sleep can lead to all kinds of health problems, from obesity and heart disease to depression. Good sleep is beneficial from boosting your energy level to improving your personal relationships that will surely give you a longer and better life.
7. Don’t sit all day
Sitting for long hours may be as bad for you as smoking! The lack of stimulus to the muscles every hour or two can produce harmful effects such as an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer like colon and breast. Sitting all day slows down the body metabolism so fewer calories are being burned, and levels of blood sugar and cholesterol can increase. A study found that as little as 10 minutes of light activity a day—even simple things like walking or doing house chores can reduce your risk of dying. So remember, even if you don’t feel like going to the gym, any amount of movement you do can extend your life.
8. Have a pet
To add more years to our lives, we need to have a connection to others but not necessarily only to human. Pet owners will tell you their furry friends make them happier. Studies have shown that interacting with animals lowers the stress hormone “cortisol”, increases the feel-good hormone “oxytocin”, and reduces blood pressure and cardiovascular risk. Dogs also encourage exercise. But you need to keep in mind, you MUST like animals to reap these benefits.
9. Indulge in dark chocolate
We know that eating chocolate may bring harm to our health. But not with “dark” chocolate that may have anti-aging properties. Research has suggested it may protect against fatal heart attacks, and one study found participants who drank hot dark chocolate every day for 12 weeks even had better, younger-looking skin texture, possibly due to its anti-inflammatory effects. Dark chocolate also helps in increasing levels of “healthy HDL cholesterol”, which is not only protective of the heart but reduces the risk of cancer as well. Chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cacao is the best choice.
10. Have sex
Did you know that those people who remain sexually active as they age do tend to live longer? Doing the deed releases oxytocin (the “feel-good hormone”), lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress. More specific heath benefits is shown in this research. One study even showed that having orgasms reduced the risk of prostate cancer to men. Sex represents being physically able and active, which increases longevity.