Change Your Diet to Live a Longer, Healthier Life!
During this series of blog posts, I’ll share 36 ways to increase your life span. Many of these steps require diet and lifestyle changes. In order for these changes to be effective and to truly become part of your day-to-day routine, you’ll want to take it slowly and tackle one change at a time.
Lifestyle experts suggest that it takes two to three weeks to create a new habit. As you read through the next 36 longevity tactics, identify a few that would be easy to integrate into your life.
Focus on one of them at a time. When you’ve adopted one and made it part of your life, you can add another tactic. Eventually, you’ll be living the healthier life that you desire. Hey! You may be adding decades to your life span!
To help you streamline the process of adding years to your life, the longevity habits are organized by category. These categories include:
Let’s get started with diet, because let’s face it…you are what you eat. There’s no getting around that. The food and nutrients you put into your body make a big difference in your health and longevity.
- Stay hydrated – Make sure to drink a minimum of five glasses of water each day. Water helps deliver nutrients to your cells, and it carries away metabolic waste. When you’re dehydrated, your body cannot function optimally. A study at Loma Linda University found that people who drank 40 or more ounces of water each day were 54 percent less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack than those who drank lesser amounts. In addition, it’s now become important to be aware of the source of your water. If your water source is chlorinated or fluoridated, consider putting in a filtration system to protect you from those substances.
- Eat dark chocolate – Personally, I love this diet suggestion! Dark chocolate has antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients that can reduce your risk of heart disease. You don’t need much. 40 grams of chocolate a day will significantly reduce your risk. Be sure to read the product labels; anything with less than 70% cocoa has too much sugar. You will not reap the benefits we are discussing here.
- Skip the breakfast cereal – Breakfast cereal is usually a bowl full of refined grains and sugar. These are almost immediately absorbed into your body and cause a spike in blood sugar and then a quick drop, which is why you’ll be craving that cup of coffee and a donut around 10 am!
- Eat your veggies and fruits – You might be surprised to learn that simply eating vegetables at every snack and with every meal, you can reduce your risk of stroke by 26 percent. That’s five simple servings of fruits and veggies each day. If you eat a colorful variety of produce, you get more cancer-fighting benefits. Vibrant colors mean phytonutrients. Variety is good for your health.
- Stay on top of your blood sugar – High blood sugar levels double your risk of heart disease. Reduce your risk by eliminating sugar from your diet. This means steering clear of products with added sugar and not eating simple carbohydrates. Studies have shown that eliminating sugar from your diet reduces the risk of anxiety and depression as well as reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other deadly diseases.
- Eat berries – The antioxidants in berries (including blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries) have been shown to offer a number of health and longevity benefits. They can prevent stroke and cancer and help keep your mind sharp as you age. With the growing awareness of the negative impact of consuming conventional berries that are exposed to pesticides, it is more important than ever to include as many organically grown berries in your diet as possible. This is especially true for strawberries!
- Eat your curry – Turmeric is a compound in curry. It’s found to be fantastic for your brain health and it helps reduce inflammation. It’s also been shown to fight prostate cancer. Add this tasty spice to your veggies and enjoy better health and delicious food. If you are not a fan of curried foods, you can still enjoy the benefits of turmeric by taking it in capsule form as a supplement.
- Drink green tea – For all you coffee lovers out there, try to limit your coffee consumption as it creates cortisol in your body which contributes to increased inflammation, a major source of aging and disease. A small cup of coffee once every day or every other day is probably the best rule of thumb. Remember to turn to green tea as a substitute; green tea is phenomenally healthy for you!
You are what you eat, and when you eat a healthy diet, you improve your vitality and your longevity. However, diet is not the only part of the long life span equation. Your attitude makes a big difference too! In the next post, we’ll take a look at how to change your mindset so you can live a longer, healthier, happier life.
Make Major Improvements in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC