Living longer and being healthier is something that most of us want. We’d like to be able to slow the aging process and enjoy more of our years.
However, that’s easier said than done. Today, we live in a surprisingly toxic environment where it feels like just about everything is trying to wreck our bodies. Diesel fumes, highly-palatable junk food, and sedentary lifestyles all contribute to our current ills.
At the same time, though, science is catching up. We’re learning more than ever about what keeps us healthy, and what we should be doing to live long and energetic lives into the future, regardless of our chronological age.
In this post, we take a look at some of the evidence-backed health and nutrition tips you need to know to be at your best.
Meditate More Often
Meditation is something that people have been doing for thousands of years. That’s because it really works. It reduces your blood sugar levels and can even help you make better choices. It also helps to regulate your weight and help your body achieve a favorable fat distribution.
Meditation works because it changes how the brain operates. When you meditate, you enter a different state of consciousness. The troubles of the world leave your mind and all of a sudden, you get back in touch with the nature of your being. You’re not worrying about COVID-19 or what somebody said to you at work. Instead, you’re allowing all these thoughts to pass you by, like feathers on the wind.
Research shows that people who meditate tend to have lower LDL – the type of cholesterol linked to heart disease. They also have lower blood pressure – another big benefit.
Don’t Be Too Restrictive With Your Diet
When you need to lose weight, it is tempting to go on a highly restrictive diet, cutting out everything and anything that could potentially get in the way. However, if you feel like you’re restricting yourself, that can stymie your weight loss attempts. It changes your psychology, making you focus on what you lack, instead of what you have.
The general advice nowadays is to let go of a restrictive diet and, instead, just focus on eating healthy foods that fill you up. Avoid thinking to yourself “I can’t eat this or that.” Rather, celebrate the foods that are on your plate. Try not to forbid anything. Just lean into a new diet and take it easy. Reducing calories by too much for too long will leave you feeling hungry and only thinking about food.
Grow Your Personal Relationships
Having close relationships with friends and family is essential for health. If you don’t have people around you who can support you, it can affect both your mental wellbeing and physical health.
The reasons for this are complex, and people aren’t entirely sure what they are. Partly, it has to do with how our brains behave when we spend time around others. We tend to feel healthier and happier, particularly if we foster good relationships.
We may also feel more relaxed. If there are people we know and love around us, we are more likely to feel safe. This, in turn, reduces stress hormones, positively impacting our bodies.
Add Herbs And Spices To Your Diet
If you’re not using herbs and spices in your cooking, you should be. These foods tend to have dramatically higher concentrations of disease-fighting nutrients, keeping your body far healthier than it otherwise would be.
For instance, turmeric and ginger are both anti-inflammatory compounds. They may be able to combat a process called “inflammaging” which occurs as we get older. In fact, it may be what’s driving most of the aging that we see.
Other herbs, such as rosemary, are associated with a longer and healthier life. You can also try nigella seed or adaptogens, such as astragalus.
Generally speaking, adding any herbs or spices to your dishes in ordinary quantities will serve to boost your health.
Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Using lots of vegetable fats used to be trendy, but now researchers are discovering that they aren’t as good for people as we once thought. However, extra virgin olive oil seems to be an exception. It contains antioxidants and other nutrients that support health, so it is not just empty calories.
Consume olive oil in moderation with your meals. Better yet, replace it with whole food sources of fat, such as nuts, seeds and avocados.
Try Not To Eat Too Much Animal Protein
Nobody is saying that you have to go vegan, but most health researchers suggest that people cut down considerably on the amount of animal protein that they eat.
There’s a good reason for this: too much animal protein activates pro-aging pathways in the body and shuts off those that protect us against disease. Generally, you need much less protein than you might imagine. The WHO recommends around 60 grams per day, but you’ll need to check the precise RDA based on your weight, height, and gender.
When you do eat protein, get it from plant sources. Eat plenty of beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, particularly quinoa. All these foods contain the full complement of proteins that your body needs to remain alert and healthy for longer. If you are over the age of 60, you may need to slightly bump up your protein intake to prevent frailty.
Move As Much As You Can
Moving doesn’t just mean exercise. It also incorporates any activity you do that doesn’t involve sitting, standing still, or lying down.
The best way to get moving more is to find ways to incorporate it into your routine. Instead of using the car to get everywhere, walk or cycle. Make a habit of going to the gym before work, or taking the dog for a walk. There are so many options.
Try to get around 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. If you can do more than that, then go for it.
Fill Half Your Plate With Fruits And Vegetables
Most people fill their plates with starch and meat, leaving just a tiny space for a salad garnish. However, if you want to live longer and boost your health, you need to make fruit and vegetables the dominant component of the meal.
Try to fill around half the plate with fruit and vegetables. When you do this, you’ll lower your risk of obesity, heart disease, and other health complaints dramatically.
If the idea of just munching through fruit and veg doesn’t sound appealing to you, incorporate them into your recipes. Eat a vegetable stir fry or make a curry with beans, greens, sweet potato, and chickpeas.
Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the primary reasons people wind up putting on weight. When you’re tired, you’re much more likely to reach for foods that don’t support your health.
Getting more sleep can help if you use a prescription weight loss service. It means that you are far less likely to crave sugar or experience insulin spikes. It also helps your body regulate satiety hormones better, only making you feel hungry when you actually need food.
Eat More Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with calories, mostly from fat. They are the most concentrated high-energy food found in nature. Despite this, they are actually good for weight loss. That’s because they improve how full you feel and may even increase your metabolic rate. People who eat plenty of nuts and seeds tend to be slimmer around the waist and have a reduced risk of death.