Smart Ways to Live A Lot Longer
There are a lot of little everyday things you can do that will seriously improve your life and longevity.
Add Raspberries to your oatmeal.
Most Americans eat 14 to 17 g of fiber per day; add just 10 grams more and reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by 17%, according to a Netherlands study. Dietary fiber helps reduce total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity, and boost weight loss. Top your oatmeal with 1 cup of raspberries (8 g) and you get 12 g of fiber in just one meal. Other potent fiber-rich foods: 1/2 cup of 100% bran cereal (8.8 g), 1/2 cup of cooked lentils (7.8 g), 1/2 cup of cooked black beans (7.5 g), one medium sweet potato (4.8 g), one small pear (4.3 g).
Drink Green or Black Tea.
You really need only 1 or 2 cups of tea daily to start doing your heart some good—just make sure it's a fresh brew.
Both green and black teas contain a concentrated dose of catechins, substances that help blood vessels relax and protect your heart. In a study of more than 40,500 Japanese men and women, those who drank 5 or more cups of green tea every day had the lowest risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. Other studies involving black tea showed similar results. Ready-to-drink teas like the ones you purchase in the markets, don't offer the same health benefits. "Once water is added to tea leaves, their catechins degrade within a few days," says Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University. Also, some studies show that adding milk may eliminate tea's protective effects on the cardiovascular system, so stick to just lemon or honey.
Eat purple food.
Concord grapes, blueberries, red wine all get that deep, rich color from polyphenols—compounds that reduce heart disease risk and may also protect against Alzheimer's disease, according to research. Polyphenols help keep blood vessels and arteries flexible and healthy. In a recent human study, researchers found that eating 1 or more cups of blueberries every day may improve communication between brain cells, enhancing your memory.
Walk instead of drive.
"Fit" people--defined as those who walk for about 30 minutes a day--are more likely to live longer than those who walk less, regardless of how much body fat they have, according to a recent study of 2,603 men and women. Similarly, overweight women can improve their heart health by adding just 10 minutes of activity to their daily routine. Walk on your lunch hour, find ways to move a little more, every day.
Almonds & Walnuts.
One of the best plant sources of protein. Rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants such as Vitamin E, but the real benefit is they are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids. Nuts in a healthy diet reduce the risk of heart disease by improving blood vessel elasticity and reduce plaque accumulation. Shown to lower LDL cholesterol, walnuts are truly a super food.
A small amount of nuts one half hour before a meal will help curb your appetite and be a healthy part of your day.