You have probably heard it said many times that what you eat will affect how long you live. While that is true, did you also know that how you eat can also affect your longevity? Here are some things you need to know if you want to live longer – perhaps 8 to 10 years longer.
Eating a healthy diet begins with what you eat. Your diet needs to include more fruits and vegetables, lentils and beans, nuts, whole grains, and less meat. Every day your diet should include five portions of fruit and vegetables – but not starchy ones. They should make up about one-half of your plate. When it comes to drinks, avoid sugary ones, and limit how much milk and juice your drink each day.
Eating well does not mean that your vegetables have to be fresh – they can be frozen. Frozen vegetables will retain their nutrients as long as they stay frozen. Fresh vegetables will start to lose their nutrient value after three days.
Reduce your salt intake. The CDC discovered that most Americans eat as much as 3,300 mg of sodium every day. It is recommended that you reduce your salt intake to 2,300 mg per day. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. One way to reduce your salt intake is to eat out less often and avoid a lot of processed foods.
Consuming coffee each day can help you live longer. Drinking between three to five cups each day has been proven to reduce some chronic diseases. They include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, some cancers, and cirrhosis. It can also help to reduce depression – which can lead to suicide.
Some people should avoid drinking coffee – or more than five cups – if you experience jitteriness, sleeplessness, increased heart rate, or if you are pregnant. Drinking two to three cups per day can reduce the likelihood of early death by 18 percent. If you prefer green tea, it has similar benefits.
One item that you will want to add to your healthy meal plans is hot peppers. These spicy peppers have been found to help reduce your risk of dying by 13 percent. They can also help you feel better because the capsaicin in them will cause your body to produce endorphins, which will not only reduce inflammation but pain as well.
Eating less food appears to be one secret of living longer for people that live in Okinawa. They stop eating when they are 80 percent full, which appears to have helped them to be among the longest-lived people in the world.
Drinking enough water to stay hydrated will help to reduce your risk of some health problems. It will lower your risk of colon and bladder cancers and help to keep your kidneys healthy. Drinking enough to keep your urine straw-colored (light yellow) may also help you lose weight.
If you wonder how much a healthy diet can affect your longevity, a study from Harvard revealed some surprising facts. It showed that both sexes were more than 80 percent less likely to have their life ended by cardiovascular disease and about 65 percent less likely to die from cancer. The comparison was made with people who had the least healthy lifestyles.