(Natural News) Whether you’re 25 or 65, what you eat and how you spend your free time will affect your longevity. If you want to live longer, here are 13 lifestyle habits that will help increase your life expectancy and improve your overall well-being.
Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods like beans, fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains can lower your risk of developing diseases and promote longevity.
Several studies link a diet full of plant-based foods with a reduced risk of premature death and a lower risk of brain deterioration, cancer, depression, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. Researchers attribute these effects to plant antioxidants and nutrients like carotenoids, folate, polyphenols, and vitamin C.
Nutrient-rich nuts contain antioxidants, beneficial plant compounds, fiber, and protein. Additionally, nuts are full of vitamins and minerals like copper, folate, magnesium, niacin, potassium, and vitamins B6 and E.
Research suggests that nuts can reduce belly fat and lower the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and certain types of cancer.
To boost your health, consume nuts like almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts in moderation. When purchasing nuts, opt for unsalted products.
Turmeric is a potent anti-aging superfood that contains curcumin, a powerful bioactive compound.
Curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help maintain brain, heart, and lung function. The compound also helps prevent certain types of cancer and age-related diseases.
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Data from animal studies suggest that a 10 to 50 percent reduction in normal calorie intake can help increase maximum lifespan.
Meanwhile, studies involving humans with remarkably long lifespans have identified links between low calorie intake, a lower likelihood of disease, and longevity. Calorie restriction can also help reduce body weight and belly fat — two factors linked to shorter lifespans.
However, long-term calorie restriction is often unsustainable. It can also cause negative side effects like increased hunger, a diminished sex drive, and low body temperature.
Green tea contains catechins and polyphenols that help lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Several studies have shown that coffee and tea drinkers have a lower risk of early death than non-drinkers.
Caffeine usually takes effect after six hours. If you want to get enough sleep at night, drink coffee or tea during the day. Limit your intake of caffeine to 400 milligrams per day, or about four cups of coffee, since too much caffeine can cause anxiety and insomnia.
Being physically active boosts your health and increases your life expectancy. Even a daily 15-minute workout offers benefits such as adding three more years to your life.
Studies also show that each additional 15 minutes of daily physical activity lowers your risk of premature death by four percent. (Related: Don’t be lazy: A quick, brisk walk every day can stave off disability in later life.)
Drinking too much alcohol is associated with heart, liver, and pancreatic disease, along with an overall increased risk of early death.
To keep consumption of alcohol moderate, women should drink only one to two units per day or a maximum of seven per week. Men should consume less than three units daily, with a maximum of 14 units per week.
Smoking is strongly linked to health problems and early death. In general, smokers can lose at least 10 years of their life. Smokers are also three times more likely to die prematurely than non-smokers.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to quit smoking. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who quit smoking at 35 can prolong their lives by about 8.5 years.
You need sleep to regulate cell function and help your body heal. In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, researchers found that longevity is linked to regular sleeping patterns like going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day.
Sleeping too little or too much also has negative side effects. People who get less than five to seven hours of sleep per night have a 12 percent greater risk of early death, while those who sleep more than eight to nine hours per night shorten their lifespan by about 38 percent.
In a five-year study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, researchers reported that happier individuals have a 3.7 percent reduced risk of early death.
Research suggests that women with stress or anxiety are at least two times more likely to die from heart disease, lung cancer, or stroke. On the other hand, the risk of premature death is at least three times higher for anxious or stressed men than for those who are more relaxed.
When you’re feeling stressed, try to find ways to laugh and be more optimistic. This will help you manage your stress and anxiety levels and prolong your life.
Conscientiousness involves a lot of good traits, such as diligence, self-discipline, and organization. In a study published in the journal Health Psychology, researchers found that children who developed these traits lived longer than those who were less conscientious.
To develop conscientiousness, start adopting good habits like making your bed every morning and always being on time.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, maintaining healthy social networks can help you live longer.
Maintaining healthy relationships can help you react less negatively to stress, and this can have a positive impact on your lifespan.
Start practicing more of these daily habits so you can improve your health and live longer.