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23/03/2009

Five ways to live longer and better

1. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are high in vitamins and antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer.

Mediterranean diet, exercise are key to long life
Colourful foods such as blueberries, cherries, carrots, broccoli, beetroot and peppers tend to be higher in antioxidants, which are chemicals that fight damage to cells that can trigger tumour growth.

2. Eat oily fish and nuts

A high level of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet along with monounsaturated fats which are good for cholesterol levels and blood flow is recommended.

Oily fish include salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel. Walnuts are also a good source. Healthy fats have been shown to prevent artery damage and help survival after a heart attack.

3. Eat whole grains

High in fibre and vitamin E, which has been shown to maintain good heart and gut function. Whole grain bread and pasta are complex carbohydrates which are a good source of fibre that can prevent cancers and slow the progression of tumours
They also help make you feel fuller for longer thus avoiding snacking.

4. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week

Brisk walking, dancing and gardening increase blood flow, keep the heart healthy and can improve mood. Following the guidelines reduces the risk of early death by more than a quarter. The studies found less than this had some beneficial effects, although not as great

5. Vigorous exercise for at least 20 continuous minutes three times a week

Swimming, cycling and running improve heart function to a greater degree than moderate exercise. The studies found that obese people benefited from exercise even if they did not lose weight. The risk of an early death can be cut by a third through doing vigorous exercise.

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