What’s the key to staying healthy? Numerous lifestyle habits can help us reduce illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer and heart attacks so we can live full, vibrant lives!
How Can We Stay Healthy?
Who doesn’t want to be mentally fit and physically healthy as they get older? Pretty much all of us would love to have a healthy, happy lifestyle. But, in today’s world, achieving a high level of health and wellness can be easier said than done.
In the western world, so-called lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes (diabetes mellitus), high blood pressure, and arteriosclerosis (aka too much plaque in arteries) increase rapidly in old age. But are these just the price of getting older, or is it possible to stay healthy throughout our lives?
Healthy Lifestyles Worldwide
When you consider the lifestyle and eating patterns of people worldwide, they don’t all follow this pattern. Some indigenous people, like the Tsimane in Bolivia, remain healthy into old age.
Researchers have found that even 90-year-olds have virtually no calcified coronary vessels. They also don’t have inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammation of the large intestine. They also have a low sugar diet with no trans fat, and lots of unprocessed complex carbohydrates.
Many Mediterranean residents also exemplify the link between healthy diet and fewer diseases. They tend to eat a lot of healthy olive oil, vegetables, and fish. They also have fewer cancers and heart attacks than in Western Europe or the USA.
Science backs this up, too. A PREDIMED study on healthy living conducted a an experiment with three groups. Two groups ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts. A control group had a low-fat diet. Five years later, the two Mediterranean diet groups had a 30% lower rate of heart attacks and strokes than a control group. They also had lower rates of breast and genital cancer.
How Can I Adjust My Lifestyle to Ensure a Healthy and Happy Life?
Today, science assumes that our behavior may cause about 80 percent of all diseases and as much as 40 percent of all cancer. In addition to diet and nutrition, factors like physical activity, smoking and stress management can also contribute to these complications
So how can we adjust our lifestyle to ensure a healthy and happy life? Here are some tips.
- Fill up with a Plant-Based Diet
- Taste the Rainbow
- Eat Quality Proteins
- Enjoy Red Meat in Moderation
- Steer Clear of Artificially “Low-Fat” Foods.
- Enjoy Healthy Fats- They Might Make You Thinner
- Keep Your Gut Healthy
- Sweat it Out
- Strive for a Normal Weight
1. Fill up with a Plant-Based Diet
Eat what nature has to offer, which often means a plant-based diet. The menu includes lots of vegetables, fruit and nuts. This type of diet will be a bit lower in simple carbohydrates, but has with more fiber and phytonutrients than the typical western diet. Nutrients from a plant-based diet can help ward off:
- fatty liver disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- elevated blood fat levels
- high blood pressure
2. Taste the Rainbow
Secondary plant substances are those substances that give a plant its typical aroma, bright color or bitter taste. So, aim to get eat a variety of colors for optimal nutrients. These phytonutrients have so many positive characteristics to them, and help to reduce cancer, inflammation and hypertension.
3. Eat Quality Proteins
Supplement your vegetables and fruits with a moderate protein intake. This can be supplied in moderation from meat and other sources. Meatless foods such as dairy products, eggs, legumes, or nuts also provide great sources of protein. Even lactose intolerant people can usually enjoy certain healthy dairy products without problems.
These quality proteins include matured cheese, ghee, or specially developed lactose-free products. As cheese ripens, the the lactic acid bacteria break down lactose. The end product only has small amounts of lactose. With specially produced lactose-free products such as cream, yogurt, or sour cream, the lactose is broken down into its two individual components. As a result, the lactose-free product usually tastes slightly sweeter, because the two individual sugar molecules have a higher sweetening power than the lactose.
4. Enjoy Red Meat in Moderation
Too much red meat might lead to certain types of cancer. Processed meat, such as bacon or cured sausages, can increase the risk of colon cancer. Poultry, preferably in high organic quality, is the healthier choice.
Fish is also a good, healthy alternative to meat. Fatty fish also supplies valuable omega-3 fatty acids and the trace element iodine. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and are particularly recommended for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids also improve the flow properties of blood and protect us from heart attacks and strokes.
5. Steer Clear of Artificially “Low-Fat” Foods.
For years, people were advised to eat a low-fat diet, so many food manufacturers took advantage of various ways to create everything from low-fat cookies to low-fat peanut butter. Since low-fat foods often lack taste, manufacturers use plenty of sugar and flavorings that can contribute to obesity. These additives promote obesity far more than foods in their more natural state. So don’t be afraid of food with natural fats!
6. Enjoy Healthy Fats- They Might Make You Thinner
Healthy fats, especially those from plant-based substances like legumes, avocados, coconut, and nuts, don’t actually make you fat. Enjoy them in moderation.
In the past, people thought that fats can cause weight gain and promote the development of cardiovascular diseases. However, the recent PURE study found no connection between fat consumption and an increased risk of disease.
The study interviewed and monitored 135,335 people from 18 countries regarding their eating habits using standardized questionnaires. Surprisingly, the study concluded that high fat intake was associated with low mortality. This applies to saturated as well as unsaturated fatty acids. Moreover, the risk of death increased significantly with the amount of carbohydrates consumed. This meant that a healthy diet should contain more fats such as high-quality olive oil and fewer carbohydrates such as white flour products.
7. Keep Your Gut Healthy
The microbiome of our intestines holds many secrets. It not only helps us digest food, but also influences our immune system and the development of diseases. The composition of bacteria varies from person to person and is significantly influenced by diet and lifestyle.
The more diverse the composition of the intestinal microbiome, the better indication of good health. A varied diet rich in fruit and vegetables provides valuable dietary fibers and has a positive effect on our intestinal flora. Good intestinal bacteria multiply! This ensures a healthier metabolism and an improved immune system. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, Kombucha, and Kefir also promote the growth of “good” intestinal bacteria. A probiotic can also be a great dietary supplement.
8. Sweat it Out
In addition to a healthy diet, exercise is also an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise and sports promote blood circulation and boost oxygen uptake into the body’s cells. They also help you remain flexible and prevent injuries, lower blood sugar, and stress hormone levels. Exercising with the family is not only healthy, it’s fun and offers variety. This can include climbing, hiking, swimming or playing table tennis. With so many possibilities, everyone will find the ideal activity for their family.
9. Strive for a Normal Weight
A healthy body weight is also important for health. Being underweight or overweight is not good – a healthy average is better. Normal weight is that which is in the BMI range of 18.5 to 24.9. To prevent cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends that a normal body weight (apart from when pregnant) is important. The best ways to achieve good body weight is to consume a healthy diet and get sufficient exercise.
How do you keep yourself healthy? Discuss below or with friends and family on the FamilyApp!