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One of easiest and top diet strategies to beat heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among Americans, is to eat two fish (preferably oily fish) meals (3.5 ounces each) weekly to reduce the risk of heart disease. Fish is not only low in heart-unhealthy saturated fat but also provides heart-healthy, omega 3 fatty acids.
Research shows that these fatty acids may prevent irregular heart-beats, reduce atherosclerosis, and mildly lower blood pressure. Americans are currently consuming only about 0.1 to 0.2 grams of omega 3s daily, on average, as compared to the 0.5 grams recommended a day.
Two fish meals a week will not only meet this daily recommendation but also displace saturated-fat laden protein-rich food, such as hot dogs, regular ground beef, and fried chicken on the plate.
TIP: Grill salmon rather than steaks on the weekend. To squeeze a second fish meal during the week, pack a tuna fish sandwich at lunch. Combine drained, canned tuna with light mayonnaise, chopped celery, and a dash of onion powder and stuff along with lettuce and tomatoes or grilled veggies (see below) into a whole wheat pita for a heart disease-fighting lunch.
Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your health and longevity.
Better Nutritional Habits
- Increase your intake of Fruits and Vegetables: By increasing your fruit and veggie intake you will provide substantial nutrition for your body and mind. You will also help yourself to maintain a healthy weight because of the decrease in intake of processed and unhealthy junk food.
- Take a Multi Vitamin as Nutritional Insurance: Let's face it - no one eats perfectly and providing your body with the nutrition it needs to thrive is agreeable vital. There is enough research to suggest that taking a daily Multi Vitamin is a good idea.
- Stay Hydrated: Make water your drink of choice to help hydrate your body and optimize its performance. An added bonus to drinking more water is that you will typically consume fewer calories from mistakenly eating instead of drinking and by decreasing calories from sugary drinks.
Decrease Stress/ Develop Healthy ways to handle stress
You heard the saying "Stress is a killer". Well, it's true! And it makes you miserable. Stress is a natural part of anyone’s life. Finding ways to slow down and have proper perspective are important.
I utilize the S.T.O.P. method whenever I am losing control. I coach myself to
Stop, Think, Choose and Proceed. It allows me time to think about outcomes rather than just respond. This method definitely helps me stay calm.
Move your body
Moving your body at least 20 minutes daily (preferably up to 60 minutes) will help to maintain a proper weight and increase your fitness levels. Exercise will boost your metabolism and help to maintain balance and flexibility. Moving will also help to keep your joints healthy and help to boost your mood.
Expand your mind
Equally as important as exercising the body is challenging the mind. Exercising your brain by reading for at least 20 minutes daily or taking part in challenging "mind puzzles" like Sudoku or Crosswords will help to keep you mentally sharp and focused.
Increase your social network
Being surrounded by people who care about you creates feelings of connectedness and love. Caring for others does the same thing. Staying connected helps to keep you young at heart.
Monitor your health stats
Taking part in regular check-ins with your Physician will keep you abreast of your body's needs and challenges and can alert you to what needs special attention and care. Be sure to follow your Dr.'s advice with any health issue.
Dr Mike Roizen wrote the book on this, and the RealAge science team found the biggest biological age difference with 5 behaviors:
• Monitor Your Health/Seek High Quality Care (12 years younger)
• Laugh a Lot/immune system boost (8 years younger) Enjoy!
• Quit Smoking and Avoid Smoking (8 years younger)
• Control Your Blood Pressure (115/75 mm Hg) is as much as 25 years younger than 160/90 mm Hg)
• Reduce Stress/increase social networks (up to 30 years younger).
If you make five-just five-adjustments to your life, you can have a dramatic effect on your life expectancy and the quality of your life. The five things are: controlling your blood pressure, avoiding cigarettes, exercising 30 minutes a day, controlling stress, and eating an easy-to-love, healthy diet.
It's really that simple. By increasing activity, squashing cigarettes, learning to relax, and changing our diets, we can make huge strides to improve our health, vitality and longevity. And that means the person with the most say over how well you age isn't your doctor. It's you.
To learn more about the secrets to longevity, watch this anti-aging video guide by Dr. Oz.
While there are many ways we can increase our longevity through a healthier lifestyle, one of the absolute simplest and most straightforward ways we can do so is to eat natural foods in small amounts.
Ayurvedic tradition teaches us that our body's health is defined by the relative balance or imbalance of our digestion. Unlike other systems of the body like the circulatory and nervous systems which function involuntarily, the digestive system's activity is directly affected by a voluntary behavior: eating. Since we can regulate what our digestive system does and doesn't process, our eating habits play a major role in how long we live and how healthy we are on the whole.
Our digestive system has to work less to digest natural foods consumed in small amounts than processed foods eaten in large amounts. When we eat natural food in small amounts, our digestive system spends less of our body's resources on metabolizing that food which therefore leaves more resources to sustain the body's other systems like the circulatory and nervous systems. The better our body's various systems work, the healthier we are. The healthier we are, the longer we live.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.