Just like anticipation and planning can help you drive more safely, careful planning can help keep your body running in peak condition. The old adage "you are what you eat" may not be literally true, but it is still a good thing to keep in mind. The better you eat, the better you'll feel. Load your body with junk food and you'll find yourself trudging along. But can the way you eat actually extend your life? Read on to find out.
1) 40 Percent Less
Promising studies have been conducted at the University College London. Researchers have found that by feeding rats 40 percent less food, they were able to extend the lives of the animals by 20 or 30 percent longer. What does this mean for humans? By reducing your diet, you can add years to your life. Many people are under the mistaken notion that they need 2000 calories per day. For many people, especially those who are inactive, 1200 calories per day is more realistic.
Do you like fish? If not, it may be a taste that you want to get accustomed to. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have found that eating fish rich in omega-3 can extend your life by years. People who had adequate levels of DHA in their blood were 40 percent less likely to die of coronary heart disease. Those with high levels of DPA were less likely to die from stroke. Finally, those with adequate levels of EPA in their bloodstream were less likely to experience a non-fatal heart attack. If you can't bring yourself to eat several servings of fish each week, a daily fish oil capsule can give you what you need.
3) Family Meals
Can family meals really extend your life? It depends on what you're eating. Cooking meals made out of whole foods can help you to live longer, but why? Because you are replacing fast-food, mass-produced foods that are loaded with fat and salt. Not only can eating healthy meals at home help to extend your life, but the mere act of preparing dinner together as a family can do the same. Studies have shown that simply participating in activities that you enjoy can boost your mood and, in turn, extend your life. Have fun with family meals! Get the kids involved by letting them pick out what they'd like to cook. Challenge them to make a dish with every color of the rainbow. If you get creative with it, you'll find that your kids are more than happy to sit down to dinner with mom and dad.
4) Better Choices
It's not only sitting down to eat a healthy meal with the family that can extend your life, but eating healthy meals throughout the day. Are you the person that reaches for a bag of chips when you want a snack? Try a baked sweet potato instead. Do you skip breakfast? Start your day with a bowl of fruit and a handful of nuts. Do you eat a large meal right before bed? Eat a piece of fruit or a few baby carrots instead. Instead of considering yourself to be on a diet, consider yourself on the path to a lifestyle change. The more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins you add to your diet, the more essential nutrients you're giving your body.
5) Grow a Garden
Do you want to eliminate toxic chemicals from your meals that could be shortening your life? Get outside and plant a garden. Growing your own food is the only way that you can be 100 percent sure that you are eating a diet full of natural goodness. Growing a garden extends your life in several ways. First, the act of gardening is great exercise. Second, the foods that you grow and, in turn, eat, are healthier for you than anything you will buy at your local store. Lastly, gardening is a great way to de-stress, lower your blood pressure, and help to reduce your cholesterol levels.
Can the way that we eat and what we eat extend our lives? Absolutely. Studies have proven time and again that how we feed our bodies has a huge impact on our health later in life. Follow the tips above and you may just tack another decade or two onto the end of your life.
Author Amy Thomson blogs for www.monkey.co.uk. You can follow her on Twitter @VroomVroomAmy.
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