You may not wake up thinking about life extenders, but I’m here to tell you that they’re easier to work into your day than you’d think. While we still haven’t managed to invent a potion that will keep us all looking and feeling young forever, there are ways to increase our longevity.
Whether it’s taking a walk in the park, eating something spicy or helping others, you’ll be surprised by the easy life extenders you can start tapping in to today.
Easy, Natural Life Extenders
1. Spending Time in Nature
Going for a walk in green spaces can actually help you live longer. A 2016 study found that women who lived in areas with lots of green space nearby had their risk of death reduced by 12 percent.
Living longer wasn’t the only benefit, either. The researchers noted that spending time in green spaces also increased social engagement, which improves relationships and makes us happier. It also increased physical activity, while improving mental health — all great reasons to put down the smartphone and enjoy some time outdoors.
If you live in a concrete jungle, simply having a view of green space can boost your mood, whether or not you take a stroll. Office workers who enjoyed a forest view were found to have greater job satisfaction and less stress than those without a green view.
Because stress takes an enormous toll on our bodies, tapping in to ways to bust stress is always wise.
2. The Right Diet
Changing your diet is one of the simplest and most rewarding life extenders. Science shows us that several diets tend to increase life expectancy, so you’re likely to find one that you enjoy.
The Blue Zones diet, for instance, takes its cues from several regions of the world with the longest-living people and focuses on eating fresh, whole foods, dairy and fermented foods like kefir and natto.
The Okinawa diet, named after the people of the Japanese island Okinawa — which boasts some of the oldest inhabitants in the world — focuses on eating a variety of colorful fruits and veggies. With the exception of high-quality meats and seafood on occasion, the Okinawa diet is mostly plant-based and limits grains and dairy.
Researchers believe that one of the reason Okinawans live so long is their attitude toward food. They follow a philosophy that translates to “eat until you are eight parts out of 10 full.”
The Mediterranean diet is also associated with a longer life span, likely because it’s packed with anti-inflammatory foods that protect against a variety of diseases, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Veggies, fruits, nuts, healthy fats like olive oil, high-quality dairy and even red wine are staples of the Mediterranean diet.
What these diets all have in common are that they’re largely plant-based. When meat and seafood are eaten, it’s recommended that they be the best quality possible and enjoyed in moderation.
Organic, free-range and grass-fed are what you want to aim for on these diets.
So if these diets are proven to be life extenders, which foods should you steer clear of? I recommend avoiding:
- canola oil, which is almost always genetically modified and a partially hydrogenated oil
- pork and processed meats like bacon and sausage, which can increase your cancer risk
- shrimp, which often includes antibiotic drugs and illegal chemicals
- farm-raised tilapia, which are loaded with cancer-causing pollutants, antibiotics and pesticides
What do you think about this article? Let us know your comment.