Stay Healthy, Naturally™
This statement isn’t just our trademark, it is our commitment to a healthy life for you and the ones you love.
Healthy living can benefit you in a variety of ways, from giving you more energy to helping you stay well during the winter season. You might be surprised at what a few small changes can do to improve your quality of your life and need our innovative healthful medicines LESS! This simple collection of 5 natural health tips is a basic foundation from which you can surely build into a castle of wellness – be sure to check back and pick up more tips along the way and remember, Stay Healthy, Naturally™!
1. Go green every day …
Loading up on four or more servings of dark leafy green vegetables as part of a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet can help slash your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease by more than 50 percent, according to a recent Rush University study.
“Vegetables like spinach, kale and Swiss chard are packed with antioxidants that act like a vacuum to suck up toxins and free radicals in the brain that may play a role in dementia,” says Fiona Gupta, M.D., a neurologist at New Jersey’s Hackensack University Medical Center.
Toss in a handful of baby spinach into your morning smoothie, swapping your lunch sandwich for a big kale salad or serving your chicken or fish over a bed of sautéed Swiss chard at dinner.
2. Think and act young …
Neuropsychologist Mario E. Martinez, PhD, founder of the Biocognitive Science Institute and author of “The Mind-Body Code,” has spent most of his life studying people who thrive in old age. He is fascinated by what separates healthy centenarians from people who don’t age as well, and has researched the topic across numerous cultures and socioeconomic classes worldwide.
What he’s found: For people who look significantly younger than their age, “the main factor that separates them from people who look significantly older is that the people who look younger believe that middle age starts 15 years later.” They also have a certain pattern of beliefs and behaviors, including forgiving easily, using enjoyable rituals to buffer stress, and continuing to learn new skills.
And when it comes to aging well, continuing to do some form of work seems to be preferable to a retirement of idle leisure. In fact, a University of Maryland study discovered that people who work part-time after they retire have fewer chronic diseases and physical limitations. And recent French research shows that people who retire earlier have an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
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3. Get enough sleep …
Florence Comite, MD, a leader in the field of personalized medicine, says that adequate sleep is “by far and away the number one thing that trumps everything else” when it comes to healthy aging. “We live in a society where it’s common to burn the candles at both ends, and we think it’s perfectly fine to have five or six hours of sleep and that’s enough,” she tells Yahoo Health. “But sleep is critical for health.” Sleep deprivation is associated with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and other conditions.
While we snooze, the immune system activates and the body restores its hormonal balance, Comite explains. “You’re in effect healed from the damages of the day,” she says.
People who sleep fewer than five or six hours a night also tend to age faster, research shows. In one study, older men who slept five hours per night or less had shorter telomeres (sections of DNA that indicate cellular aging) than men who snoozed for seven or more hours nightly. (Shorter telomeres are associated with accelerated aging.) Another study found that middle-aged women who averaged six or less hours of shut-eye had shorter telomeres than longer sleepers. The changes were the equivalent of being nine years older than their biological age.
4. Don’t Smoke: Quitting Saves Lives …
A no-brainer. But lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death — and between 80% and 90% of cases are directly caused bysmoking, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The good news: smoking rates are falling in the U.S. And thanks to a variety of new nicotine replacement therapies — from patches to nasal sprays — quitting is easier than ever. One recent analysis of studies found that nicotine replacements can almost double the odds that smokers will successfully quit. New medications to help smokers kick the habit are also available. Talk to your doctor about the best strategies for success.
5. Eat enough …
A number of studies in various animal species have shown that reducing calories to near-starvation levels increases lifespan. In a landmark study in the 1930s, mice fed half the normal amount of calories lived 50 percent longer, says Gil Blander, PhD, a researcher on the biology of aging formerly with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is currently the chief science officer of InsideTracker. The findings have inspired some people to try the strategy, following programs such as The Longevity Diet, in an attempt to live longer.
The catch: The approach is far from proven. Research studies on long-term calorie-restricted diets in monkeys have shown wildly conflicting results. A study on normal-weight humans following a calorie-restricted diet for two years, which will assess factors related to longevity, is currently underway … But not too much
“The most scientifically proven way to live longer and feel younger is to maintain a healthy body weight,” says weight-loss specialist Charlie Seltzer, MD. “This may seem simple, but no amount of antioxidants or vitamins or a super low-calorie diet will make up for carrying extra weight, especially around your belly.”
People who are overweight in middle age live an average of three fewer years than those at a healthy weight, according to a large study that has been tracking a group of American adults since 1948. And obesity shortens lifespan by a full six to seven years. “The effect of overweight and obesity in adulthood on life expectancy and premature death is striking,” the study authors write.
Obesity is closely related to heart disease and diabetes, which explains part of the decrease in lifespan. But new research is showing that extra fat itself may have destructive effects on the body. For example, a study released in November from Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered evidence of heart muscle damage even among people without heart disease, and even when researchers accounted for risk factors like high blood pressure.