Rules for a longer and healthier life

Aging is an inevitable part of life, but according to science, our lifestyle has an influence on it. You have an 80% chance of aging well if you take control of your lifestyle. Some people turn to anti-aging treatments such as creams or surgery to reduce the external signs of aging. But what many people forget is that aging begins invisibly, internally. The 10 solutions suggested in this article will allow you to extend your life expectancy and live your retirement without health problems.


Rule #1 : Favour a Mediterranean diet

The diet found in the Mediterranean basin is ideal for preventing degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. This diet also has the benefit of protecting the cardiovascular system. 

Indeed, many studies show the health benefits of such a diet thanks to its intake of essential proteins but also "good" fats known as omega (3, 6 & 9) and vitamins. In addition, this diet contains very little fast sugars, which are less good for your health.

The so-called "Mediterranean diet" consists of several specific foods that include:

  • fish, 

  • white meat

  • green vegetables,

  • the multicolored fruits, 

  • nuts,

  • the seeds.


Rule #2: drink enough water

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Just like every living being on the planet, we need water to function. Moreover, the human body is essentially composed of water because water represents nearly 60% of our body mass. Imagine: If you weigh 70 kg, water will represent 40 kg of your weight.

That's why it's also essential to drink regularly to maintain an optimal hydration level. This keeps our skin supple and smooth and our joints functioning normally.  According to many experts, we should drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water daily. Some of this water will be incorporated into our diet, but this is not enough to be healthy. In addition to eating properly, we must drink a lot.

Tips: Start your day with a large glass of water on an empty stomach to flush out the toxins that have built up in your body overnight. Then, take a large glass of water before each meal to reduce your hunger. If you do this, you will usually meet your daily quota.


Rule #3: reach your ideal weight

To age in good health, weight is important. Indeed, a person with an ideal weight will have more probability to remain in good health. To know your ideal weight, you must refer to your BMI (Body Mass Index). This indicates a range of weight in which you should be according to your height. 

If you are within this range, then you don't need to change anything. But if your BMI is higher, you will have to reduce your caloric intake by 10% (approximately) to reach your ideal weight. To do this, you can visit several websites that will explain how to calculate the caloric values of each of your meals.

However, be careful not to reduce your caloric intake too much in one go, as you may end up gaining back all the weight you lost later on. It is better to lose weight slowly but surely. 

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Rule #4: eat fresh, seasonal produce

The trend is towards organic food and it's not without reason. Eating fresh, certified organic food allows you to avoid ingesting harmful products such as pesticides, herbicides or insecticides. 

Even though you wash your non-organic food before eating it, you will still swallow some of these chemicals. Peeling is not a foolproof solution, as some of the chemicals can get under the skin of fruits and vegetables.

In addition, consuming the chemicals found on the skin of foods may unbalance your gut microbiota which will eventually degrade your immune system.

An organic diet will allow you to avoid these various unpleasant problems but also to be in better health during your best years.


Rule #5: Adopt a different cooking method 

Even if cooking is useful to destroy certain pathogenic bacteria, it must be controlled so as not to denature the food. Indeed, cooking at high temperatures or for too long transforms the macronutrients and destroys the micronutrients present in the food. 

For example, grilling meat causes protein glycation. Glycation is a chemical reaction that results from the binding of sugars to proteins, making food less good for our bodies. This reaction plays a role in the aging of the skin and therefore the appearance of wrinkles. As for frying or high cooking, they transform fats into toxic products.

To avoid destroying and damaging the nutrients and vitamins essential to our body, it is advisable to limit the temperature of cooking but also to :

- Replace your barbecue with a plancha.

- Set your oven thermostat to 220 degrees, while placing a container of water inside. 

- Avoid microwaving as much as possible and favor steaming. 


Rule #6: adopt intermittent fasting

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If you don't know it yet, intermittent fasting is a method that consists of planning a period of "eating" and another of rest. Several studies have shown that this practice can limit weight gain over the long term. 

In practice, intermittent fasting will have you eating for a period of 8 hours and fasting for the remaining 16 hours (usually at night). For example, you can eat from 12pm to 8pm and fast from 8pm to noon the next day.

This will help you lose weight but also regulate your blood pressure and avoid the risk of diabetes and other cardiovascular problems.


Rule #7: Take care of your brain

Your brain is your most valuable asset. Always there to help you, it never stops and works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

To protect and maintain your brain health, keep it working regularly through intellectual activities, conversations on various topics and a rich social life.

In addition, you must avoid certain neurotoxic products. Thus, smoking is strongly discouraged and it is better to limit alcohol consumption. 

Eating a Mediterranean-style diet also helps protect your gray matter. It is advisable to eat enough good cholesterol and omega 3, essential amino acids for the brain.


Rule #8: Eat less protein

As with any nutrient, our bodies need protein to function. In the case of protein, it provides the body with the amino acids it needs. But contrary to popular belief, you don't have to eat a large piece of red meat every day to provide them to the body.

In fact, a necessary daily intake of protein corresponds to 1 gram per kilo of weight. For example, a person weighing 60 kg should eat the equivalent of 60 g of protein per day. This total corresponds to 120 g of meat/fish but also to 4 eggs. You can also find protein in dairy products, nuts, whole grains, soy, etc., which adds diversity to your diet!

In case of insufficiency, a protein deficiency generates a decrease in albumin and hemoglobin, which reduces respiratory capacity, causes prolonged fatigue and can eventually lead to anemia. 


Rule #9: Play a sport 

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Sport is an excellent remedy to prevent aging. Regular physical activity of at least 30 minutes three times a week helps maintain good cardiovascular health. In addition, it has a positive impact on psychological well-being by reducing stress and preventing depression.

Prioritize cardio sports such as walking, swimming or even biking but avoid violent sports that can cause accidents. An hour every two or three days is recommended at a minimum.

Rule #10: be zen

Stress, anxiety and big problems are your enemies if you want to age well. So don't hesitate to practice yoga or another relaxing activity. 

To reinforce the feeling of zenitude and relaxation, you can turn to homeopathy and phytotherapy which, thanks to the active principles of plants, can help you relax and live peacefully. For example, mint, chamomile or orange blossom are excellent antidepressants.


Sources and references:

Mattson MP, Longo VD, Harvie M, Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes, Ageing Res Rev. 2016 Oct 31. pii : S1568-1637(16)30251-3. doi : 10.1016/j.arr.2016.10.005. 

Alhamdan BA, Garcia-Alvarez A, Alzahrnai AH, Karanxha J, Stretchberry DR, Contrera KJ, Utria AF, Cheskin LJ, Alternate-day versus daily energy restriction diets : which is more effective for weight loss ? Une revue systématique et une méta-analyse, Obes Sci Pract. 2016 Sep;2(3):293-302. Epub 2016 Jul 15. 

Johnstone A, Fasting for weight loss : an effective strategy or latest dieting trend ? Int J Obes (Lond). 2015 May;39(5):727-33. doi : 10.1038/ijo.2014.214. Epub 2014 Dec 26. 

Andrew D. Johnson et al., The transcriptional landscape of age in human peripheral blood, Nature Communications volume 6, Article number: 8570, October 2015. 

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms9570#abstract

Wu S, Ding Y, Wu F, Li R, Hou J, Mao P, Omega-3 fatty acids intake and risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: a meta-analysis. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2015 Jan.

Martha Clare Morris, Christy C. Tangney, Yamin Wang, Frank M. Sacks, David A. Bennett, Neelum T., MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, Aggarwal, February 11, 2015