New Year often calls for moments of reflection, coming up with some resolutions or making plans for positive change that will enhance our life one way or the other. The New Year is also the time that many of us think “another year gone?!”.
Rather than worrying that time passes faster than we would wish, how about trying to implement lifestyle and diet changes that would promote health and help us stay and feel younger for longer?
There are some fabulous books out there that have been written based on research done in places in the world where people live the longest (1, 2, 3, 4). What draw the authors of the books to those places is not only the fact that life expectancy is at record levels but also that chronic diseases are remarkably absent.
So, if in 2017 you would like to start working towards adopting diet and lifestyle factors that creates energy and could help to slow down the ageing process and keep off chronic disease, keep the following in mind and put them into practice:
- Eat a high-nutrient diet.
- Ensure your meals are low-glycaemic to balance blood sugar.
- Eat 2-3 pieces of fruit daily.
- Eat 7-10 servings of a wide range of vegetables daily.
- Eat proteins with every meal (e.g. fish, eggs, poultry, meat, lentils, pulses, dairy).
- Eat good fats with most or every meal (e.g. avocado, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, oily fish).
- Replace refined carbohydrate with complex ones.
- Help your body to digest your food well by chewing it well and relaxing over meals.
- Drink water and other beneficial drinks (i.e. herbal teas, coconut water, kefir, etc).
- Look after your gut microbiota by eating probiotic (kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, probiotic unsweetened yoghurts, kimchi),
- and prebiotic foods (Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas).
- Avoid sugar and processed foods.
- Avoid pesticides.
- Eat organic foods as much as possible.
- Eat local, seasonal produce.
- Aim for a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise daily if possible.
- Relax daily using methods such as meditation, deep breathing, exercise.
- Develop and maintain meaningful social connections with friends and family.
- Have a sense of purpose in life. **
** S. Beare. “The Longevity hot spots: A formula for staying younger for longer”. Only Natural. The Newsletter of The Natural Dispensary. Issue 22. Winter 2016/2017.