Tips for a longer life

27 12 2016

No matter what your age, you have the power to change many of the variables that influence how long you live, and how active and vital you feel in your later years. Actions you can take to increase your odds of a longer and more satisfying life span are really quite simple:

  1. Don’t smoke.
  2. Enjoy physical and mental activities every day.
  3. Eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, and substitute healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats.
  4. Take a daily multivitamin, and be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight and body shape.
  6. Challenge your mind. Keep learning and trying new activities.
  7. Build a strong social network.
  8. Follow preventive care and screening guidelines.
  9. Floss, brush, and see a dentist regularly.
  10. Ask your doctor if medication can help you control the potential long-term side effects of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, or high cholesterol.

Smoking: An enemy of longevity

If you want to live a long, healthy life, make sure you’re among the nonsmokers. Smoking contributes to heart disease, osteoporosis, emphysema and other chronic lung problems, and stroke. It makes breathing during exercise much harder and thus can make activity less enticing. It appears to compromise memory, too.

The news does get better. People who quit smoking can repair some, if not all, of the damage done. After a smoker quits, the risk of heart disease begins to drop within a few months, and in five years, it matches that of someone who never smoked. Stroke risk drops to equal that of a nonsmoker within two to four years after a smoker quits, according to one study. The death rate from colorectal cancer also decreases each year after quitting. At any age, quitting progressively cuts your risk of dying from cancer related to smoking, although this drop is most marked in those who quit before age 50.

Diet and aging: Gaining a nutritional edge

Plenty of research suggests that eating healthy foods can help extend your life and improve your health. Studies reveal that a healthy diet can help you sidestep ailments that plague people more as they age, including heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and cataracts.

There is no shortage of new and conflicting advice on diet and nutrition. Stick to the basics with more broad-based changes, such as cutting back on meat; eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; and striking a healthy balance between calories in and calories out.

Choose fruits and vegetables wisely

Get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. When filling your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose from a full color palette. For even more health benefits, aim for nine servings a day. To get there, choose vegetable soups and vegetable or fruit salads. Sprinkle fruit on breakfast cereal, and select it for snacks or as a sweet end note after meals.

Choose fats wisely

Whenever possible, use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. Avoid trans fats entirely. Limit saturated fats to less than 7% of daily calories and total fat to 20% to 30% of daily calories.

If you don’t have coronary artery disease, the American Heart Association recommends eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, or mackerel, twice weekly. If you have documented coronary artery disease, consume roughly 1 gram a day of EPA or DHA from oily fish and supplements if your doctor advises this.

Choose carbohydrates wisely

Choose whole-grain foods over those made with refined grains, such as white bread. Look beyond popular choices like whole oats and brown rice to lesser-known whole grains like barley, bulgur, kasha, and quinoa. Limit your intake of white potatoes.

Choosing protein wisely

Emphasize plant sources of protein, such as beans, nuts, and grains, to help you bypass unhealthy fats predominant in animal sources. Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables and eating beans and grains helps you get a full complement of amino acids over the course of a week. Shy away from protein sources high in saturated fat. Favor fish and well-trimmed poultry. If you do eat beef, pick lean cuts.

Don’t char or overcook meat, poultry, or fish — it causes a buildup of carcinogens. Cutting off fat, which causes flames to flare on the grill, can help avoid charring; try gently sautéing, steaming, or braising these foods in liquid instead. Grilling vegetables is safe, however.

Turning the tide on weight gain

Turning the tide to lose weight — or just holding the line at your current weight — can be difficult. The following tips may help:

Line up support. Work with your doctor and, possibly, a nutritionist or personal trainer. Ask for help in setting a reasonable goal and taking small steps that make success more likely. Tell friends and family about your goal, too.

Shut down the kitchen. Make your kitchen off-limits after dinner — even if you need to run a strip of crime tape across the door to do so.

Aim for a small change. Trimming 5% to 10% of your starting weight is a realistic goal with excellent health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels and lowering the risk for diabetes.

Eat well. Focus on vegetables and whole grains, which are digested slowly. Limit refined carbohydrates. Enjoy moderate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your diet. Cut down on saturated fats and avoid trans fats.

Watch the balance. Taking in more calories than you burn off adds extra pounds. Burning off more calories than you take in shaves pounds. A moderately active person who gets about 30 minutes of exercise a day needs 15 calories of food for each pound of body weight. To lose a pound a week, you need to lop off about 500 calories a day by becoming more active and eating less.

Step up activity. If you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight or need to lose weight, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 60 to 90 minutes a day of moderate activity. You can work out in one daily session or shorter bouts at least 10 minutes long. Walking is safe for practically everyone. Talk to your doctor if you’d like to include more vigorous activities, which give you twice the bang for your exercise buck — that is, one minute of vigorous activity equals roughly two minutes of moderate activity.



12 Tips for Living a Longer Life

27 12 2016

Editors’ note: Though this article was first published last summer, we’re featuring it again because it’s never too late to live a longer life (until, of course, it is).

In this weekend’s article “My Dinner With Longevity Expert Dan Buettner (No Kale Required),” the author of “The Blue Zones Solution” cooked a meal of broccoli soup and Icarian stew (served with a few glasses of red wine) for the writer Jeff Gordinier. Since we can’t all have such a hands-on experience, here’s a round-up of Mr. Buettner’s advice for living a longer life.

Read the whole article here.

  1. Drink coffee.“It’s one of the biggest sources of antioxidants in the American diet.”
  2. Skip the juicing. “The glycemic index on that is as bad as Coke. For eight ounces, there’s 14 grams of sugar. People get suckered into thinking, ‘Oh, I’m drinking this juice.’ Skip the juicing. Eat the fruit. Or eat the vegetable.”
  3. You should also skip the protein shake.
  4. Go for long walks.
  5. It’s O.K. to drink red wine. “A glass of wine is better than a glass of water with a Mediterranean meal.”
  6. High-impact exercise winds up doing as much harm as good.“You can’t be pounding your joints with marathons and pumping iron. You’ll never see me doing CrossFit.” Instead stick to activities like biking, yoga and, yes, walking.
  7. Cook mostly vegetarian mealsthat are heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, 100 percent whole-grain bread, oatmeal and avocados.
  8. Hold the butter.“My view is that butter, lard and other animal fats are a bit like radiation: a dollop a couple of times a week probably isn’t going to hurt you, but we don’t know the safe level.” Use olive oil instead.
  9. Eat meat and fish only sparingly.
  10. Try to stay away from cow’s milk.Use soy milk instead.
  11. There’s no need to avoid carbs if you add freshly baked loaves of bread to a meal.“A true sourdough bread will actually lower the glycemic load of a meal. But it has to be a real sourdough bread.”
  12. Eat in good company. It’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat, and how much you and your friends enjoy a meal together: “The secret sauce is the right mix of friends.”


The benefits of magnesium supplementation

22 12 2016

MANILA, Philippines – Trianon International, which markets food supplements with scientifically proven health benefits, recently launched its brand of orally taken magnesium (Trimag 200 mg), which can help relieve constipation, maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keep the heart rhythm steady, and support a healthy immune system for better resistance against diseases.

According to Jo-Anne Arataquio, Trianon brand manager, among the many nutrients and minerals that circulate in the body, magnesium is one of those with many benefits but remain largely unnoticed and underappreciated.

“Magnesium is important in more than 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly, and this explains why magnesium has many health benefits,” says Arataquio. “It’s unfortunate that many don’t realize they are lacking in this important nutrient.”

Some people may become magnesium-deficient if they have conditions that cause excessive urinary loss of magnesium, chronic malabsorption, severe diarrhea, and chronic or severe vomiting.

Hypertensive or heart patients taking diuretics can also have increased loss of magnesium in the urine, as well as cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and immunosuppressive drugs, and those on some antibiotics like gentamicin and amphotericin.

Poorly controlled diabetes also increases loss of magnesium in the urine and may require magnesium supplementation. Routine supplementation with magnesium is not indicated for individuals with well-controlled diabetes.
Frequent alcohol intake can also increase risk for magnesium deficiency because alcohol increases urinary excretion of magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency has been reported in up to 60 percent of alcoholics, and in nearly 90 percent of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal.

Doctors should evaluate the need for extra magnesium in those who take alcohol in excess of what is recommended.

Based on published literature written by medical authorities, minor magnesium deficiency can cause the patient to experience appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness.

As the deficiency worsens, it could eventually lead to numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps. And if the patient reaches the point of severe magnesium deficiency, it could result in seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, coronary spasms, and personality changes as well.

Other common medical ailments that are associated with magnesium deficiency that could be prevented with supplements such as Trimag, include migraine, constipation, muscle cramps, and depression.

The Trianon magnesium supplement has been developed into easy-to-take capsules so that people can easily make it a part of their daily dietary intake. It is recommended to be taken at a dose of one to two capsules per day. Trimag is available in Mercury Drug and all leading drugstores nationwide.