LONGEVITY: TIPS FOR LIVING A LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE.
Long life and good health can be greatly assisted by our dietary attitude (most important) and physical activities such as regular exercise.
Rules and habits that ensure longevity:
1st Rule: Eat less, Live longer?
Calorie restriction has been an issue of serious debate as one of the best measures to check ageing.
Experiments have showed that underfed rodents lived 40% longer than their well nourished counterparts. The same finding has been reported for fruit flies, worms, monkeys and other experimental lab animals.
One clear fact about this is that it is quite a tough tuff to indulge in calorie restriction as people who have been through it would readily reveal to you.
Research conducted on people practicing calorie intake restriction showed that some markers of ageing e.g. levels of blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol etc. all improved on calorie restriction (CR) diets.
Owing to the difficulty encountered by people who try to practice calorie intake restriction, the effort now is at finding drugs that can give people all the benefits of calorie restriction without the diets.
Drugs that would be used to derive the benefits of calorie restriction are not yet out on prescription but more researchers are getting interested in this. Researches are ongoing to determine what happens at the molecular level when calorie restriction slows down ageing. These efforts are trying to throw up facts about chemicals such as resveratrol which is a chemical that is found in red wine and it increases the life spans of yeast and fruit flies.
Resveratrol which occurs in many life forms is released by the body system when it suffers a stress. It slows ageing when it amplifies the action of a molecule called SRT1. This explains how calorie restriction works, the body suffers some constant, mild stress when it is starved, positioning it to fight off any further severe stresses that can lead to the ageing of the cells i.e. the body cells are triggered to protect themselves from further decline.
So if resveratrol could be provided in the form of pills, one may have succeeded in misleading the body to believe that it is not getting enough calories and subsequent reactions by the body would be geared towards protecting itself from further decline and in this way ageing would be slowed down but this is still a hypothesis so is strictly handled by researchers for now.
Rule 2: When you eat, Eat right.
People prefer eating junks to eating the right kind of food and in this way they are digging their own early graves in ignorance.
An average today’s person would have adapted to the life of patronizing fast food joints in the morning, afternoon and night time. Some believe that costlier cousines adds more value to what they eat. Little do they know that a big bowl of rice with salad dressing plus a big lap of turkey etc. that make up a meal for one person as retailed in fast food joints has many disadvantages which could predispose one to diseases such as diabetes, cancer and many forms of heart diseases. Note some of these problems that would jerk you up.
Consumption of many highly processed foods would not keep one satisfied for a long time and this would cause you to rush back to more food as quickly as possible thereby consuming much more than you would need to in one day.
Highly processed food lack vitamins needed to nourish life because many vitamins are water-soluble while some are heat labile so they must have succeeded in destroying about 80% of the total vitamin contents of the food by the time processing is over. Equally remember that some of these vitamins are called essential vitamins because our bodies can not synthesize them.
Turkey laps are rich in cholesterol which is heavy on saturated fat which is the leading cause of arteriosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
Most preservatives used in highly processed foods are toxic (alien) to the human system. Some are pro-drugs which are capable of being converted to dangerous metabolites after entering the body while others exert toxic effects in the form in which they enter the body.
Most processed foods are coloured and made more attractive in the eyes by addition of contaminants, these substances are most times unapproved by the food agencies of most countries and are not supposed to be found in food preparations.
To circumvent these problems outlined and to court a healthy old age and longevity, one is admonished to feast always on vegetables and fruits.
Why fruits and vegetables?
Vegetables and fruits are not just good for you but rather are far too good because of their composition of several phytochemicals that induce long life.
What are phytochemicals?
Some of them are often touted as supplements. Researches coupled with life evidences are all pointing to the fact that these chemicals help to restore good health and quality living as well as help maintain long life. They function by mopping up the free radicals which are very reactive species generated by life processes and which constantly cause damages to cells and tissues of the body. Examples of phytochemicals and their functions are:
a) Flavonoids; they grow naturally in citrus fruits, onions, apples, and grapes. This class of phytochemicals are believed to protect against cancer and other degenerative diseases. So an apple a day in the case of flavonoids helps keep cancer away. Add citrus fruits e.g. Your oranges and grapes to achieve variety and make the whole thing variegated so as to arouse your interest in your vegetable and fruit and not a monotonous an apple a day that may soon begin to wear your interest.
b) Carotenoids; they make your paw paw look red, your banana look yellow, they give colour to your carrots and are converted to Vit A in your bodies. Together with lycopene, lutheine and zeaxanthine (from green vegetables) protect against coronary artery disease, cataract, muscular degeneration and cancer. All the more reason to eat carotenoids.
c) Fiber; apples, oranges, grapes, and carrots are known to be very rich in soluble fiber which can dissolve and become gummy in water. It drives away hunger by restricting digestion therefore it aids to achieve calorie restriction and consequently ageing. Fiber rich diets are tipped to fight off heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and high blood pressure thereby leading to life elongation.
d) Isoflavones; some plant chemicals are known to mimic the women’s natural hormones called estrogen is found to reduce drastically in women after menopause. This plant estrogen is a very rich source of the phytochemical called isoflavones. Consumption of isoflavones can offer many advantages such as lower blood lipid levels, relief from menopause symptoms and reduced predisposition to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and prostate cancer.
Your problem might be in selecting the right vegetables and fruits and in their right quantities probably because many literatures on nutrition that you have seen and read before now are always giving conflicting details, then, try the following tips.
A glass of juice every morning
This should be considered very necessary. Also we should not be ignorant of the fact that juice add to the calorie we consume each day and we must be very mindful of our calorie intake including the juice we take.
In summary, concerning vegetables and fruits, we should note;
Not all fruits are equally beneficial: choose the right vegetables and fruits.
Eat in the right proportion to avoid calorie excesses.
A serving of fruits and vegetables should resemble
-an apple a day
-a piece of banana
-115g of blueberries
-115g of red, green, orange and yellow pepper
-115g or a handful of green beans
-185ml of tomato juice.
And generally about 5-9 servings is advisable in a day. This is a tip.
If you court longevity you must be able to make a total adjustment in what the food you eat looks like and see that it is totally rewarding.
Also eat potatoes but not too much. Potato does not contain fat but carbohydrates, the type that can be converted to sugar easily. You can include some few potatoes in your daily meal and dress them up with other vegetables and not just alone.
Your total carbohydrate need should not exceed 60% of your total dietary need. You derive most of your carbohydrates from grains and cereals. The monomeric units or building blocks of carbohydrates are what you obtain from fruits and vegetables mostly. But the major carbohydrate is starch which is the storage form of carbohydrates in plants and you obtain it mainly from cereals and grains.
CEREALS AND GRAINS
Good examples of cereals are rice, wheat, bran while grains are maize and wheat.
The ideal thing in the subject of cereals and grains consumption is to eat more of whole grains than processed for the following reasons
a) processed grains and cereals contain less fiber and are easily digested and makes hunger return quickly and therefore the tendency is higher for you to eat more with processed food.
b) Soluble fiber is more in whole or unprocessed cereals and grains and they slow digestion thereby helping to curb hunger.
You can therefore add about 115g of whole grain and cereals or the equivalent of processed grain e.g. 115g of pasta to account for your recommended total carbohydrate need.
To calculate the amount of carbohydrate intake that is okay for you, this simple arithmetic gives you the answer;
18calorie * your body weight (kg)
Simply, if you weigh 70kg, you would need about
18calorie * 70(kg) = 1260 cal of carbohydrate per4 day.
It is advised that that the calories you desire from carbohydrate sources (could be fruits, vegetables, cereals, o0r grains) should not exceed 18 cal per kg body weight.
Check up this table for your recommended daily calorie needs
Carbohydrates 18cal/kg 58% – 60%
Proteins 3cal/kg 10% – 12%
Fats 9cal/kg 30kg
Note; this sequel continues in our next edition, so keep a date with us to learn how to get a balanced protein and fat requirement which maintain long life.
2) you can start practicing mastering you diet and it does not take a lifetime. Just few days and you should have been acquainted with different weights of different food that would keep you healthy.
80% – 90% of diabetes is linked to diet and lifestyle.
Avoiding highly refined foods help to prevent type2 diabetes.
Fruits, vegetables, diary products with limited quantity of nuts can prevent high blood pressure.
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