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9 things to consider to support healthy living

Whilst there is no food or drink that could be consider the elixir of eternal youth, good nutrition is an integral part for increasing our chances of living longer.

There is little doubt, that the food we eat can have an impact on our general health and therefore an effect on how long we will live, so what foods are those that you should be thinking about and why
should they be included?

1. Ensuring that you stay well hydrated is vital – with the average human body made up of 60% water, then it stands to reason that if we do not drink sufficiently, our body will not be able to work as effectively, which could have a knock on effect to how it repairs itself and therefore how long we live.

2. Whole foods – whilst ensuring we have a balanced intake of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins and minerals is essential to our health, it is also known that the quality of the foods providing these nutrients is equally important. Using foods which are highly refined, will mean that some of the vital nutrients; especially the vitamins and minerals will be lost and therefore you may think that the foods you are eating are balanced. The physical removal of these nutrients by way of refining, means you are not.

3. Phytonutrients – these nutrients from plants include chemicals which act as free radical
scavengers, neutralising these chemicals which can cause damage to the cells of our body. Foods such as fruit and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals, many of which are free radical scavenging nutrients.

4. Protein – often referred to as the building blocks of life. Not only is it essential that you have a good amount of protein, but the quality is equally important. Protein aids the building and repair of the body. It is good to get a variety of protein sources in your diet, not solely relying on meat, but including foods such as nuts, seeds and pulses, which also provide a source of fibre, essential for the health of the digestive system.

5. Good fats – although fat is often demonised, not all fat is the same and it is known that
unsaturated fatty acids are important for health and well-being. Replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat, can support cardiovascular health and omega-3 fatty acids are thought to aid the reduction of inflammation. Enjoying oily fish two to three times a week, or including seeds such as flaxseed or chia seeds are great sources of omega-3.

6. Fibre – fibre is essential for the health of our digestive system, with whole grains, fruit and
vegetables all being great sources. Fibre supports the elimination of waste from the body,
while soluble fibre has been shown to contribute to the reduction of cholesterol being
reabsorbed into the body, supporting healthy cholesterol levels.

7. Healthy weight – not merely for aesthetic reasons, being overweight increases the risk of
developing cardiovascular diseases, type two diabetes and many cancers, which impede a
long life. A good way to maintain a healthy weight is to be mindful of what you are eating; not letting yourself be distracted when eating by watching TV for example, which can result in
you eating more than you need without noticing.

8. Ignore the fads - although popular with coffee table magazines, be aware that many lack any real supportive evidence and some may able be damaging to your health. Keep it evidence-based and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

9. Enjoy life - you need to be happy and enjoy your life. Getting satisfaction from what you do is important to health and well-being and that includes your professional and personal life!

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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