Top Tips For A Healthy Life

With the latest projection that up to one in three of us will be dealing with diabetes by the year 2050, many experts are alarmed, and calling for immediate action. The good news is that there are some top tips for a healthy life in the form of behaviors and eating patterns that you can adopt from some of the worlds' healthiest people, living in areas experts have identified as Blue Zones.

Located in parts of Italy, Japan, Greece, Costa Rica and surprisingly California - these areas share a unique feature - people here have traditionally lead healthy and active lives, living to at least the age 100.

Another area of interest in terms of health and wellness cold spots are places with low incidences of Western conditions like depression, heart disease and some cancers.

So what can you and I learn from these longevity centers? Plenty!

From French women: portion control turns out to be the key to how they can eat high fat dairy products without gaining weight. They eat small servings of fresh, high quality foods, and some antioxidant rich red wine, lingering and savoring (mindful eating) every bite.

The women of France also seem to do a lot more walking than women of other nations, part of this because gas prices are a lot higher, offering added motivation. Also, many of the apartment buildings have stairs rather than elevators - so everyone gets lots of stair climbing. French women have a surprisingly low rate of heart disease and little incidences of being obese - just 12% in comparison to America with 36%.

From Scandinavian women: local and fresh are the key suggestions here, the lifestyle is geared toward eating home or locally grown or gathered food. The diet includes lots of cruciferous veggies, whole grains as well as berries. Omega-3 fatty fish, game and poultry are popular too... a lot leaner than those animals raised on a farm.

In the Nordic countries, the rate of obesity is down at 8%, depending the particular nation. And even though these locations get less sunlight, people suffer from depression far less than Americans do... maybe because of all the omega-3s. Of course, the lifestyle lived by meeting the physical demands of producing your food isn't feasible in all parts of the world.

From Japanese women: practice eating until you're only 80% full, part of a spiritual lifestyle known as hara hachi bu that seems to help with stress, and likely the ailments linked to it. The sense of connection to the community that comes from this lifestyle, and in other Blue Zones, offers strong social support, tight family bonds and places value on being active well into your later years.

That feeling of belonging matters in terms of bringing down stress and preventing disease... as well as living longer. These women also eat a plant based diet that's high in fiber and includes soy, rice, cruciferous and sea veggies, fruit, omega-3 fatty fish and small amounts of dairy and meats.

From Mediterranean women: eating the way these people do has been linked to a reduced chance of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer, Parkinson's and even Alzheimer's disease. The diet is full of good for you fats (olive oil, fish, nuts), lean proteins, fruits and veggies and only a small amount of wine. Knowing when to stop eating is also important.

Experts would like to create Blue Zones across the U.S. We've made progress in the battle against smoking - back in the 1960s nearly 40% of people smoked, now only 20% do. Changes in diet and how we live can come to pass as well. Here are some suggestions to get you started...

- Take 20% off your meal so you're regularly eating smaller portions.

- Eat a plant based diet that has lots of antioxidants.

- Try and retrain your taste buds, we're used to high fat, salty and sugary foods and it takes a bit to get used to other tastes. Start by getting rid of the hidden sugar in foods you eat now, once you do that, you'll start to like less sweet foods.

- Stretch meals out to at least 20 minutes, and take the time to savor each bite.

- Get moving, and make an extra effort to stop regarding exercise as a necessary evil and make it more of a part of everyday life.

- Get out and make connections with family and friends - and get involved in community too, a church, club or volunteer opportunity.

- Find and use strategies to manage stress. Use them every day.

- The occasional indulgence is okay, just keep your overall lifestyle pattern on the healthy side - staying connected, keeping yourself active and eating healthy as much as possible are the most important take-home tips for a healthy life.

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Article Source: Kirsten_Whittaker

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