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5 daily habits for longer life

5 daily habits for longer life What habits help you live longer (photo: Freepik)

Approximately 25% of longevity is determined by our genes, while the rest depends on what we do daily. Science clearly outlines key principles that help live a longer life - Science Alert publication writes about habits that contribute to longevity.

Eat primarily plant-based food

What you eat has a tremendous impact on your health. It's proven that a diet with a high content of plant-based food is associated with health and longevity.

If you consume more plant-based food and less meat, processed food, sugar, and salt, you reduce the risk of various life-shortening diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Plant-based food is rich in nutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which help prevent diseases.

While there's no one-size-fits-all diet, one of the most studied and healthy is the Mediterranean diet. It's based on the eating patterns of people living around the Mediterranean Sea and emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, seafood, and olive oil.

"I like to think of the Mediterranean diet as more of a lifestyle routine than a strict regimen where you have to give up something. Try to avoid processed foods and fast food. Instead, eat seafood, lean meat, and nuts," advises Professor of Medicine Richard V. Bezdin.

Strive for a healthy weight

Another crucial way to be healthier is to try to achieve a healthy weight because obesity increases the risk of various health problems that shorten life.

Obesity puts a burden on all systems of our body and has numerous physiological consequences, including inflammation and hormonal imbalances. This increases the risks of several diseases, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and various types of cancer.

In addition to the physical impact, obesity is also associated with a decline in mental health. It is linked to depression, low self-esteem, and stress.

Engage in regular exercise

Regular physical activity protects against chronic diseases, reduces stress levels, and improves mental health. While exercise helps control weight and lowers body fat levels, its effects are broader and include improved glucose utilization, reduced blood pressure, decreased inflammation, and enhanced blood circulation and heart function.

You don't need to run marathons every day or spend hours in the gym. Incorporate physical activity into your day and do what you enjoy.

Quit smoking and vaping

Smoking cigarettes affects nearly every organ in the body and is linked to both a shorter and lower quality of life. There is no safe level of smoking—every cigarette increases the risks of developing various cancers, heart diseases, and diabetes.

Even if you have smoked for many years, quitting at any age can bring immediate health benefits and mitigate many harmful consequences of smoking.

"Don't deceive yourself by thinking that vaping is a healthier alternative. Despite limited research on the long-term effects of vaping, recent studies have shown that using e-cigarettes damages arteries just like conventional cigarettes," warns the doctor.

Be socially active

Individuals who are lonely and socially isolated face a significantly higher risk of premature death and are more prone to conditions such as heart disease, stroke, dementia, as well as anxiety and depression.

While we don't fully understand the mechanisms, it is likely linked to both behavioral and biological factors. People with social connections are more inclined towards healthy behaviors.