When it comes down to living longer, some cultures and countries do better than others. The UK isn’t even in the top 10!
Being of Italian heritage, I take pride in the fact that Italy is number 5. I think this is down to their more laid back lifestyle and food choices.
In this post, I share 10 long, healthy life secrets taken and inspired by other places in the world.
#1 Use herbs and spices instead of salt
It’s proven that too much salt can cause high blood pressure and other problems. Luckily it isn’t the only way of adding flavour to our meals. Being of Italian heritage, I grew up watching my mum use herbs such as oregano, basil, and rosemary in everything she cooked! There’s nothing like the smell of fresh basil, seriously!
Not only do herbs and spices deliver great taste, but they also have an array of health-enhancing nutrients too. This includes anti-inflammatory oxidants and anti-microbial compounds.
My favourites include turmeric, garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander!
#2 Eat the peel, core and pips
If you’re discarding the peel, core and pips, you’re essentially chucking away rich doses of nutrients. Fruit and vegetables have high levels of phyto-chemicals in their peels.
Also, unpeeled organic food is rich in probiotics, which we know are good for helping prevent and fight off illnesses. This can help us live longer and feel better.
#3 Drink Red Wine
So we’ve been advised that too much alcohol and regular drinking can put you at risk of illness. However, we also know that wine reduces stress, is heart friendly, and is high in polyphenols.
So you could say that the benefits outweigh the negative effects. I’m not exactly advising you to drink red wine regularly but having a glass of organic red wine with a rich meal could really help you live a long life.
#4 Stay at the table for 5 minutes after eating
5 minutes doesn’t sound long but it’s actually quite difficult. The reason for it though, is to keep your digestion ticking along nicely. Not only this but it stops you rushing and having a busy life which can cause stress.
Learn to savour those family moments at the table. Your gut will thank you for it. If we do, our digestive tracts can absorb nutrients easier which are needed for our cells and other important things in the body!
#5 Grow your own
When I was younger, my mum and dad grew their own vegetables. One thing that stuck out to me was fresh homegrown tomatoes. The flavour is immense!
But it’s not just about the flavour, it’s how rich in nutrients home grown food is. They’re rich in vitamin D because of the sunlight.
Not only that but studies show that ‘getting horticultural’ has many health benefits such as reducing stress, reducing pain and boosting mood.
#6 Go up and down a hill every day
Whilst we’re on lockdown, give it a go! Incline walking is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise. Studies show that going up and down a hill can help fat loss, muscle toning, boosts bone density, lowers blood lipids, and aids metabolism. There is no reason not to do it!
If you don’t live by a hill then an incline treadmill walk or even going up and down the stairs will do.
#7 Get your daily probiotics
What are probiotics? They’re live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. Yes, there is bacteria that is actually GOOD for you!
Some common conditions that probiotics are good for is IBS, diarrhoea, and skin conditions like eczema.
You can get probiotics from dairy products, my favourite being Actimel drinks. Miso soup (originating from Japan) is also good, as well as fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut, or pickles such as capers and olives.
# 8 Switch your bread to sprouted or sourdough
As an Italian, I absolutely love bread! It’s difficult for me not to have it every day. If you’re like me, try and make a switch to sprouted or sourdough bread. Basically, they’re better for you!
These breads are made with rye or wheat grains. The fermentation process break down a lot of the gluten and have better nutrient content.
Just another delicious way to live a long, healthy life!
#9 Sit still and breathe
You might need to practice this one because it’s harder than it sounds! Basically you need to meditate but working your way towards 30 mins of mediation should be your goal.
I can manage 10 minutes! So whatever fits into your lifestyle but something is always better than nothing.
Reports suggest that meditation can ward off heart disease. It can really help de-clutter your mind and lower anxiety.
Try it in the bath (that’s what I do!) or simply sit still, close your and eyes and breathe in and out of your mouth for 60 seconds (put a timer on)
Meditation is also good for success in life, read this post to find out how:
#10 Eat the rainbow
Orange, red, and yellow foods such as carrot, red peppers, tomatoes, and corn all release more antioxidant carotenoids when cooked. Carotenoids have anti-cancer properties and keep the skin supple.
Some fats such as olive oil also increase the carotenoids uptake so be sure to sprinkle some of that too. A Mediterranean diet is just what’s needed!
Leave me a comment to let me know if you have any other secrets you’d like to share, thanks for reading.