100 ways to live to 100 - Daily Mail 4 Aug 2004
THANKS to advances in medicine we are living much longer. The average life span in Britain is around 78 years and the number of centenarians has been doubling every 10 years since the Forties.
In 1996 there were 6,000 living in England and Wales alone, and that number should rise to 39,000 in the next 30 years. ANGELA EPSTEIN explains how to increase your chance of being one of them.
Have children young. Research suggests that women who start their families under 30 have greater protection against the chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
If you are unfit you are twice as likely to die from a heart attack. Take your pulse before and after exercise. If it takes more than ten minutes to return to pre-exercise rate, you are clinically unfit.
Laugh out loud. Scientists have found that laughter is a form of internal jogging, exercising the body and stimulating the release of brain neurotransmitters and beneficial hormones.
Increase soya in your diet as consuming it offers cardiovascular protection as well as protecting the body against breast, prostate and colon cancer.
Fight weight gain in winter by wearing fewer layers of clothes and turning down the thermostat.You will use up more calories to stay warm and keep healthier as you do so.
Breastfeed your children as this has also been shown to offer protection against breast cancer.
Meditate. Studies have found that people who improve emotional wellbeing and calm increase their life expectancy. Meditating lowers blood pressure and increases resistance to infections.
Watch your weight because obesity can be a trigger for coronary heart disease and cancers of the colon, womb, gall bladder, ovaries and breast.
Sleep at least five hours a night. Research has shown people who sleep less have higher levels of fibrinogen, a blood-clotting protein that can reduce blood flow to heart and brain.
Move to the country. People living in rural areas have a higher life expectancy than those in the city. According to the Office of National Statistics, women in west Somerset live an average 84 years compared with only 76 in Manchester.
Take a two-hour siesta each afternoon. This is favoured by the inhabitants of the Italian village of Campodimele, where the average lifespan of the inhabitants is at least 85.
Boost fibre intake to increase bowel movements which carry oestrogens out of the body via the colon. High levels of this hormone can promote the growth of tumours, such as breast cancer.
Be generous. A study by the University of Michigan found that people who gave practical and emotional support to friends, colleagues and neighbours were half as likely to die young as those who were less sociable.
Take 20 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three times a week. Active people have 50 per cent less chance of developing coronary heart disease.
If going into hospital, reduce your chances of contracting the MRSA bug by checking all medical staff wash their hands before treating you and that your room is cleaned regularly.
People who eat breakfast have a longer life expectancy and tend to be slimmer than those who dash to work on an empty stomach.Breakfast kick-starts the metabolism.
Start the day with a grapefruit. One a day can reduce arterial narrowing, lower bad cholesterol levels and help lower blood pressure.
Have a glass of red wine. Red wine contains resveratrol, a compound which raises levels of 'good' cholesterol and reduces platelet stickiness.
Use it or lose it. Prevent Alzheimer's by keeping mentally active through work, hobbies and puzzles. Keeping alert maintains connections between brain cells and may play a role in stopping brain cells from dying off.
Have cervical smears at least every three years from the age of 20 to 64 to catch problems early.
Try to exercise before your main meal of the day. A brisk walk before eating speeds the removal of fats from the blood. This almost certainly helps reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Take vitamin E supplements.This has been found to be beneficial to a healthy immune system as we get older.
To obtain maximum nutritional benefit from tomatoes, opt for the deep red variety. These contain higher levels of lycopene, which can protect the body from developing cancer.
Floss teeth. Researchers in the U.S. have found that people with gum diseases such as gingivitis are almost twice as likely to suffer coronary heart disease as those without gum problems
Eat Japanese delicacy Miso soup because studies have found three or more bowls a day reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Keep working after retirement age. Research by the Department of Work and Pensions showed that those who carried on working were healthier than those who gave up their jobs.
Sweeten foods with honey. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that honey has powerful antioxidant qualities to help combat cardiovascular disease.
Avoid too much sun. Sunburn can cause changes to skin cells, which can lead to cancer.Malignant melanomas, which may appear without warning as a dark mole or other dark spot on the skin, can be fatal and kill around 2,000 Britons each year.
Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day to reduce the risk of cancer of the lung, digestive tract, bowel, bladder and breast.
3Take a selenium supplement. This micronutrient is low in our national diet due to depleted levels in British soil. Selenium is important for growth, fertility, liver function and hormone production.
Have a pear-shaped figure. Scientists found that women with peripheral fat round their hips, thighs and bottoms were less likely to suffer from heart disease than those whose fat accumulated around their waists.
Drink cranberry juice. Its antiviral properties help the body resist disease and fight bladder, kidney and urinary tract infections.
Make sure you have an annual flu vaccination.Different strains of the virus appear each year so you need to renew immunity every 12 months.
nclude cabbage in your diet. Rich in vitamin C, K and E as well as fibre and minerals, studies suggest that eating cabbage twice a week can lower the risk of colon cancer.
Avoid exercise outside on hazy days when pollution is more in evidence. Use an indoor gym or swimming pool instead.
Reduce alcohol intake as high levels are linked to increased risk of coronary heart disease, strokes and liver damage.
If you don't like fish, try flaxseed. As well as containing omega 3 fatty acids, it may also help reduce prostate tumours.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends walking two miles in under 27 minutes at least three times a week to get fit.
Cut down caffeine. Dutch researchers found that people who drank four cups of coffee a day had 11 per cent higher levels of heart-damaging homocysteine in their blood than non-coffee drinkers.
Believe. Religious people tend to live longer than non- believers according to a review of 40 scientific studies. It is thought that a system of beliefs make a person less likely to have a stressful lifestyle and have more support from their community.
To keep the kidneys healthy drink two litres of water a day to flush them out.
If you smoke, increase your intake of antioxidant vitamins C and E as these help to neutralise the free radicals found in tobacco smoke that can cause cancer.
Eat three calcium foods daily to strengthen bones, prevent osteoporosis and guard against colon cancer and high blood pressure.
Cut out sugary drinks. Having one can of full-sugar soft drink every day has been found to increase rates of diabetes in women.
Taking pycnogenol, made from the extract of pine bark, has been found in studies to prevent diabetic blindness and other complications.
Eat at least two portions of oily fish a week because they contain omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Sex may help you live longer because it increases production of an antibody called IGA, found in saliva, which can fight infection.
Enjoy a short burst of daily sunshine. Ultraviolet light converts cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D, vital for healthy bones.
Eat little and often. A study in the British Medical Journal found that people who eat six or more small meals a day have cholesterol levels five per cent lower than those who eat two large meals.
Check bowel movements. Any unexplained changes or passing of blood should be reported to your doctor immediately. They could be signs of bowel cancer.
Boost intake of folic acid (folate). Low levels increase the risk of fatal heart attack by up to 60 per cent. Good natural sources include fortified cereals, broccoli and asparagus.
Use tomato sauces as lycopene in tomatoes prevents the harmful build-up of cholesterol on artery walls.
Drink tea (particularly green), a rich source of flavonoids which are cardio-protective and may help prevent skin, gastric and bladder cancer.
hoose dark chocolate over milk. Chocolate containing 70 per cent cocoa or more is a rich source of antioxidants. It can help reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
Swop mayonnaise for olive oil because it is rich in monounsaturated fats which hinder the oxidation of LDL cholesterol into its artery-clogging form.
Regular eye tests are not only essential for your sight.The health of your eye can also reveal markers for other conditions.
Eat broccoli. Considered nature's superfood, it is rich in isothiocyanate which stimulates the body to break down potentially cancer-causing chemicals and eliminate them.
Work at your marriage. A study in the Health Psychology Journal says that a long, happy marriage leads to greater life expectancy. However, divorcing and remarrying increases your risk of dying prematurely.
Reduce salt as excessive intake is linked to increased blood pressure, heart disease and kidney failure.
Play bridge. A U.S. study suggests that a 90-minute game could stimulate an area of the brain which also influences the immune system, making it more effective.
Go to the dentist every six months. The state of your mouth may reveal early signs of conditions such as diabetes.
Always practise safe sex. With sexually transmitted diseases on the increase, it pays to be careful.
Cut your risk of developing diabetes by increasing highfibre food such as beans and pulses, which can help stabilise blood sugar levels.
Drink plenty of fluids as they are essential for thousands of chemical processes that enable the body to function.
Flavour food with garlic as it contains sulphur compounds which may help prevent bacterial and viral infections.
Have a little stress in your life. A new study has found that short bursts of stress can trigger proteins in the body that help protect cells against damage.
Enjoy oysters! These shellfish contain zinc, which is needed for a healthy immune system.
Limit intake of smoked and cured food. As well as high salt content, these foods are unhealthy as smoke can contain more than 200 chemicals, some of which could be carcinogenic in high quantities.
Ward off gastrointestinal infections by including live yogurt in your diet.
Use frozen rather than canned vegetables.The heat treatment in canning causes loss of vitamins B1 and B2 and C.
Eat seaweed. An everyday food in the Japanese diet, it contains iodine which is essential for a healthy thyroid gland.
When travelling abroad don't drink the tap water as it may contain bacteria that can lead to gastric illness and food poisoning, potentially weakening your system.
If you are a vegetarian, you may have a low intake of iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12 which are all found in meat. Include egg yolks, fortified cereal and green leafy vegetables in your diet and take supplements.
Have sage in the diet. A compound extracted from essential oil of sage has been shown to help patients with Alzheimer's .
Insomnia is linked to many health problems. Try to tackle this problem sooner rather than later. Don't just ignore it.
Use weights when exercising. Load-bearing training three times a week will significantly boost bone density.
Express your anger. Bottling up irritation can increase the risk of heart disease by as much as 75 per cent. Research has found that those who dwell on negative events have lower immunity to illness.
78 Make sure your breakfast contains complex carbohydrates such as brown bread or porridge as these foods release energy slowly, helping your system to work more efficiently.
People who are at the ideal weight for their height by the age of 21 are more likely to live a longer life according to research in California.
Eat dairy foods in moderation because they are difficult to digest and contain saturated fat, which can contribute to heart problems.
Get your oats ! Oat-based foods can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and so reduce the risk of heart disease.
Eat less. In the West we eat on average 40 per cent more than we need to, clogging our systems and putting them under unnecessary strain.
Have a mammogram. Women aged 50 to 64 are invited as part of the Government's breast cancer screening programme to help detect early signs of the disease.
Draw a family tree based on the health of family members. Certain conditions such as breast cancer and diabetes have strong hereditary patterns.
Never ignore persistent symptoms. Anything which lasts longer than a week should always be checked by your GP.
Start the day with a glass of hot water and lemon to stimulate the digestive system and eliminate toxins.
Include onions in your diet. Researchers in Switzerland, think they could help battle brittle bones by stopping calcium leaching from them.
Move to Okinawa in the East China sea, home to the world's longest-living people. Heart disease, stroke and cancer are rare, aided by a healthy diet of fresh fish, lean meat and vegetables, plus an active lifestyle.
Flavour food with ginger. The spice contains a compound which has been found to slow the advance of bowel cancer.
Avoid food which is charred as the burnt parts may contain cancer-causing compounds.
Enjoy berries such as raspberries. These raise the intake of vitamin E which can improve lung function and cut the risk of some cancers.
Enjoy spicy Indian food. Found in turmeric and regarded as the hot new supplement, curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound.
Take glucosamine, an enzyme which helps bones and tissues to stay healthy.
Ensure a good night's sleep by eliminating all light from the bedroom, as this will maximise production of the hormone melatonin which has some anticancer properties.
Avoid faddy diets which cut out essential food groups and can affect brain function, energy levels and mood.
Be a woman. Women are thought to live longer than men as their thymus gland produces a larger amount of immune cells, protecting the body from infection.
Changes in urinary habits could be a sign of prostate cancer, so catch problems early.
Brainy people live longer, according to researchers in Edinburgh. They are not sure why intelligence is linked to longevity but think it could be to do with genetic and economic factors.
Don't forget to check what jabs and tablets you need when going abroad.Diseases such as malaria can be killers.
Fall in love. A Yale University study discovered that those who felt most loved had less blockages in the arteries of the heart. Meanwhile, a study of 10,000 married men revealed that those who felt their wives did not show them love experienced almost twice as much angina as those who did feel loved.
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