Tag Archives: longer

How to live longer: Two surprising foods that help fight decline in later life

“I was pleasantly surprised that our results suggest that responsibly eating cheese and drinking red wine daily are not just good for helping us cope with our current COVID-19 pandemic, but perhaps also dealing with an increasingly complex world that never seems to slow down,” Willette said.

“While we took into account whether this was just due to what well-off people eat and drink, randomised clinical trials are needed to determine if making easy changes in our diet could help our brains in significant ways.”

What else did the researchers find out?

Weekly consumption of lamb, but not other red meats, was shown to improve long-term cognitive function.

Excessive consumption of salt is invariably bad, but only individuals already at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease may need to watch their intake to avoid cognitive problems over time, the study suggested.

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How to live longer: The single most important dietary item for longevity – major study

A comprehensive study called Food Habits in Later Life, conducted under guidance of the Union of Nutritional Sciences and the World Health Organization, found a consistent association between legume consumption and longer life expectancy.

The study examined the nutritional and health problems of an elderly cohort from 13 communities in six countries.

It examined individual food groups — vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts, cereals, dairy, meat, fish, alcohol, and monounsaturated/saturated fat ratios – as predictors of mortality among people aged 70 and over.

Health-related data were obtained from a total of 2,013 individuals who participated in this cross-cultural, multi-centre study.

READ MORE: How to live longer: A warm beverage proven to reduce cancer and diabetes risk

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Progressives are no longer so pleasantly thrilled with the Biden era

In recent days, liberal lawmakers and grassroots progressive groups have shifted their anxiety and ire toward Biden, as voting legislation, police reform and other major priorities have run into a Republican blockade in the Senate. Progressives are increasingly urging Biden to use the kind of aggressive arm twisting immortalized by former Democratic President Lyndon Johnson to change the minds of conservative Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on the filibuster or on the need to pass a Democratic-only infrastructure bill.

As the most powerful person in the world [Biden] has all of the resources available to him to make a deal with a member of his own party, as it concerns the foundational task of saving our democracy,” said freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.).

Some Democrats have dismissed these calls as a form of “Green Lanternism,” which holds that a president can achieve policy objectives simply through a combination of political tactics and unbending commitment. But Jones sees more logical benefits to a more aggressive approach.

The lawmaker asserts that had Biden been as engaged on voting rights as on bipartisan infrastructure negotiations, he could have “preempted” recent op-eds from both Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — the former in opposition to Democrats’ elections bill, the latter in favor of preserving the filibuster.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, agreed.

“It’s about him using his personal relationships with key Democrats who are not quite there yet and explaining why this is actually not a bipartisan thing that’s happening across the country,” said Jayapal.

Biden, she added, can help Democrats who aren’t yet convinced that “this is not the time of bipartisanship that maybe even the president served in. This is a different time, and we are really at the verge of toppling our democracy if we don’t pass these bills.”

The public criticisms mark a change from earlier in the administration, when many progressives blew off steam by venting about moderate Senate Democrats and their resistance to the party’s signature priorities. But the early sentiment that Biden was eager to move fast and unapologetically use the powers of the presidency has increasingly been replaced by fear and impatience that he is doing neither.

“You see Donald Trump and BIll O’Reilly just announced a set of tours, what do you think they’re going to be doing there?” said Rahna Epting, executive director of MoveOn. “They’re going to be spewing lies and spewing this false narrative about the Democrats rigging everything. And we need Biden to not just go toe-to-toe. We need him to go on offense here, and we need him to be the champion that people voted for on this issue. And we just have not seen that level of prioritization.”

Epting said progressives know Biden inherited numerous crises. But she said that Republican-authored election law changes at the state level, along with continued attempts to discredit Biden’s win, required that Biden give voting rights “campaign-style prioritization.”

“We have not seen him fully use the full power of his office, specifically the power of narrative,” she added.

The White House has taken notice of the mounting, more direct frustrations on the left. Officials reached out to civil rights and progressive organizations to join Vice President Kamala Harris for a call on Thursday to discuss threats to democracy. In the past week, the White House has also been in close touch with national civil rights and social justice groups from the NAACP to the Native American Rights Fund about voting rights.

Since taking office, Biden has fostered open lines of communication with progressive lawmakers and activist groups. Part of that includes a bi-weekly progressive leaders meeting with more than 60 groups, which different White House staff attend, and a weekly campaign meeting on Biden’s infrastructure and care economy spending proposals, where White House staff strategize with progressives.

A White House official described the president as being “revolted” by the GOP attempts to pass voter restrictions in statehouses across the country. The official stressed that Biden is constantly using the bully pulpit to communicate the seriousness of the situations, from his remarks commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre to those he offered on Juneteenth, the date marking the end of slavery in the country, a now a federally-recognized holiday.

But progressives want more. Indivisible, a progressive group which mobilizes Democratic voters, chastised the president in a tweet for having “no public events scheduled to talk about the urgent deadline for democracy” on the day that the Senate prepared a vote on Democrats’ sweeping elections bill.

“[Biden] says that democracy is in crisis, right now he is phoning it in,” Ezra Levin, co-founder of the group, said in an interview.

Other outside groups launched demonstrations in Washington D.C. Rev. William J. Barber II and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, who co-chair The Poor People’s Campaign, led what they called a “Moral March” on Hart Senate Office Building Wednesday afternoon, targeting both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Manchin. And progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Jayapal are set to hold a rally Thursday on the National Mall to “demand bold action from Congress.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday said that progressive critics, in accusing Biden of not doing enough, were picking a “fight against the wrong opponent.”

And not all Democrats, or even all progressives, expect or want Biden to be more vocal, calculating that the party’s slim control of the House and Senate and the still-intact legislative filibuster requires compromises that might not always benefit from greater White House engagement.

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), a progressive who is also House Democrats’ lead negotiator on police reform, said she did not believe the Biden administration should be more active in their negotiations “at all.” The White House has been “extremely helpful,” she said. But acknowledging the reality of the 50-50 Senate, she said, “I think it’s important to let the Senate work its will.”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), a former chair of the Progressive Caucus, said Biden isn’t the issue.

“Let’s face it, the problem is going to be like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and a couple other folks,” Pocan said. “I am sure he’s having all sorts of conversations, and I have found so far that I don’t have to second guess what Joe Biden’s doing behind the scenes because he’s doing the right thing.”

Marianne LeVine and Sarah Ferris contributed reporting.

Author: Laura Barrón-López and Nicholas Wu
This post originally appeared on Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

How to live longer: Expert's five key habits to keep you ‘healthy and sharp' in older age

In his 80s, Dr Richard Besdine feels “as healthy and sharp” as he did a decade ago. The secret to his ageing success? Five healthy habits he lives by. “I believe in the power of a Mediterranean-like diet,” he said, referring to a combination of Italian and Greek dishes. The plant-based diet is filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

“I like to think of the Mediterranean diet as more of a lifestyle routine than a strict plan you follow,” Dr Besdine elaborated.

For those who want to treat themselves to a T-bone steak every month, “Go for it!” Dr Besdine encouraged.

“But try to avoid processed and fast foods,” he cautioned, adding that seafood, lean meats, and nuts are a better alternative.

Mediterranean diet staples:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Albacore tuna
  • Extra virgin olive oil.

READ MORE: Heart attack: A surprisingly ‘common’ symptom of a heart attack not to be dismissed

“Just 30 minutes of walking every day can make a difference,” said Dr Besdine.

“Start moving now and keep it up. It can help add years to your life.”

Another tip shared by Dr Besdine is to “quit smoking and vaping, or never start it up”.

“As everybody already knows, smoking has deadly consequences,” he said.

The unhealthy habits can cause:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Lung disease
  • Emphysema.

“Research shows that even ‘light smoking’ (as little as one cigarette a day) can greatly increase your risk of dying early,” said Dr Besdine.

However, the benefits of quitting smoking begin fairly quickly; after one year of not smoking, your risk of a heart attack drops significantly.

“After two to five years, the chance of stroke could fall to roughly the same as a non-smoker,” Dr Besdine pointed out.

The professor added that preventative care can nip health problems in the bud.

By attending regular doctor appointments, you can keep on top of your cholesterol and blood pressure.

Attending scheduled national screenings can also save your life; here in the UK, women are encouraged to go for cervical and breast cancer screening.

Dr Besdine recommends an annual health check up, and his final tip is to protect your mental health.

“Engaging in meaningful hobbies and connecting socially with other people can have a powerful influence on your mental well-being and happiness.”

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How to live longer: Expert divulges five tips to extend longevity by more than a decade

“We know that food is made up of complex chemical structures, which interact with one other as well as with our gut microbes and our cells,” Dr Federica began.

“What’s exciting to see (in recent research) is how plants can act to help improve our health in clinically measurable ways, including managing levels of stress.

“Nature’s pharmacy includes polyphenols in dark plants and fruits, such as cavolo nero and haskap berries, which help counteract oxidative stress.”

Dr Frederica added that reishi mushroom may also “improve your body’s ability to cope with stress”.

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How to live longer: One of the best diets to reduce your risk of cancers and heart disease

Veganism eliminates all animal-based foods, including meat, dairy, eggs, and products derived from them.

This usually results in a diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Research and health experts suggest that diets loaded with these plant foods may help people live longer.

The same can be said about diets low in red and processed meats.  

Moreover, vegan diets tend to pack plenty of fibre, plant protein, and antioxidants.

Diets rich in these nutrients are believed to safeguard against obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease which boosts one’s longevity.

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How to live longer: Three teas to help reduce cancer, heart attacks and stroke risk

Rooibos tea

The tea, which is grown exclusively in the Western Cape province of South Africa, is not only delicious but boasts an array of health benefits helping to extend one’s longevity.

Rooibos tea’s health benefits include supporting a healthy heart, preventing cancer, managing and preventing diabetes, supporting healthy digestion, fighting inflammation, promoting stronger bones, supporting weight loss, slowing down the ageing process, treating blood pressure, supporting healthy skin, fighting dandruff and supporting kidney health.

The main nutritional benefit of rooibos tea lies in its rich antioxidant content and it being a source of some unique polyphenols, including aspalathin.

These protective plant compounds may help protect against the free radical damage that leads to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and potentially cancer.

READ MORE: Arthritis diet: Three of the best spices to avoid arthritis symptoms and joint pain

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How to live longer: Early warning signs of inflammation and foods to reverse it

Are you showcasing signs of excess inflammation? According to Scripps Research – a charity in the field of biomedical science – feeling slightly fatigued could be a vague, but important, indication. As inflammation progresses, health conditions could start to appear such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes.

What is heart disease?

Coronary heart disease “is a major cause of death in the UK”, warned the NHS.

Scripps Research confirmed that people can “control, and even reverse”, inflammation.

This involves an “anti-inflammatory diet”, which includes fresh vegetables and fruits.

It’s also highly recommended to reduce the amount of refined sugar (i.e. added sugar) you consume.

Added/refined sugar may be labelled as:

  • Corn sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose glucose syrup
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Agave syrup
  • Invert sugar
  • Isoglucose
  • Levulose
  • Maltose
  • Molasses
  • Sucrose

It can be found in jams, table sugar, chocolate, sweets, alcoholic drinks, squash cordials, biscuits, cakes, and fruit yoghurt, said the NHS.

The Scripps Research charity advises to eat more food containing omega-3 fatty acids.

“Some of the best sources of omega-3s are cold water fish, such as salmon and tuna, and tofu, walnuts, flax seeds and soybeans.

“Other anti-inflammatory foods include grapes, celery, blueberries, garlic, olive oil, tea and some spices.”

“One easy rule to follow is to avoid white foods, such as white bread, rice and pasta, as well as foods made with white sugar and flour,” said the charity.

Instead, “build meals around lean proteins and whole foods high in fibre”.

Examples include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, such as whole wheat pasta, rice and bread.

You can also reduce inflammation by doing regular bouts of activity, whether it’s a brisk walk, jog, or swim.

It’s recommended to complete around 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, and up to 25 minutes of weight training, at least four to five times per week.

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How to live longer: A powerful plant protein found to reduce cancer and heart attack risk

There are not many products out there which boost a surplus of health benefits including cancer, heart disease and diabetes risk. However, a superfood proves to be one of them. Spirulina may not be the word in many mouths but when one looks at its vast array of health benefits, it should be. From killing cancer cells, lowering cholesterol, reducing heart attack risk and even helping with Parkinson’s disease, spirulina could be the answer to helping boost longevity.

Spirulina is a potent source of nutrients and contains a powerful plant-based protein known as phycocyanin.

Research shows this may have antioxidant, pain-relief, anti-inflammatory and brain-protective properties.

It also contains magnesium which is a mineral that supports normal daily functions such as healthy muscles and heart health.

Studies have also found that the protein in spirulina can lower cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and lessen the formation of blood clots.

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Assistance in Parkinson’s disease

In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, supplementation of spirulina in improving lifespan was investigated.

The study noted: “Spirulina is a blue-green alga consumed by humans and other animals because of its nutritional values and pharmacological properties.

“Apart from high protein contents, it also contains high levels of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as carotenoids, β-carotene, phycocyanin, and phycocyanobilin, indicating its possible pharmaco-therapeutic utility.

“In the present study using DJ-1βΔ93 flies, a Parkinson’s disease model in Drosophila, we have demonstrated the therapeutic effect of spirulina and its active component C-phycocyanin (C-PC) in the improvement of lifespan and locomotor behaviour.”

The study found that spirulina’s antioxidant boosting properties can be used as a nutritional supplement for improving the lifespan and locomotor behaviour in Parkinson’s disease.

Triglycerides are harmful fats in a person’s blood which can lead to the hardening of arteries, heightening one’s chances of pancreatitis, diabetes, and heart disease.

The plant-based protein phycocyanin found in spirulina reduces triglyceride levels.

Spirulina also increases nitric oxide levels in the body, allowing blood vessels to relax.

This in turn has been shown to reduce blood pressure, consequently lowering your risk of a heart attack.

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How to live longer: Expert divulges six habits you need to cultivate now

“Studies show that meaningful relationships and a strong social network improve mental and physical well-being and longevity,” Dr Miner stated.

“If you don’t currently have an active social life, look for opportunities to reconnect with old friends or make new ones.

“Seek out like-minded others at work, church groups, volunteer activities, gyms, alumni groups, or any other group that corresponds to an interest of yours.”

Dr Miner concluded: “Ageing gracefully isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something.

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