EATING 30 different fruits and vegetables a week, going to bed early and taking a cold shower could be the key to living longer, preventing disease and losing weight.
Renowned neuroscientist Dr. Julia Jones says simple changes to our daily routine are more beneficial than the gym.
She told Sun on Sunday Health: ‘Just making simple tweaks to our lifelong routine can add decades of healthy living.
Julia runs a smart eight-week wellness longevity plan to help people increase their lifespan.
Here she shares her top ten tips.
1. DELAY BREAKFAST
DELAYING your breakfast a few times a week can give cells all the time they need to do essential repair work, lowering your risk of everything from cancer to type 2 diabetes.
Leave 16 hours overnight between your last meal.
Drinks during the fasting window are acceptable. Do not fill them with sugar or milk.
Stay with water, tea and coffee. Many scientists, including me, now regularly eat one healthy meal a day.
2. THINK 30 A WEEK
RESEARCH has shown that people with a greater diversity of gut bacteria have a reduced risk of disease.
But eating the same five fruits and vegetables every day does not increase diversity.
You should aim to try 30 different types per week to increase gut diversity.
Frozen fruits and vegetables work just as well as fresh, so buy different frozen items in bulk to keep costs down.
3. GET OUT
You don’t need a full workout in the gym, just running out of steam several times a week. Stop using the elevator and take the stairs.
Walk faster. Short bursts will work – just adjust a few if your habits.
Ride a bike to the shops instead of driving.
4. PROTECT THE SKIN
ALL of our organs age at different rates. There are biological clocks that run at different rates within us.
In fact, our skin ages the fastest and that means we need to take better care of it.
When the skin is in pain, not only does it suffer damage to its own cells, but it also sends harmful molecules into our bloodstream that can reach other parts of the body and trigger problems elsewhere.
Always wear high SPF sunscreen, even on cloudy days.
5. KEEP INTESTINAL HEALTH
OUR gut is home to many microbial bacteria and when they are not balanced, our health can suffer.
Keep your gut healthy by regularly consuming foods and drinks containing live bacteria called probiotics – for example, kombucha drinks, kefir, live yogurts and fermented sauerkraut.
Also note that if a fermented food is not kept in the refrigerated section of a store, the product will not contain live bacteria.
6. MAKE A LIST
BEDS helps declutter our minds and reduce stress. The simple act of writing one produces changes in the brain, reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
And then, once you’ve successfully checked off certain things, the feel-good reward chemical dopamine will be released in the brain.
You will feel a buzz.
7. WALK THE BRAIN
Brain DAMAGE can begin decades before symptoms appear, especially if we are overweight.
Brains have been shown to shrink as height increases. Make sure your brain is getting good blood supply and calming signals by walking in nature every day.
You also have to challenge the brain throughout life by learning complex new tasks to make new connections – try learning a musical instrument or a new language.
8. GET COLD – OR HOT
BEING exposed to very hot or very cold conditions is potentially fatal to the human body.
But putting ourselves in these environments for short periods of time activates longevity pathways in our cells for positive health effects.
Turn your shower cold for a burst, go for a swim outside, or do a hot sauna.
9. DO DAILY PUSH-UPS
LOSS of muscle tissue leads to frailty and an increased risk of falls and fractures. It also decreases the effectiveness of your immune system.
To overcome this decline, you must regularly overload your muscles.
Do slow motions that cause your biggest muscles to reach the point of fatigue – try doing push-ups or squats very slowly until you can’t do any more.
10. FIGHT STRESS
THE release of stress chemicals damages brain tissue and wreaks havoc on your gut bacteria.
Remember to breathe – exhale longer than you inhale. Listen to music and relax.
- For more details on Julia’s smart wellness program or to order her upcoming book F-Bomb: Longevity Made Easy, visit neuronwellness.com.
TRIED AND TESTED
QUALITY sleep is so important for our health.
Consuming enough of it helps you stay fit, promotes your emotional and mental well-being, and may even help you maintain a healthy weight.
Meanwhile, not getting enough sleep or disrupting your night cycle can lead to fatigue.
Here, Jane Atkinson looks at ways to get enough sleep. . .
Many aromatherapy essential oils can help promote relaxation and sleep, and this new gadget is a great way to fill your bedroom with them to help you drift off to sleep.
The Rove Aroma Atomizer scents your space straight from the oil bottle, without the need for water, so you get a potent dose of essential oils.
Simply push a bottle of essential oil into the base, set it to your desired intensity and run time, up to 90 minutes.
It recharges with a USB key and lasts 30 hours.
It’s so crummy that I took it, along with a bottle of lavender essential oils, when I was away from home to help me fall asleep.
Better to turn it off before going to sleep because there is a little engine noise.
I love this.
It is compatible with 5ml, 10ml and 15ml oil bottles and costs £55. See madebyzen.com.
B-SYNC ON is the first and only supplement designed by experts in sleep science and pharmacology to support and improve your wake-up process.
It contains vitamins B5 and B12 as well as zinc and caffeine in a delayed release capsule.
You take it at bedtime and about seven hours later it starts releasing them into your body.
It is clinically proven to sharpen concentration, with feelings of well-being upon waking, and to help you transition easily from sleep to wakefulness.
It definitely works – my only issue is that I like the eight hour kip.
With that, I was awake at 5am after just under seven, and there was no way I’d fall asleep again.
Good if you only like seven o’clock, or if you went to bed late and know you have to get up early.
£23.99 for 20 capsules – see b-sync.life.
CHELATED Magnesium has been described as the best pill to take for overall health.
It helps regulate blood pressure, supports the immune system, and may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and improve overall health.
It is easily absorbed by the body and good for fighting tiredness, tiredness and lethargy.
I take it daily and am convinced it helps me sleep better.
Solgar Chelated Magnesium provides 100mg of magnesium per tablet and costs £13.75 for a bottle of 100.
You need four a day!
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