Wanna Live to 100? Here's How!
Living to be 100 years old probably sounds impossible, but it’s not. In 1850, the average white male only lived to be approximately 48 years old, while females lived to be about 47. By 2004, however, those numbers had jumped to 76 and 80 respectively. So it’s easy to see that today, 100 years old is not out of reach. Studies show you can boost your chances of becoming a centenarian by following these seven rules.
Red Fruits and Veggies
Start by adding red foods to your diet. We’ve all heard an apple a day can keep the doctor away, and this maxim works for a reason. Many red fruits and veggies are loaded with powerful, healthy antioxidants (such as lycopene and anthocyanins) that may do everything from fight heart disease and prostate cancer to reduce the risk for stroke and macular degeneration. Antioxidants also soak up damaging free radicals. Some red foods to start adding to your diet include strawberries, cherries, cranberries, red cabbage, and beet juice.
Drink wine, but only in moderation. Research confirms that cautious drinkers (one glass per day for women, two for men) slash their risk of heart disease up to 40 percent. A bottle to try is red wine from Madiran, France, which has up to five times as many procyanidins (antioxidants that improve blood vessel function) as wines from other areas. This is thanks to the region’s traditional production techniques, which allow grapes to ferment longer.
Live Stress Free
Learn to keep stress from your life, which may not be as difficult as you think. Over time, stress can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. And most people rank personal finances as their number one stressor, typically because they feel powerless to control spending. If you fall into this category, keep some money in a special bank account, safe from daily urges. This will help you feel more secure with finances and reduce stress. In time, you’ll also stop missing the extra money you set aside so this account can grow.
Oral Health Is Vital
Floss daily, an activity that not only improves your oral health but may also help your arteries. A 2008 study from New York University showed that daily flossing may reduce the amount of gum-disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria are thought to enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammation in the arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease. Other research has shown that those who have high levels of bacteria in their mouths are more likely to have thickening in their arteries, another sign of heart disease.
Forget going to the last stall in a public restroom. Experts theorize that many people opt for stalls further back over those up front to have a little more privacy. But because the first stall is used least often, it contains the lowest bacteria levels. Instead of skipping that first stall, choose it in order to avoid possible bacterial infections.
You might also want to hold your breath more often, an exercise that can be done any time of day to give your lungs a nice mini-workout. Just take a deep breath, hold it for 10 seconds, and then slowly release to let the air out through pursed lips. This helps ensure all the pockets in your lungs are opening up.
Be Responsible and Consistent
Finally, science shows the strongest personality predictor of a long life is conscientiousness – that is, being prudent, persistent, and well-organized, according to The Longevity Project. This book describes a study that followed 1,500 children for eight decades, collecting exhaustive details about their personal histories, health, activities, beliefs, attitudes, and families. Those children who were prudent and dependable lived the longest, probably because conscientious types are more inclined to follow doctors’ orders, take the right medicines at the right doses, and undergo routine checkups. They’re also likelier to report happier marriages and more satisfying work than their less conscientious peers.