25 Small Steps That Can Make A Big Difference

Eat More Nuts


Despite being high in fat, nuts are incredibly nutritious and healthy. They’re loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, and various other nutrients. Studies demonstrate that nuts can help you lose weight and may help fight type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, your body doesn’t absorb 10–15% of the calories in nuts. Some evidence also suggests that this food can boost metabolism. In one study, almonds were shown to increase weight loss by 62%, compared with complex carbs.




Go Slow On Antibiotics


Antibiotics can adversely affect your immune system and could lead to weight gain because of their impact on your gut bacteria. You may want to consider stop taking antibiotics for sinus infections – they only reduced the symptoms by a day or so.




Check Your Vitamin D Levels


Be aware of the health risks associated with lack of vitamin D. Colleagues including neurologists (multiple sclerosis), rheumatologists (osteoporosis) and cardiologists (heart disease) warn there is a silent epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. Consider taking a vitamin D supplement, however always ask your doctor first.




Drink More Water


Being dehydrated can make you bloated, as your body will hold on to water and you’ll be more likely to suffer from constipation. It can even leave you feeling fatigued – people often think they have low blood sugar when they are actually dehydrated. Make sure you have about eight drinks a day (ideally no more than four are caffeinated), but go by how you feel and by the color of your urine. It should be pale and straw-colored: any darker and you are probably dehydrated.




Drink Coffee Or Tea


Both coffee and tea are linked to a decreased risk of chronic disease. For instance, the polyphenols and catechins found in green tea may decrease your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Similarly, coffee is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers and brain ailments, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Additionally, both coffee and tea drinkers benefit from a 20–30% lower risk of early death compared to non-drinkers. Just remember that too much caffeine can also lead to anxiety and insomnia, so you may want to curb your intake to the recommended limit of 400 mg per day — around 4 cups of coffee.




Sing


Researchers in Sweden found that singing improved heart health. More research is being conducted at the University of California San Francisco to determine if singing can lead to a longer, healthier life.




For Men, Stay Married


According to The Longevity Project, men who got and stayed married were likely to live beyond age 70, but less than one-third of divorced men made it to that age. Men who never married outlived those who divorced, but not those who stayed married. Marital status made little difference for women.




Stop Holding A Grudge


Anger can be a tough emotion to release, especially if you feel justified in your outrage. Maybe the best question to ask yourself is this—is it worth the cortisol? Levels of this stress hormone go up when you’re stressed or angry, with negative effects on your heart, metabolism, and immune system. High cortisol has been associated with greater mortality in a number of studies.




Add A Dash Of Turmeric


When it comes to anti-aging strategies, turmeric is a great option. That’s because this spice contains a potent bioactive compound called curcumin. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin is thought to help maintain brain, heart, and lung function, as well as protect against cancers and age-related




Laugh As Often As Possible


Laughing dilates blood vessels by 22%, increasing blood flow and reducing blood pressure.




Eat Broccoli


Loaded with vitamin C, folic acid and carotenoids, broccoli is packed with nutrients that protect your cells from the damage of free radicals, enhance immune system function and improve reproductive health.




Drink Hot Chocolate


Yes, you heard that right. Rejoice! From helping you think better to boosting heart health, the antioxidants in hot cocoa are more concentrated than in many other sources, resulting in a multitude of health benefits.




Add Ginger


Studies have shown that along with easing muscle pain and helping with painful menstruation and migraines, ginger can eliminate inflammation and may even slow or kill ovarian and colon cancer cells.




Eat Dark Chocolate


Many studies concur that the blood-pressure lowering effects of dark chocolate consumption are beneficial in the prevention of cardiovascular problems.




Add Honey


Swapping out refined sugar for wholesome honey may proffer a number of health benefits where formerly there were few.




Pass On Burned Food


Evidence continues to mount that the chemical acrylamide — found in burned food —may lead to cancer.




Kill Your TV


A large Australian study found that even though participants averaged 30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise, their risk of death from cardiovascular disease increased by 18% for each hour a day they watched TV.




Eat Oatmeal For Breakfast


Start with a carb- and protein-packed breakfast of oatmeal, nuts and berries and chances are you won't get the mid-morning munchies.




Get A Pet


Research has found that people with pets tend to have lower blood pressure and are less likely to have hypertension than those who don't own a pet.




Plant Things


An increasing number of studies have found the surprising mental and physical health benefits of gardening.




Dance


Physical activity is thought to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's’s by as much as 50%. And one study found that frequent dancing reduced the risk of developing dementia by a staggering 76%, more so than any other physical or cognitive activity.




Don’t Shy Away From Garlic


Studies indicate the active ingredient in garlic can prevent atherosclerosis and coronary blockage, lower cholesterol, reduce blood clot formation, regulate blood sugar and prevent cancer.




Take Care Of Your Teeth


Periodontal disease might be directly related to systemic inflammation and cardiovascular risk. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease.




Cuddle


Research shows that cozying up with a loved one releases oxytocin, a stress-releasing hormone that helps to reduce blood pressure. Lower blood pressure means better heart health.




Don’t Worry, Be Happy


A study from Boston University linked optimism with long life. Researchers followed 71,173 women and men and found that the most optimistic people demonstrated, on average, an 11% to 15% longer lifespan, and had 50% to 70% greater odds of reaching 85 years old compared to the least optimistic groups. Another study from the University of Texas found that those with a positive attitude were significantly less likely to become frail compared to negative Nellies. The scientists suggested that a positive outlook might affect health by altering the body's chemical balance.