A healthy diet, coupled with exercise and good sleep is essential for good health and anything otherwise is going to be damaging to you. There are a lot of factors that can give you a long and healthy life: your genes, your daily diet, your family history, activity levels, stress levels, sleep quality and duration, lifestyle habits, environmental factors including pollution etc, among many other things. There may be some that may not directly be under our control. But many of these factors can, in fact, be monitored, changed or discontinued to lead a happy, healthy and long life.
Among the first on this list, is your food. The one thing that you must immediately start doing according to the latest research is to eat adequate fruits and vegetables. Why? The research shows that their inadequate consumption accounts for nearly millions of deaths from heart disease and strokes each year across the globe. It went on to observe that roughly one in seven cardiovascular deaths could be because of not eating enough fruit and one in 12 cardiovascular deaths could be attributed to not eating enough vegetables.
The research has made some shocking observations: low fruit intake resulted in nearly 1.8 million cardiovascular deaths in 2010, while low vegetable intake resulted in one million deaths.
Why fruits and vegetables are so beneficial to your health is almost a no-brainer. They are rich sources of a number of nutrients essential to our body including fibre, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and phenolics. All of these exhibit heart-friendly properties, improve the health and diversity of good bacteria in the digestive tract and reduce the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease. According to the researchers, the optimal fruit intake is 300 grammes per day which is equivalent to roughly two small apples. When it comes to vegetables, it is 400 grammes per day, equivalent to about three cups of raw carrots.
Apart from good diet, several studies have proven that sleeping for 7-8 hours every day is extremely beneficial for preventing obesity and related complications including diabetes and heart diseases. This means that sleeping for this duration will make you live longer.