How To Add Years To Your Life

According to a recent Imperial College London study, eating 10 portions of fruit and veg a day, may activate a genetic link to prolong life and could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths a year.

Researchers have identified specific fruit and vegetables with healing properties that reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. The scientifically tested and nutritionally balanced proposed diet is the key to making simple changes to your lifestyle that will add years to your life.

BBC News reports Dr Dagfinn Aune, one of the researchers, explained: "Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system. This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold. For instance, they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage and lead to a reduction in cancer risk."

However, The World Health Organization has found that many people struggle to eat the recommended five a day, and in the UK only about one in three people reach this target.

Conclusions from the Imperial College London study were made by pooling data on 95 separate studies, that involved two million people's eating habits. However, Dr Aune stated not all of the 95 studies that were analyzed fully accounted for other aspects of lifestyle, such as exercise levels, that could also play a role in prolonging lives, although conclusions were "quite robust".

In taking a closer look at the diet and considering other factors that play a key role in the longevity stakes, researchers find having a laugh, finding a hobby and falling in love can improve enjoyment in life and add years without involving strict diets and extreme exercise.

Here’s the breakdown on what you need to know on how-to achieve optimum health:

Winning Diet

The good news is it’s not just bitter or leafy greens making an appearance on the recommended dinner plate. Beans, nuts, pulses, potatoes, turmeric, tofu, olive oil, fruit and legumes feature, too. While wide dietary variation can be found for individuals, a mostly plant based diet is the common thread amongst healthy people.

A portion equals as little as 80g (3oz) - the equivalent of a small banana, a pear or three heaped tablespoons of spinach or peas.

What Counts As Five-A-Day?

Lower risks of cancer were linked to eating:

- Green vegetables (eg spinach)

- Yellow vegetables (eg peppers)

- Cruciferous vegetables (eg cauliflower)

Lower risks of heart disease and strokes were linked to eating:

- Apples

- Pears

- Citrus fruits

- Salads

- Green leafy vegetables (eg lettuce)

- Cruciferous veg

Cooking On Five-A-Day

Economical, cost-effective, nourishing and utterly convenient! Increasing your fruit and veggie intake is as easy as starting your morning by spending as little as 15-20mins prepping your favorite ingredients and bringing them to a boil over the stove. Once your dish is brought to boiling point, you simply transfer your pot (lid on) into the wonderbag and allow the cooking process to continue for up to 12hours while you go about your day. When you return, a pot of heart-warming goodness waits…

Try your hand at our hearty Vegetable Barley Soup (serves 4-6)

Prep time: 10 Mins. Stove Time: 35 Mins. Wonderbag Time: 2 Hours

A nutritious and tasty soup that will warm your insides and boost your five-a-day intake with ease. The perfect soul-soothing lunch or 3 o’clock snack!

INGREDIENTS

200ml barley

2 lt water

30ml oil

2 carrots, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3 clove garlic, chopped

125g mushrooms, chopped

200ml frozen corn

2 vegetable bouillon cube

250ml tomato paste

30ml brown sugar

15ml mixed herbs

15 ml salt

10ml ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Boil the barley in 1lt water for 20 minutes. Heat the oil in a medium sized pot and fry the onion and garlic until golden. Add the remaining vegetables and fry for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, barley and water and seasoning. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes, put the lid on and place in the Wonderbag on a mat or cloth, seal and leave to cook for 2 hours. Serve with chopped parsley on top and fresh rolls

Work/Life Balance

It’s something that is talked about regularly but are you actually practicing a work/life balance? Fatigue driven from overwork is never celebrated as a sign of being highly dedicated to your job! A few small adjustments to your workday week can be found to make a significant impact to productivity and your energy levels.

-  Block out time in the calendar devoted just for you – read a book, take an exercise class, cook your favorite healthy dish

-  Leave your desk at lunchtime or move to another space to eat to return more focused

-  It’s OK to say “NO” – don’t feel obliged to attend every after work gathering or meeting

-  Establish a sleep routine that allows you to have 7+ hours each night

-  Take a deep breath

Be Kind To Yourself

Practice wellbeing towards yourself and don’t beat yourself up over not ticking off everything you planned to do before midday. Just like air hostesses and cabin crew remind you each time before take off into the air, you must put your life mask on first before you can be helpful to others. Researchers suggest practicing self-care and mind-fullness boots vitality.

Get Outdoors

Researchers at both the University of Exeter in the UK and Stanford University in the US have found that prolonged exposure to green spaces not only reduces stress and depression, but also boosts feelings of wellbeing.

By spending just 10 minutes outside or looking at nature if you can’t be outdoors restores concentration, according to the University of Oregon in the US.