live longer

  1. Green tea can keep you on your toes

    Drop for drop, it's hard to top green tea when it comes to health benefits. The drink has been shown to help fight cancer, boost the immune system, and even help you to live longer.

    And now, a new study shows that it can keep you active and on your feet -- especially if you're getting up there in years.

    Japanese researchers tracked nearly 14,000 seniors for up to three years, and found that those who drank the most tea were a third less likely to battle disability -- including problems with everyday life, such as bathing or dressing -- than those who drank the most.

    This being Japan, however, the people who drank the most drank quite a bit -- five cups a day (those who drank the least, on the other hand, had less than a cup on average). That's a lot of tea, but you don't have to drink that much to benefit. In fact, three cups a day reduced the risk of disability by a quarter.

    The study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition doesn't show why green tea helps keep seniors active and independent, and part of the reason is almost certainly because the tea drinkers in the study had healthier lifestyles overall.

    But that's not the only reason -- because green tea is packed with powerful antioxidants that have shown to boost health and ward off disease before, including epigallocatechin gallate.

    That's a name that was designed to trip tongues, so we call it EGCG for short -- and studies have shown that this stuff can reverse the cell damage linked to illness and disease.

    Green tea has also been shown to fight cancer, gum disease, stress, depression, pneumonia, and more. It can also boost your immune system, lower your levels of bad cholesterol, reduce your stroke risk, ward off dementia, and even help you to lose weight.

    It's about as close to a "magic" elixir as you'll find -- so go and brew yourself a cup or five today.

  2. Happy people live longer

    It's the attitude adjustment that could save your life: A new study finds that happy people live longer -- which means a smile might turn out to be the cheapest, safest, and easiest longevity-booster on the planet.

    Can you think of any drug or supplement that can slash your risk of a premature death by 35 percent? I can't -- but the study of 3,800 people between the ages of 52 and 79 found that happiness did just that, even after adjusting for age, gender, depression and other health and lifestyle risks.

    All told, just 3.6 percent of the happiest people died during the five-year study -- versus 4.6 percent of those who had average levels of happiness and 7.3 percent of those who were unhappy.

    The volunteers also answered questions about fear, anxiety and worry -- but none of those other attitudes seemed to have any effect on who lived and who died.

    Just happiness -- although it could also be that the very things that make us happy also help us to live longer.

    Married people, for example, live longer... and people who've been married a long time tend to be happier than those who are alone (even if we might joke otherwise).

    Happier people also have a tighter circle of friends -- something that's also known to boost both longevity and happiness.

    On the other hand, attitude alone really can have a direct and measurable impact on health, like a study a couple of years back that found happy people have a 22 percent lower risk of heart disease.

    Another study I told you about over the summer found that an attitude closely linked to happiness -- optimism -- slashed the risk of a stroke.

    And last year, researchers found that the most disagreeable people were more likely to have thicker carotid arteries -- which would explain that increase in stroke risk, not to mention the thick bulging neck veins seen on angry cartoon characters.

    I know changing your attitude is easier said than done -- especially if you have years of experience in the grouch department. But while it's difficult, it's not impossible -- and if you can pull it off, it might just save your life.

  3. Red wine: exercise in a glass

    You might think the only "exercise" you'll get from drinking wine comes from lifting the glass -- or maybe struggling to open the bottle. But it turns out resveratrol, the famous "red wine antioxidant," can actually trick the body into thinking it's getting some actual exercise -- giving you a big-time metabolic boost with every little sip.
  4. Wives save lives

    A new study finds that married men who suffer a heart attack are more likely to get to a hospital quicker than their bachelor counterparts -- and researchers believe it's because their wives are urging them to go at the first sign of trouble.
  5. Olive oil cuts stroke risk

    Years ago, researchers tried using olive oil as a placebo in trials for heart drugs. As it turned out, olive oil -- not widely known at the time for its heart benefits -- protected the patients in placebo groups better than some meds.
  6. Just do it: Sex lowers heart disease risk

    A new study finds that men who rev it up in the bedroom are far less likely to suffer from heart disease.
  7. The low-calorie anti-aging myth

    Researchers studying monkeys found that depriving these poor things of nearly a third of their food over 20 years lowered their risk of dying from an age-related disease.
  8. Vitamin D supplements earn an "A" from Harvard

    Researchers at the Harvard Medical School have identified vitamin D as the one nutrient that most people even with ideal diets won't be able to get enough of through food.
  9. Don't just live longer – live better

    A new study finds that while women are living longer, they're not necessarily living better, especially during those later years.
  10. Don't worry, be happy, live longer

    A new study found that folks who are more active, more outgoing and less neurotic tend to live longer than everyone else.
  11. A little sleep for longer lives

    Older folks who live in their own homes, but get regular assistance that combines occupational and physical therapy with some slight home modifications, live an average of 3.5 years longer.

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