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Fifty ways to live to 100 ( Part 4/5)

Drink just one glass of red per night
Try stopping at one glass (125ml) of red a night (the equivalent of one unit of alcohol) - studies show this provides flavonoids and resveratrol, compounds which could reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and slow the progression of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's.
But drinking three units may be enough to increase the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, breast and bowel.

Why women live longer
The extra X chromosome women have makes them more resilient when faced with attacks on their immunity, according to a study by Ghent University in Belgium. The researchers identified something called "mircoRNA" which has important biological effects - women appear to have more microRNAs on their additional X chromosome.

Get into the mountains
Seven out of ten of the longest-living communities in the U.S. are mountain-based, and in the tiny Sardinian mountain town of Ovodda, as many men as women live to be 100.

Whether it's the fresh air, or the fact you're doing a lot of walking uphill (using major muscle groups and giving your heart a good workout), moving up in the world could extend your life.

Be careful with snacking
There are 622 calories in a 100g fistful - which you can nibble at without even thinking. It would take an hour of swimming to burn off that snack. Stick to crudites (celery, carrots, peppers) instead.

Keep your parents close
A study by Harvard Medical School showed that 91 per cent of men who said (in the Fifties) that they weren't particularly close to their parents ended up developing high blood pressure, alcoholism or heart disease by mid-life.
Only 44 per cent of participants who had reported a "warm" relationship with their parents developed these serious illnesses. The researchers believe this shows just how important close relationships are for fostering healing and promoting survival.

Don't hate Mondays
You're 18 per cent more likely to die on a Monday than a Sunday (possibly through stress of returning to work) and 25 per cent more likely to die during winter than summer, says Dr Sarah Brewer, a London GP and author of Live Longer, Look Younger. Blame the body clock, which influences blood pressure, heart rate and brain activity.

Chew your food
Not only is it a tried-and-tested weight-loss tip, but a study presented at the International Congress of Endocrinology last month suggested not chewing properly can double the risk of type-2 diabetes - partly because people then eat more but also because chewing helps break down the food, making it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients.

Gossip, girl
A good gossip with friends boosts levels of the hormone progesterone, reducing anxiety and stress, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. After just 20 minutes, they found gossiping girls had more progesterone than those who didn't gossip.

Set aside time to fidget
Studies show that the smallest activity (such as fidgeting) is enough to trigger the release of a brain chemical BDNF which, according to Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey, acts like "Miracle-Gro" to the brain, reversing cell deterioration associated with ageing. He recommends setting an alarm on your phone and stretching, jiggling or walking around every hour.

Reduce your salt intake
If each shake delivers half a gram of salt, cutting back by one a day means a drop of 3 ½ grams a week. Most of us consume 9g of salt a day, 3g more than is healthy - this small change could be enough to bring you into line, reducing stroke risk by 13 per cent and heart disease by 10 per cent.

Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 1)
Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 2)
Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 3)
Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 5)

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