Some of the behaviours that may help people live longer and healthier lives include improving nutrition, engaging in physical activity, avoiding or limiting their intake of alcohol, and visiting their primary care physician to pin-point any potential or likelihood of illness. Improving nutrition has been proven to strongly correlate with living a longer and healthier life. For instance Japanese women have help the record for the world’s longer life expectancy. This may be due to several factors such as the health insurance provided by the Japanese government, level of primary education, but most importantly it can be due to their overall healthy lifestyle, more specifically their quality of nutrition. Making improvements to one’s nutrition can be done by getting the daily requirement of fruits and vegetables, decreasing their sodium, sugar and saturated fat intake, eliminating their intake of trans-fat, eating more whole grain foods and seafood as well as by incorporating nutrition supplements to their diet.
Over the years the focus has been put more on chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer as the major causes of morbidity and mortality. Due to the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids found in Seafood, this particular type of food has been known to have tremendous benefits for cardiovascular health. Research has shown that these omega-3 fatty acids aid in decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “bad cholesterol”) while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL, “good cholesterol”), decreasing blood clots, inflammation in blood vessels and slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Going back to the point about high life expectancy among Japanese women, it is known that seafood is not only a great contributor to Japan’s Gross domestic product, but it is also a big part of Japanese culture and diet. Therefore a high intake of seafood or regular consumption of Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can potentially reduce cardiovascular disease.
Making minor changes to the health behaviour at home can also have significant health benefits. From improving nutrition to an increase in physical activity, small changes can lead to big health improvements. Instead of purchasing white bread for example, you can get into the habit of purchasing whole-wheat products. This single act alone may have decreased the cardiovascular risk significantly. Purchasing skim or 1% milk rather than homogenized milk due to the negative effects of cholesterol is another beneficial change. Instead of using butter, you can opt to use olive oil when cooking food. Taking your friends and family to the gym with you on a regular basis while providing support and knowledge to one another can be another encouraging step towards enjoying greater health.
Lifestyle choices you make now not only affect your current health, but also your future health as well. For instance, an individuals drinking habits and eating habits at the present moment can lead to the same individual either less prone or more prone to developing diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease in the future. At the same time, for instance if an individual’s lifestyle involves heavy drinking then that individual is putting him or herself at a higher degree of risk of alcohol poisoning which affects current health rather than future health. Additionally, if an individual’s lifestyle is not balanced, then that individual is more susceptible to mental health problems which have both short-term and long-term consequences.