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They eat a lot of plants

They eat a lot of plants
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Various healthy cultures emphasise different types of foods but one thing they all have in common? Plants, and lots of them. Regardless of the cuisine, the healthiest peoples loaded up the majority of their plates with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, according to the Blue Zones study. The NIH notes that adding more plant foods to your diet will protect you from disease, improve mental health, help you reach a healthy weight, and lengthen your life.

They have quiet time every day

They have quiet time every day
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You may not realise just how noisy modern life is until you turn it all off. But it’s important to make space for quiet, daily mediation says Samantha Brody, a licensed naturopathic physician and acupuncturist. “Meditation has been shown in research to reduce blood pressure, increase attention span, help insomnia, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase compassion,” she says. Whether you pray, do a guided meditation, or simply sit quietly and focus on your breath, doing some type of meditation is one of the best – and simplest – healthy habits you can have. Hint: Meditation is one of the ways that cardiologists protect their own hearts. Here’s how to build relaxation time into your routine.

They spend time outdoors

They spend time outdoors
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Aside from the exercise opportunities, spending time outside in nature provides major health benefits. Okinawans, one of the healthiest cultures in the world, have a practice called “forest bathing” that involves being in nature purely for the enjoyment of it. Research agrees: Strolling through forest environments lowers stress hormones, slows your heart rate, reduces blood pressure, improves your immune system, and increases feelings of safety and well-being, according to a study published in Environmental Health and Medicine. There’s a reason they call nature the brain’s miracle medicine.

They go to bed by 10 pm

They go to bed by 10 pm
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“Sleep is the forgotten aspect of fitness, weight loss, and health, but without getting those eight hours we are overexposing our body to the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol which stimulates cravings and appetites for junk food, breaks down muscle tissue, and stimulates belly fat storage,” says Dr Shawn Talbott, nutritional biochemist and author of The Vigor Diet, The New Science of Feeling Your Best. But when you sleep may be just as important as how much. Every hour of slumber you get before midnight is worth two hours of sleep afterwards, he says. Learning how to reclaim the night and enjoy more sleep starts here.

They spend less time on Facebook and more time face-to-face

They spend less time on Facebook and more time face-to-face
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The more time you spend on social media, the less happy you are, according to a study published in Depression and Anxiety. Looking at pictures and reading updates from friends leads you to compare your worst self to their best selves, leaving you feeling sad and left out. Healthy people limit their time on social media and prioritise spending their time with loved ones in real life. Sure, you may miss out on a few baby announcements or birthday pictures but you’ll be happier and healthier.

They look for ways to help others every day

They look for ways to help others every day
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What do we live for, if not to make life easier for someone else? The famous quote isn’t just cute on Instagram, it’s serious wisdom. Healthy people make time to provide service and give to charity on a regular basis and the more they volunteered, the greater health benefits they enjoyed, according to a study published in BMC Public Health. It’s not hard to see why: Helping others helps you do so many other things on this list like finding a supportive social group, getting outside, and finding your higher purpose.

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They are parents

They are parents
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People who had at least one child lived an average of two years longer than folks who never became parents, according to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. That may seem surprising at first, considering how parents have also been shown to have less financial freedom, get less sleep, and get sick more often than non-parents. The reason? While they may be more work when they are little, once they’re grown children provide ongoing support and love for their families, they said.

They count their blessings

They count their blessings
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Looking for the good in others and the world will certainly make you happier but it can also make you healthier, report researchers at Harvard’s Medical School. The science suggests that optimism helps people cope with disease, recover from surgery, and avoid mental illness. “Research tells us that an optimistic outlook early in life can predict better health and a lower rate of death during follow-up periods of 15 to 40 years,” they added. Make happiness part of your thinking with these simple strategies.

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Source: RD.com

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