mental health

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The President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Francis Faduyile, has said there was a need for the stakeholders to handle the issue of mental health seriously,  the way they handle the issue of Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

He also said the government should create mental health units in all health facilities in the county, like the way they created HIV units at the hospitals.

Faduyile, who spoke during the inauguration of a non-governmental organisation,  ‘Carry My Cross Mental Health Centre,’ on Thursday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, suggested that all psychiatric hospitals should be turned into rehabilitation centres.

Represented at the occasion by the Chairman of NMA Committee on Mental Health,

Dr Abayomi Olajide, the NMA President also advocated free treatment of mental related illness in order to tackle extensively increase of the sickness in Nigeria.

Faduyile condemned the act of discrimination and stigmatisation against people living with mental sickness, saying mentally-sick people were members of the society that needed love and care.

According to him, there should be a collaboration with the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria, NMA, NGOs and other mental health specialists towards advocacy for better mental health services and passage of Mental Health Bill currently before the Senate in the interest of promoting a safer society.

He said, “It is criminal to deny access to non-discriminatory qualitative mental health services for all age groups.

He also stressed the need for society to help young people develop mental resilience from the earliest age, in order to cope with the current challenges of the world.

“More than ever before, promoting and protecting adolescents health brings benefits not just to them only but also to economy and society because healthy adults will be able to make impacts in all facets,” the medical practitioner stated.

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On the day the World Mental Health Day was marked around the globe, a lot Nigerians said they were comfortable to publicly discuss their struggles with mental issues, a poll conducted by The Guardian showed.
 
This is contrary to World Health Organisation (WHO) objections that the universality issue of mental health makes a lot of persons struggle to reveal their mental health state with friends and relatives.
 
According to the World Bank, about 22 per cent of Nigerians at least suffers from chronic depression.The poll was conducted on the newspaper’s website, Twitter and Facebook handles.70% majority of respondents on Facebook said they were willing to share their mental experience with others while the remaining 30% said they would like to keep such themselves.
 
On Twitter, 65% of respondents also feel there was nothing bad in sharing their mental health experience, but 35% differ to the stance of the other respondents.
 
76% respondents on the website said there was nothing longer to fear about being stigmatized, as they will share their mental health status, but 24% express fear of being stigmatized and inferior should other people know of their experience in mental health.
 
In total, a 70% majority of these respondents would confide in others persons on their mental state without any regret, while 30% of respondents feel it is not ideal to share their mental health state with anyone.The poll result shows that Nigerians do not see anything sacred in mental health experience.

Alcohol
Alcohol
This feature is part of CNN Parallels, an interactive series exploring ways you can improve your health by making small changes to your daily habits.
A lot of us drink. Too many of us drink a lot. Worldwide, each person 15 years and older consumes 13.5 grams of pure alcohol per day, according to the World Health Organization. Considering that nearly half of the world doesn’t drink at all, that leaves the other half drinking up their share.
While the majority of the world drinks liquor, Americans prefer beer. The Beverage Marketing Corp. tracks these things: In 2017, Americans guzzled about 27 gallons of beer (or 216 pints), 2.6 gallons of wine and 2.2 gallons of spirits per drinking-age adult. But Americans are lightweights in any worldwide drinking game, based on numbers from the World Health Organization. The Eastern European countries of Lithuania, Belarus, Czechia (the Czech Republic), Croatia and Bulgaria drink us under the table.
In fact, measuring liters drunk by anyone over 15, the US ranks 36th in the category of most sloshed nation; Austria comes in sixth; France is ninth (more wine) and Ireland 15th (yes, they drink more beer), while the UK ranks 18th.
Who drinks the least in the world? The Arab nations of the Middle East.
With all this boozing going on, just what damage does alcohol do to your health? Let’s explore what science says are the downsides of having a tipple or two.
Counting calories
Even if you aren’t watching your waistline, you might be shocked at the number of empty calories you can easily consume during happy hour.
Calories are typically defined by a “standard” drink. In the US, that’s about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol, which differs depending on the type of adult beverage you consume.
For example, a standard drink of beer is one 12-ounce can (355 milliliters). For malt liquor, it’s 8 to 9 fluid ounces (251 milliliters). A standard drink of red or white wine is about 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters).
What’s considered a standard drink continues to go down as the alcohol content goes up. But what if that changes? Let’s use beer as an example.
It used to be that light beer came in around 100 calories while regular beer averaged 153 calories per 12-fluid ounce can or bottle — that’s the same as two or three Oreo cookies.
But beer calories depend on both alcohol content and carbohydrate level. So if you’re a fan of today’s popular craft beers, which often have extra carbs and higher alcohol content, you could easily face a calorie land mine in every can. Let’s say you chose a highly ranked IPA, such as Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (9.6% alcohol) or Narwhal (10.2% alcohol), and you’ve downed a whopping 318 to 344 calories, about as much as a McDonald’s cheeseburger. Did you drink just one?
If you pour correctly, white wine is about 120 calories per 5 fluid ounces, and red is 125. If you fill your glass to the brim, that might easily double.
Liquor? Gin, rum, vodka, tequila and whiskey cost you 97 calories per 1.5 fluid ounces, but that’s without mixers. An average margarita will cost you 168 calories while a pina colada weighs in at a whopping 490 calories, about the same as a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder.
A 2013 study in the US found that calorie intake went up on drinking days compared with non-drinking days, mostly due to alcohol: Men took in 433 extra calories, while women added 299 calories.
But alcohol can also affect our self-control, which can lead to overeating. A 1999 study found that people ate more when they had an aperitif before dinner than if they abstained.
Take heart. If you’re a light to moderate drinker, meaning you stick to US guidelines of one “standard” drink a day for women and two for men, studies have shown that you aren’t guaranteed to gain weight over time — especially if you live an overall healthy lifestyle.
For example, a 2002 study of almost 25,000 Finnish men and women over five-year intervals found that moderate alcohol consumption, combined with a physically active lifestyle, no smoking and healthy food choices, “maximizes the chances of having a normal weight.”
However, it appears that heavy drinking and binge drinking could be linked to obesity. And that’s a problem. The numbers of binge drinkers — defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women within a couple of hours at least once a month — has been rising in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in six adults binge about four times a month, downing about eight drinks in each binge.
In the UK, where binge drinking is defined as “drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk,” a 2016 national survey found 2.5 million people admitted to binge drinking in the last week.
Alcohol, of course, has no nutritional value and contains 7 calories per gram — more than protein and even carbs, which both have 4 calories. Fat has 9 calories per gram.
All those empty alcohol calories have to end up somewhere.
Heart disease and cancer
The prevailing wisdom for years has been that drinking in moderation — again, that’s one “standard” drink a day for women and two for men — is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. But recent studies are casting doubt on that long-held lore. Science now says it depends on your age and drinking habits.
A 2017 study of nearly 2 million Brits with no cardiovascular risk found that there was still a modest benefit in moderate drinking, especially for women over 55 who drank five drinks a week. Why that age? Alcohol can alter cholesterol and clotting in the blood in positive ways, experts say, and that’s about the age when heart problems begin to occur.
For everyone else, the small protective effect on the heart was evident only if the drinks were spaced out during the week. Consuming heavily in one session, or binge drinking, has been linked to heart attacks — or what the English call “holiday heart.”
Also, a 2018 study found that drinking more than 100 grams of alcohol per week — equal to roughly seven standard drinks in the United States or five to six glasses of wine in the UK — increases your risk of death from all causes and in turn lowers your life expectancy. Links were found with different forms of cardiovascular disease, with people who drank more than 100 grams per week having a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, fatal hypertensive disease and fatal aortic aneurysm, where an artery or vein swells up and could burst.
In contrast, the 2018 study found that higher levels of alcohol were also linked to a lower risk of heart attack, or myocardial infarction.
Overall, however, the latest thinking is that any heart benefit may be outweighed by other health risks, such as high blood pressure, pancreatitis, certain cancers and liver damage.
Women who drink are at a higher risk for breast cancer; alcohol contributes about 6% of the overall risk, possibly because it raises certain dangerous hormones in the blood. Drinking can also increase the chance you might develop bowel, liver, mouth and oral cancers.
One potential reason: Alcohol weakens our immune systems, making us more susceptible to inflammation, a driving force behind cancer, as well as infections and the integrity of the microbiome in our digestive tract. That’s true not only for chronic drinkers but for those who binge, as well.
Diabetes
The connection between alcohol and diabetes is complicated. Studies show that drinking moderately over three or four days a week may actually lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, drinking heavily increases the risk. Too much alcohol inflames the pancreas, which is responsible for secreting insulin to regulate your body’s blood sugars.
If you have diabetes, alcohol may interact with various medications. If you take insulin or any pills that stimulate the release of insulin, alcohol can lead to hypoglycemia, a dangerously low blood sugar level, because alcohol stimulates the release of insulin as well. That’s why experts recommend never drinking on an empty stomach. Instead, drink with a meal or at least some carbs.
And, of course, because alcohol is made by fermenting sugar and starch, it’s full of empty calories, which contributes to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Mood and memory
Because alcohol is a depressant, drinking can drown your mood. It may not seem that way while you “party” your inhibitions away, but that’s just the drink depressing the part of the brain we use to control our actions. The more you drink, say experts, the more your negative emotions, such as anxiety, anger and depression, can take over.
That’s why binge drinking or drinking a lot in one sitting is associated with higher levels of depression, self-harm, suicide and violent offending.
Binge drinking is also associated with severe “blackouts”: the inability to remember what happened while drunk. Blackouts can range from small memory blips, such as forgetting a name, to more serious incidents, such as forgetting an entire evening.
Alcohol does this by decreasing the electrical activity of the neurons in your hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for the formation of short-term memories. Keep up that binge drinking, and you can permanently damage the hippocampus and develop sustained memory or cognitive problems.
Adolescents are most susceptible to alcohol’s memory disruption but less sensitive to the intoxicating effects. That means they can easily drink more to feel as “drunk” as an adult would, causing even more damage to their brains.
How you look
Last but certainly not least, alcohol can have a significant effect on your good looks. First, it dehydrates you. That can leave your skin looking parched and wrinkled. It’s also linked to rosacea, a skin condition causing redness, pimples and swelling on your face.
Do you know you can stink while you’re drinking? During the time your liver is processing a single drink, which is on average an hour but varies for everyone, some of it leaves your body via your breath, urine and sweat.
Another reason drinking can affect your looks has to do with sleep. Although even a little bit of alcohol can help you fall asleep quickly, as the alcohol is metabolized and leaves the body you may suffer the “rebound effect.” Instead of staying asleep, the body enters lighter sleep and wakefulness, which appears to get worse the more one drinks.
A lack of sleep leads to dark circles, puffy eyes and stress. Keep it up, studies say, and you’re likely to see more signs of aging and a much lower satisfaction with your appearance.
So the next time you head to the pub for tipple or two, remember: You could be paying a price for all that fun.
By Sandee LaMotte | CNN
CNN’s Mark Lieber contributed to this report.

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No less than 45 million Nigerians, approximately 20 percent of the population, are likely to suffer adverse mental health-related problems in their life time.

Disclosing this in Lagos recently, Medical Director, Tranquil & Quest, Dr Otefe Edebi, said 1 in 5 persons in society is at risk of mental health issues.

Edebi who made this assertion during a tour of the new facility based in Lekki-Ajah to offer psychiatric and psychological evaluations to cater for people in need of mental health care in Nigeria said substance abuse and mental health cases were on the rise across the country.

General statistics indicate that about 20 percent of people in any given society in the world, including here in Nigeria, are likely to suffer from one mental ailment or the other,” he said.

We have put together a team of highly-skilled, well-experienced professionals from various fields in mental health care, ranging from consultants, psychiatric nurses, psychologists and supportive professionals on the business side.

Our goal is to address the challenge of rising cases of substance abuse and mental health in Nigeria.” With headquarters in New Jersey, the facility is the brainchild of the Chairman/CEO, Dr Henry Bandele Odunlami, an experienced psychiatrist with over 20 years of experience in mental health.

Do you ever struggle with things like distraction, insomnia, easy weight gain or energy crashes? I sure have, at various times. From talking to lots of people about their health, I’ve realized probably all of us have these symptoms to some degree. I’ll explain how your mind can be a trigger of many of these symptoms and how you can help it work better.

I’ve proposed that most of our modern symptoms can be traced back to the stress response. This response was a good thing when we lived like cavemen and cavewomen, but in the modern world, it gets set off far too often in situations in which it is no longer helpful. If we can keep this stress response in check, we will feel happier, have better relationships and fewer health issues.

As hard as we try to manage the many events around us, our mind alone can be one of the biggest triggers of the stress response.

It’s Normal To Be Fearful

Imagine your great, great, great (1,000 more greats) grandmother roughly 20,000 years ago. She is fast asleep near a fire when she hears a branch break from the dark forest nearby. She could assume it was something harmless (like the wind) and go back to sleep, or she could feel fear and panic and alert the rest of her tribe to a possible predator.

Those who panicked easily felt more stress, but also survived better and produced easily-panicked offspring, like us.

Mark Twain said:

I . . . have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.

It is important to realize that all of our minds are fearful. This is normal. The moment we are free of distraction or habit, our minds start trying to figure out around which corner the next danger might be lurking. These imagined fears can turn on the stress response, even when they are fleeting or below the level of awareness.

Sometimes these fears are so strong that they break into the surface of our awareness in the form of annoying and intrusive thoughts:

  • “That will never work.”
  • “They are going to laugh at me.”
  • “Who are you trying to kid?”
  • “I can’t stand the way my hair looks.”
  • “Wow, the last thing I said really sounded stupid.”

When I was in college, I needed to have roommates in order to pay the rent. As annoying as some of them were, none were as annoying as the daily, self-chatter I heard from my own mind.

The Present Moment

The more focused your mind is in the present, the less it can upset you with unwelcome, possible, future scenarios. As we move through the day, our minds will become more and more detached from the present.

You may have heard that spending hours a day, for decades, on meditation can help calm this internal chatter. I’ve trained in many types of meditation over the years. Some seemed as complex as I imagine brain surgery would be and took over an hour each day to do properly. My best intentions and discipline would carry me along for some time in these practices, but inevitably, life and my other interests would get in the way, so I’d soon be off track. Maybe you have gone through this pattern with meditation also.

The good news is we now know it doesn’t take heroic efforts to get major benefits. By doing nothing more than lying down and resting for a few minutes, you can transform your mind and lower your stress response. You’ll feel more alert and energized, better focused on your goals, have fewer headaches, less digestive symptoms and sleep better.

A Simple Technique

Try this crazy, simple technique for just five minutes each morning for the next week, and see how you feel:

  1. Set a timer for five minutes.
  2. Lie on your back.
  3. Focus your eyes on a spot on the ceiling.
  4. Count each time you breathe in.
  5. If you lose count, start over.

When the timer goes off, you’re finished. That’s it.

It Really Does Work!

In my clinic, I’ve seen that this simple technique lowers anxiety scores and improves the measured levels of stress hormones, sleep and short-term memory. Some people see benefits in the first few days!

The reason this works is because it trains your mind to stay present through thinking about your breath and visually watching a fixed point. It is brief enough that you don’t get antsy and agitated, as many can during prolonged, formal meditation. By having your eyes open, it also keeps your mind from wandering as easily.

I challenge you to test it for just two weeks. Watch the nature of your mental chatter as you go along, and see if it improves. You might be surprised how much better you feel when you don’t have to deal with so many of what Mark Twain called, “the troubles that never happened.”

Menopause and Sex Life. Not two words you necessarily associate together but actually, the menopause can have a profound effect on your sex life, and not in a good way.

If you’ve had a healthy sex drive up to this phase of your life, it can make you feel under pressure to continue your sex life at the same level as before. Unfortunately, your body has other ideas! For a lot of women, they just feel too tired and then guilty at the fact you’re saying ‘not tonight’ again.

Be assured though, it’s totally normal to not feel in the mood!

Your ovaries stop producing oestrogen which can cause vaginal dryness and make sex painful and difficult, and over time lessen your desire as it just feels too much like hard work.

Hot flushes and night sweats also don’t exactly put you in the mood and make bedtime a sexy place to be! And the weight you’ve gained is seriously affecting your confidence and making you feel pretty rubbish.

Add to that a dip in your testosterone levels, which plays a key role in a woman’s sex drive and sexual sensation, and you can understand why so many women in their 40’s and 50’s have a reduced sex drive. Especially as our sexual desires naturally decline with age anyway.

The good news is you don’t just have to suffer through and accept this as your lot!

There are things you can do to help boost your sex drive and put you in the mood.

Here are few tips:

1. Diet. Certain foods have been found to increase libido:

– Magnesium rich foods including green leafy vegetables, beans and pulses boost levels of your sex hormones.

– Phytoestrogens such as flaxseeds and soybeans naturally mimic oestrogen in your body and increase your sex drive

– Spinach, garlic and coconut, can help boost your testosterone levels which affect your libido

2. Herbs can also be beneficial in helping to boost your libido, including ginseng which helps to boost testosterone, ashwaganda increases blood flow to the clitoris and other female sexual organs and maca root helps to balance hormones and improve sexual experiences and satisfaction.

3. If the feeling is more psychological, due to low mood and a lack of confidence in yourself, then talking about it can really help. Whether that is to your partner, a friend or a health practitioner, know that it is really common and you are not alone.

4. Building strong emotional bonds with your partner, doing things like holding hands, talking and cuddling can help build connection and intimacy with your partner, and put you in the mood.

5. Lubricants can make sex easier and more enjoyable. Go for a water-based one as the most natural way to increase moisture and maintain your vagina’s natural PH.

6. Exercise helps by boosting stamina and strength, which in turn increases your confidence and sex drive. Go for a walk, join a dance class, just do something that you enjoy!

So it is just another natural and normal phase of life and, if you follow the above tips, you can work with it!

Overview

A keto diet refers to a ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carb diet. The goal is to get more calories from protein and fat than from carbs. It works by depleting your body of its store of sugar, so it will start to break down protein and fat for energy, causing ketosis (and weight loss).

One extremely popular version of a keto diet is the Atkins diet.

Read on to learn the benefits of the keto diet.

1. Aids in weight loss

It takes more work to turn fat into energy than it takes to turn carbs into energy. Because of this, a ketogenic diet can help speed up weight loss. And since the diet is high in protein, it doesn’t leave you hungry like other diets do. In a meta-analysis of 13 different randomized controlled trials, 5 outcomes revealed significant weight loss from a ketogenic diet.

2. Reduces acne

There are a number of different causes of acne, and one may be related to diet and blood sugar. Eating a diet high in processed and refined carbohydrates can alter gut bacteria and cause more dramatic blood sugar fluctuations, both of which can have an influence on skin health. Therefore, by decreasing carb intake, it’s not a surprise that a ketogenic diet could reduce some cases of acne.

3. May help reduce risk of cancer

The ketogenic diet has recently been investigated a great deal for how it may help prevent or even treat certain cancers. One study found that the ketogenic diet may be a suitable complementary treatment to chemotherapy and radiation in people with cancer. This is due to the fact that it would cause more oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells.

Other theories suggest that because the ketogenic diet reduces high blood sugar, it could reduce insulin complications, which may be associated with some cancers.

4. Improves heart health

When the ketogenic diet is followed in a healthy manner (which considers avocados a healthy fat instead of pork rinds), there is some evidence that the diet can improve heart health by reducing cholesterol. One study found that HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels significantly increased in those following the keto diet. The LDL (“bad”) cholesterol went down significantly.

5. May protect brain functioning

More research is needed into the keto diet and the brain. Some studies suggest that the keto diet offers neuroprotective benefits. These may help treat or prevent conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even some sleep disorders. One study even found that children following a ketogenic diet had improved alertness and cognitive functioning.

6. Potentially reduces seizures

It’s thought that the combination of fat, protein, and carbs alters the way the body uses energy, resulting in ketosis. Ketosis is an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood.

Ketosis can lead to a reduction in seizures in people with epilepsy. The jury is still out on how effective this actually is, though it seems to be most effective on children who have focal seizures.

7. Improves health in women with PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts. A high-carbohydrate diet can negatively affect those with PCOS.

There aren’t many clinical studies on the ketogenic diet and PCOS. One pilot study that involved 5 women over a 24-week period found that the ketogenic diet:

  • increased weight loss
  • aided hormone balance
  • improved luteinizing hormone (LH)/follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) ratios
  • improved fasting insulin

More research is needed.

Risks and complications of the keto diet

The ketogenic diet may have health benefits – including quick weight loss. But it’s important to note that staying on the ketogenic diet long-term can have adverse consequences to your health. These include increased risk of:

  • kidney stone formation
  • acidosis (high levels of acid in the blood)
  • severe weight loss or muscle degeneration (for long-term use)
  • In many cases, immediate side effects of the diet may include:
  • constipation
  • sluggishness
  • low blood sugar
  • These symptoms are especially common at the beginning of the diet as your body adjusts.

Your brain and body’s primary and preferred source of energy comes from glucose. Because of this, a drastic elimination of carbohydrates isn’t typically a sustainable method of reaching optimal wellness.

Takeaway

Any drastic change in your diet can have potential consequences to your health. Because of this, you should always talk to your doctor or a nutritionist before starting a new diet.

If you’re interested in starting the keto diet, you should be extra careful to check with your doctor if you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, or heart disease.

Because you don’t want your body to stay in ketosis for too long, you’ll want to discuss other options for dietary changes for an extended period of time.

The ketogenic diet encourages the elimination of refined and processed carbohydrates. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Many health benefits come from a diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense, fibrous carbs, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

It’s funny that “the one organ in our brain that thinks is often the one we think less about”. The brain is the most important organ in our body and it’s time we pay more attention to its health and welfare. Here are 8 habits that harm your brain.

Not Sleeping Well

Lack of proper sleep is a bad habit that can significantly hurt your brain. It negatively affects the hippocampus causing a deficit that leads to forgetfulness.

Having Too Much Time to Yourself

Alone time can be great for thinking, reflection and mapping out your dreams and goals. However, when the solitude is too much it can damage the mind and body. It can typically cause brain decline, affect the quality and efficiency of sleep making it less restorative, erode arteries, create high blood pressure, undermine learning and memory and generally take a toll on health; although, most of these effects are gradual and experienced over the course of time.

Eating Too Much Junk Food

Regardless of the fact that you are the kind of person that can eat whatever you like and remain in shape, it is important not be excessive in your intake of junk foods. This is because parts of the brain linked to learning, memory and mental health are smaller and less developed in people who excessively consume junk foods. Natural foods like berries, whole grains, nuts, green leafy vegetables preserve the brain function and slow mental decline.

You Play Loud Music with Earphones or Headphones

Placing the volume of your earphone or headphone at full volume can permanently damage your hearing. It can also cause brain problems involving loss of memory or inability to remember things easily, and loss of brain tissue in your later years. This is most likely because the brain has to work so hard to understand what’s being said around you that it can hardly store what you’ve heard into your memory.

Immobility

The body was made to move and the longer you remain unmoving and inactive the more likely you are to suffer from diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia and high blood pressure which can all negatively affect the brain in the long run. You don’t have to start high-intensity workouts or start running marathons, just take a walk around your house more often or engage in an activity that gets you moving.

Smoking

At this point, it has already been established that smoking is bad for your body. Aside causing lung problems, smoking also shrinks the brain. It makes your memory worse, makes you more forgetful and leads to problems like heart disease, dementia, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, lung cancer etc.

Overeating

We are familiar with the saying, “too much of anything is bad”. Too much food, even of the right and healthy kind of food, can hinder the brain from building up a strong network of connections to help you think and remember. Overeating can also lead to obesity which is linked to a number of brain problems like food addiction, impulsive and disinhibited eating and in some cases cognitive problems.

Staying Indoor or In the Dark for Prolonged Periods

For the optimum health of the brain, it is important you expose yourself to natural light as often as you can. This helps to prevent depression and keep your brain working well. Staying in the dark or without natural light for prolonged periods, can slow your brain and cause a decline in the brain.

The following are steps to take if you want to live longer…

Don’t overeat

If you want to live to 100, leaving a little bit of food on your plate may be a good idea. Author Dan Buettner, who studies longevity around the world, found that the oldest Japanese people stop eating when they are feeling only about 80% full.

St. Louis University researchers have confirmed that eating less helps you age slower; in a 2008 study, they found that limiting calories lowered production of T3, a thyroid hormone that slows metabolism—and speeds up the ageing process.

Live healthy, live longer

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer.

A recent study found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years.

Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviours. Adopt the following nine habits to keep your body looking and feeling young.

Get busy

Having satisfying sex two to three times per week can add as many as three years to your life. Getting busy can burn an impressive amount of calories—sometimes as much as running for 30 minutes. (Which would you rather do?)

Regular sex may also lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, boost your immunity, and protect your heart.

Reach out

Research shows that you’re at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. Loneliness can cause inflammation, and in otherwise healthy people it can be just as dangerous as having high cholesterol or even smoking.

Loneliness seems to pose the greatest risk for elderly people, who are also prone to depression.

Eat fruits and vegetables

Getting fewer than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day can eat away at your health. Nutritional powerhouses filled with fiber and vitamins, fruits and veggies can lower your risk of heart disease by 76% and may even play a role in decreasing your risk of breast cancer.

As an added bonus, the inflammation-fighting and circulation-boosting powers of the antioxidants in fruits and veggies can banish wrinkles.

Focus on fitness

Daily exercise may be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. A 2008 study found that regular high-intensity exercise (such as running) can add up to four years to your life, which isn’t surprising given the positive effects working out has on your heart, mind, and metabolism.

Even moderate exercise—a quick, 30-minute walk each day, for example—can lower your risk of heart problems.

With the high populations of our time and therefore the prevalence of crowdedness, worrying concerning diseases has become common. There are such a big amount of people running around who might be carriers of debilitating diseases for others. a complex of viruses and bacteria that would ruin some days of your life, or probably kill you.

Not solely do diseases ruin your productivity, however, they conjointly poke a hole in your wallet. you’ll be spending an enormous portion of your money on medicine, simply to medicate yourself. If you are somebody with a weak immune system, drug prices are also a big part of your expenses. it’s even worse once poor immune could be a genetic attribute in your family.

As such, you wish to seek out ways in which to reduce back the chance of sickness as much as you can. an excessive amount of medication, whereas it’s useful, will certainly cause severe side effects that would cause death. you’ll ruin your body over time with the harmful chemicals and antibiotics consumed perpetually. Here are some powerful ways you can boost your immune system.

1. Add Some Sunshine

Researchers are quickly catching on that Vitamin D may be the secret to avoiding the cold and flu. Vitamin D plays an important role in strengthening your defence system to better fight any invading viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, it is also the number one vitamin deficiency in Americans. Compounding the problem if the fact that Vitamin D is produced when the body gets adequate levels of sunshine, so naturally, even less is produced in the winter months. It has recently been hypothesized that this could be one major reason for the increase in cold and flu cases during the winter season.  Because of this, it’s important that we have alternative ways of getting this powerful immune-boosting vitamin. One great source of Vitamin D is cod liver oil. In addition to the Vitamin D it offers, it’s also a great source of Vitamin A, which is an immune system superstar, and Omega 3 fatty acids, which holds significant health benefits for the heart, brain, skin, and much more.

2. An Apple a Day

When it comes to fighting cold and flu, it is essential to decrease your sugar intake. Sugar has devastating effects on the immune system, and the fact that Americans consume an average of 2-3 pounds of sugar per person every year spells bad news come cold and flu season. Not only does sugar increase the production of hormones that suppress the immune system, refined sugar needs micronutrients to be metabolized. This requires your body to use stored vitamins and minerals, further harming your defences. On the other hand, eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will make sure that your body is getting all of the vitamins and minerals that are essential to fighting off the cold and flu. Each and every fruit and vegetable is packed with thousands of phytochemicals. No supplement could ever match the power of eating a whole food. Regardless of what vitamin and mineral you take, it should always be as a supplement to a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

3. Keep Balanced

By now, we all know that stress is bad for us. However, relatively few of us are aware of how stress actually impacts the health of the body. When we experience stress, the natural balance of the body is affected in ways we could never imagine. In fact, stress takes an enormous toll on the immune system. For this reason, it is important to find ways to bring the body back into balance. Meditation, prayer, exercise, and yoga are all great ways of taking care of yourself and keeping stress levels low. Chiropractic adjustments also have a significant effect on the nervous system, creating balance, helping to restore the body’s natural healing potential.