101 ideas to live a longer and healthier life

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Jules Walters • Published: Jan 16, 2023

We would all like to live as long a life as possible and for those years to be healthy ones. 

In the past two decades, science has come a long way in uncovering the biological mechanisms that age us. Here are 100 ideas to live a longer and healthier life, based on the latest science.

A quick note: this list is for people with good, underlying health. If you have a long-term health condition like diabetes or hypertension, or you’re on medications, talk to your doctor about which items from this list might work for you.

Improve your sleep

Composite image of dark starry night with the word SLEEP superimposed, alongside clock face with roman numerals showing it's just turned midnight. 101 ideas to live a longer & healthier life.

We need at least seven hours a night of quality sleep, so our bodies and minds can be restored. To improve your sleep, try preparing for bed a little earlier.

A calming evening routine of a bath, meditation or reading could help.

Exercise regularly

The latest government guidelines recommend 150 minutes a week of moderately vigorous physical exercise, enough to be a little out of breath, plus two muscle strength training sessions. 

You don’t have to exercise all at once. You could break it down to five sessions of 30 minutes to get to your 150 minutes.


Intermittent fasting

Western culture has developed a love of food and often just too much of it. 

In recent years, intermittent fasting has proven popular – where you restrict your intake of food for two days a week (the 5:2 diet).

You can read more with Dr Michael Mosley’s The Fast 800. Other intermittent fasts mean not consuming calories for at least 12 hours. That could include overnight fasting, say from 7pm to 7am.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants

That’s the summary by author Michael Pollan in his book In Defense of Food. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Too much processed food is killing us and, according to Michael, can be directly linked to the way we’re eating. 



Metformin is traditionally used as an early treatment for people with diabetes, as it helps to keep  sugar levels even. In recent years, pioneers of the longevity movement like Dr David Sinclair and Dr Nir Barzilai have started taking metformin to extend their lifespan. David Sinclair’s book LifeSpan is a great place to find out more. 

Metformin is a pharmaceutical product, so you’ll need to talk to your doctor about its possible benefits.


Nicotinamide mononucleotide

Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is made by our bodies from vitamin B3 but, as we age, our levels of NMN go down. NMN is important for cellular energy and you can now buy NMN as a supplement. I take it every day. Manufacturers have even started offering NMN for dogs! 

Renue By Science has a good summary of the science behind NMN.



Resveratrol is a polyphenol, a type of compound found in plants with lots of antioxidants. In recent years, it’s become known as reverse-atrol as it has been linked with so many health benefits, protecting our cells from damage.

This is another daily dose for me.


Check your gut microbiome

We are not alone! The average human has trillions of microbes living in and on us, many in our gut. 

Several consumer companies, like Viome and Zoe, offer a service to check the composition of your gut microbiome and make dietary suggestions based on the results.


Eat probiotics

Probiotics are good bugs added to foods to help improve our gut health. You’ll see them added to a lot of fermented products, such as yogurts.


Take prebiotics

Prebiotics are foods that your gut bacteria love and help our gut gardens grow. They are fibers that can’t be digested by humans and allow bacteria to ferment them as they pass through our bodies. Common prebiotics include leeks, garlic, onions and ground flaxseed.

Boost your immune system

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Boosting our immune systems involves a combination of several of the steps above. That includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, good sleep, keeping our weight down.

Not too much alcohol – and no smoking.


Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, part of the ginger family of plants. It’s another polyphenol, a plant compound, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.


Black pepper 

Black pepper or piper nigrum is something we usually have on our tables and in our kitchens. It’s seen as a super plant, which science credits with improving brain function and boosting the absorption of nutrients. Sprinkle liberally.



Quercetin is another power compound from plants, now available in supplements.

It’s another polyphenol found naturally in foods like broccoli, onions and fruit like apples.



Fisetin is a plant super-compound found in lots of fruit and vegetables; including strawberries, apples, onions and cucumber.

Scientific studies have shown fisetin helps fight inflammation, as well as potentially fighting cancer. It’s early days in understanding its full power. 



Once estrogen levels drop after menopause, women are estimated to lose TWO per cent of bone mineral density PER YEAR. That’s a lot! Calcium supplements can help to boost a healthy diet rich in calcium.

Foods rich in calcium include dairy products and fortified plant-based milks.


Extra-virgin olive oil 

Blue zones are regions of the world where people live longer than normal. They include the island of Ikaria in Greece, the Italian island of Sardinia, and the Calabria region in the southernmost tip of Italy.

One common ingredient in the diets of blue zone inhabitants is extra virgin olive oil. In his book The Longevity Diet by Dr Valter Longo, Valter recommends 50 mls of extra-virgin olive oil a day, either in cooking or on a salad.


Omega 3s

Omega 3 is a kind of essential fat that our body can’t make. We need to get omega 3s from our diet. You can find omega 3s in flaxseed; fatty fish, like salmon; and nuts, particularly walnuts.

We need omega 3 for cell maintenance, to build cell membranes and receptors – and it’s been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke.


Omega 6s

Omega 6 is another essential fat we need to get from food. Most Americans eat more omega 6s than 3s, mainly from vegetable oil. It’s a polyunsaturated fat, like omega 3.

Research has shown that eating more omega 6 reduced signs of inflammation, or left them unchanged.



Sardines might be small in size, but they’re big in health benefits. They are packed with omega 3s, plus calcium and vitamin D.

Also, being a small fish, sardines don’t accumulate mercury in the way that some bigger and longer-lived types of fish do, such as tuna.


Eat cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables get their name from the Latin word cruciferae for cross, as the shapes of their flowers resemble a cross,. It’s a bit of a visual stretch for some of these vegetables, but the important thing is that this powerful group is packed with vitamins and minerals.  

The group includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, collards and kale.


Walk 10,000 steps a day

Do you know how many steps you walk a day? The average American walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. But that’s not enough! 

Most modern phones have some kind of walking tracker preloaded. So start tracking and build up those steps. You’ll end up with a healthier heart, lower blood pressure and improved mental health.


Pursue a passion

Research has shown that doing what we love is good for our health. It lowers our stress levels, improves mood and lowers our heart rate.

Downtime can be good times in terms of our health. 


Develop stoicism

Stoicism is a way of coping with the ups and downs of life that has its origins in ancient Greece and Rome. 

More recently, authors Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman have translated the ancient wisdom of Seneca and Marcus Aurelius into a modern setting in their great book The Daily Stoic. 


Protect your DNA

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is known as THE major risk factor from our environment for a range of skin cancers. So, lather on the sunscreen when out and about – ideally factor 50 – and cover your skin with protective clothing.


Vitamin D

The word vitamin means a group of compounds that is needed for health and can’t be made by our bodies. We need to find them either in food or from sunshine.

Vitamin D helps us build bone by helping to absorb calcium and phosphorus. Known as the sunshine vitamin, we make vitamin D in the presence of ultraviolet B rays. If you live in an area with limited sun, supplements are another option.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is critical to make collagen for connective tissue and neurotransmitters. It’s also known as an antioxidant and it helps us to absorb iron. 

Good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons; tomatoes; red peppers; and strawberries.


Vitamin Bs

There are eight vitamin Bs, including B1 (thiamin) and B9 (folic acid). The B vitamins help with a bunch of daily tasks, including helping to release and transport energy.



Once you’re over 45, it’s recommended we have a colonoscopy every 10 years. A colonoscopy is a screening procedure to check for abnormal growths or polyps in our colons. Colorectal cancer almost always develops from these polyps. 



The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends a mammogram every two years for women aged 50 to 74 years, who are at average risk of breast cancer. A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray of your breasts. 

Breast tissue is more prone to cancer than other parts of our body. 


Measure your BMI

Two-sided yellow tape measure lying over glass bathroom scales

One of the most established ways of checking your weight is by calculating your BMI (body mass index).

BMI calculates your weight relative to your height and it will give you a number that indicates if you’re underweight, normal, overweight or obese.



The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends a mammogram every two years for women aged 50 to 74 years, who are at average risk of breast cancer. A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray of your breasts. 

Breast tissue is more prone to cancer than other parts of our body.  



Once you’re over 45, it’s recommended we have a colonoscopy every 10 years. A colonoscopy is a screening procedure to check for abnormal growths or polyps in our colons. Colorectal cancer almost always develops from these polyps. 


Pap test

A pap test or pap smear looks for precancerous cells on our cervix. It’s named after the inventor of the test George Papanicolaou. Although an old test, it’s still the most widely available one and, though a little uncomfortable, well worth doing. 

Doctors often test for HPV (human papillomavirus) at the same time.



Until recently, monitoring our blood sugar levels was only available to people with diabetes. Now Levels has made the technology available to consumers who want to monitor their health more closely. 

Their monitor involves inserting a thin probe into your arm for about 10 days, before replacing. I’ve tried Level and found the information useful in revealing what foods spiked my sugar levels. 



A new way to check the balance of your gut microbiome is to have it measured through a stool test. There are a number of companies, including Viome, that will analyze a small sample sent in the post, with results uploaded to an app.

I’ve done this test and got back a list of foods to avoid as well as foods to boost my gut health;, plus a health score based on my microbiome.



Lumen is a new device to measure whether we’re burning fats or carbohydrates. It does this by measuring the concentration of carbon dioxide in our breath. 

The device is easy to use and, based on the results, it will produce a suggested meal plan. It’s particularly useful if you’re trying to lose weight.


Inside Tracker

I love Inside Tracker. It was one of the first companies to enable us to order a blood test without having to go through our primary care provider. The results are uploaded to a helpful portal.

I have my blood tested every three months to check my biological data. This is the kind of data your primary care provider usually checks once a year through an annual health check. Results include data on your liver enzymes, glucose, cholesterol, iron and immune system.


Read the science

We’re lucky that some of the world’s best authorities on longevity, who are doing the hard work at the scientific bench, are also writing books on their findings so the rest of us can keep up.

As a good start, I recommend  LifeSpan by David Sinclair, The Longevity Diet by Valter Longo, and Age Later by Nir Barzilai.


Measure fasting blood glucose 

The average American eats way more sugar than we need and 10 TIMES MORE than we did 100 years ago. 

A good time to measure what’s called fasting blood glucose as a baseline is in the morning when you first wake up. You can buy a simple glucose monitor from most pharmacies for about $20. You’ll need to prick your finger to get a reading.

A fasting glucose reading of 72-85 mg/dL is a good level, based on the results of healthy people wearing Levels’ continuous glucose monitors. 


Eat foods unlikely to spike sugar levels 

Eating foods high in sugar gives us a short-term high, followed by a trough. The rollercoaster of ups and downs in sugar doesn’t make us feel great and over time can lead to problems like metabolic syndrome. 

Each of us metabolizes foods at a different rate but foods unlikely to cause sugar spikes are vegetables, nuts, beans, meat and fish. 


Eat healthy fats

Fats have got a bad reputation over the past few decades but they are essential for our health. We need them to make the worker molecules, such as proteins and hormones, that keep our body functioning.

The key is to eat the right fats. Focus on unsaturated fats like olive and avocado oils. 

Leave trans fats on the shelf. They’re cheap to make, but research has shown they increase the risk of heart disease.


Measure your bone density

Image of check box list from a To Do List with handwritten reminder to Schedule a Bone Density Test

After menopause, it’s estimated that women lose TWO per cent of their bone density PER YEAR. 

Figure out where you are now through a DEXA bone scan. It’s an imaging technique that uses low-dose X-rays. Order through your primary care provider.


Measure C-reactive protein (CRP)

Inflammation is one of the first signs of our bodies being out of balance. C-reactive protein is made by our liver and increases when there’s inflammation. A blood test will check levels of CRP.


Increase HDL

HDL is one type of cholesterol that’s good for us. It stands for high-density lipoprotein. I remember it as H for happy. 60 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) or above is considered a good measure for women. 

Find out yours through a blood test. 


Lower LDL

LDL or low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol as it can lead to the build-up of plaque in our arteries. Normal levels are below 100 mg/dL. 

You can lower your LDL by reducing saturated fats in meat and fast foods, and by exercising.


Boost mitochondria

Our mitochondria are the powerhouses of energy in our cells. As we age, they produce less energy, particularly once we’re over 50. 

Supplements can help, like nicotinamide mononucleotide – which is closely related to vitamin B3.


Cook more

There’s no better way to understand what you’re eating than to prepare your own meals. It doesn’t have to be complicated, nor have lots of ingredients.

Start with a type of food you love so you’re more likely to stick with it: Italian? Mexican? Greek? Japanese? 


Promote autophagy

Autophagy is like a good closet clear out: getting rid of the elements that are damaged or past their use-by date. Cells are no different. Autophagy is the process of getting rid of cell junk that is damaged and reusing other parts.

A common technique to encourage autophagy is intermittent fasting or calorie restriction.


Become CEO of your own health

It’s understandable to outsource our overall health to our doctor. They can certainly help, particularly when we’re sick. But when we’re healthy, we’re the ones who are most likely to keep us that way. We’re the ones who are going to get us off the sofa. Prevention is personal. It’s down to us.


Add flaxseed

I love flaxseed. It’s so easy to add to your usual breakfast, and it’s so good for us. It comes packed with fiber and omega 3s. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is said to have given flax to people with stomach pains over 2,000 years ago. 

Mix it in with your morning yogurt, or sprinkle it on your favorite cereal.


Weigh yourself every day

As the saying goes: what gets measured, gets managed. Step on the scales every morning to remind yourself how much you weigh. Nothing like a daily reminder to influence what goes in our mouths.


Limit your eating times

The benefits of intermittent fasting have been studied in recent years and shown to produce results, particularly in losing weight.

There are many ways to limit the hours we eat. You could stop eating and drinking at 7pm each night and have nothing till 7am the next day: that’s 12 hours without any calories. Some find fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 even better. The key is to find a regular pattern that works for you.


Eat fewer takeaways

Research has shown that people who eat high-processed foods risk higher blood pressure, obesity and metabolic imbalance. 

Levels has taken a look at the fast-food outlets most likely to spike your blood sugar.


Work with your doctor

Your primary care physician can recommend strategies and tactics to keep you in tip-top condition. A lot of it is prevention, such as cancer screenings and vaccines. 

As Benjamin Franklin put it: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Measure blood pressure

There are lots of at-home monitors to check our blood pressure. There’s no need to wait for our annual check with our PCP.

Some monitors are more accurate than others. The monitors on this list have been independently checked for accuracy. 


Check liver enzymes

Our livers are like the local trash disposal. They are the unsung heroes of our daily health, working to rid us of toxins and producing important transport proteins.

You can check your liver health through a blood test ordered by your PCP, or you can order one yourself through health tracking companies like Inside Tracker. (I have my blood tested every three months with InsideTracker.)


Look at your DNA

Our book of biological instructions is written in just about every cell of our body and we’re the first generation of humans who can read that book in an affordable way.

Consumer companies like 23andme and Ancestry will analyze a panel of genes and reveal how your genes affect your metabolism and where you came from geographically. You can also opt for deeper insights.


Limit salt intake

Salt makes our food taste better, which is why it’s added to so many processed foods. High salt consumption is believed to contribute to autoimmune diseases, possibly by activating T cells in our immune system.

Read more in Valter Longo’s great book The Longevity Diet.


Maximize complex carbohydrates

A complex carbohydrate is one that takes longer to break down by our gut, so it releases energy more slowly and consistently than simple white sugars.

Complex carbs include whole grains and vegetables. Research has shown complex carbs promote a healthy microbiome. 


Try yoga

Yoga has been shown to increase flexibility, improve muscle strength, balance metabolism and lose weight, according to the American Osteopathic Association.

Yoga is a discipline of movement and breathing that’s been with us for centuries. There are lots of different kinds.


Avoid high-mercury fish

Some bigger types of fish such as marlin, shark and tuna have higher mercury levels than smaller fish like anchovies, cod and salmon.

All humans are exposed to some levels of mercury, usually through dental amalgam fillings or by eating seafood, according to the World Health Organization. The less of it the better!


Eat protein but not too much

Image of a control panel with three knobs each controlling one macronutrient type (Carbs, Fat, and Protein)

Most Americans get enough or too much protein each day. How much protein we need depends on our weight and physical activity.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommends 75-90 grams of protein for a 75-kilogram person, once we’re over 50. Eat protein throughout the day, rather than all at once.

For a rough guide: a chicken breast, or average portions of rice and vegetables equals about 25 grams of protein.


Build muscle mass

Once we’re over 50, we start to lose muscle mass – so exercise is important to build it back. 

Strength training isn’t just for men. Casey Johnson has written a book on strength training for women: Liftoff: Couch to Barbell. 


Incorporate pilates

Pilates is a form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1960s in New York to help dancers build core muscle strength and flexibility.

Pilates classes are available all over the world, usually at your local gym.


Become aware of food quantity. How much is 30 grams?

It sounds a bit nerdish, but it’s helpful to know what 30 grams of protein looks like. Is that a small piece of steak or a big one? Invest in kitchen scales to find the answer.

A healthy diet has between 75 and 90 grams (roughly. 2.5 to 3 ounces) of protein for a 75 kilogram (165 lbs) person. Reduce that by 0.8 grams per kilo for body weight below 75 kgs.


Eat nuts

Nuts are a great source of protein. Incorporate them  into a healthy diet. 

In his book, The Longevity Diet, Victor Longo recommends 30 grams of nuts a day.


Consider a Mediterranean diet

In the 1950s, researchers noticed that people who lived around the Mediterranean Sea, particularly Italy and Greece, had fewer heart problems.

Since then, more research has broken down what Mediterranean populations eat: olive oil as the main fat, plant-based foods including vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. They also eat fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, but not too much. 

There are lots of books with good recipes for a Mediterranean diet.


Eat two meals a day plus a snack

One way to lose weight is just to drop a meal and eat two meals, plus a snack if you get peckish.

It’s important to find a routine that works for you. I like having light breakfast, followed by my main meal of the day about 2pm. If I’m a little hungry in the evening, I’ll have a snack. Others prefer to go without breakfast and not eat until midday.


Love polyphenols

Polyphenols are types of molecules that come from plants and are found in lots of plant-based foods. It’s thought that plants developed polyphenols to fight ultra-violet radiation and bugs that might harm them.

Since then lots of research has shown benefits to humans too; including protection against cancer, heart disease and diabetes.


Minimize saturated fats

Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature and found in meat, full-fat dairy products like butter and cheese, eggs, and some oils from tropical areas – such as coconut oil.

The American Heart Association recommends only 5-6% of our daily calories should come from saturated fats.


Switch to goat or sheep’s cheese

Not all dairy products are the same. Goat and sheep’s cheese contain much less or no A1 beta-casein, a type of protein found in cow’s milk. Goats and sheep have a different kind of protein, called A2 beta-casein, that’s more easily digested.


Eliminate dairy products

Photograph of dairy products, including milk, mozzarella and cottage cheese accompanied by handwritten sign reading 'lactose free'. 101 ideas to live a longer and healthier life.

About 60% of us are lactose intolerant, which means we can’t digest the lactose sugar in milk. And lactose intolerance can lead to feeling uncomfortable and bloated after eating.

Dr Mark Hyman, an author on nutrition, has recommended giving up dairy altogether. 


Drink moderate amounts of coffee

Yes, moderate amounts of coffee are good for us. So what does moderate mean? Two to five cups a day is believed to lower the risk of a number of conditions, including type two diabetes, heart disease and depression. 


Try coconut oil 

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, so a little goes a long way. Remember that just 5-6% of our daily diet should come from saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature.

Coconut oil differs from other saturated fats, which are mainly long chains of 13 to 21 carbons. Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid, with 6-12 carbons in the chain, which means it can be broken down into energy more quickly. Some love coconut oil in coffee and call it bulletproof coffee. 


Be nourished: eat less, but better

Forty-three percent of American women aged 60 or over are obese, with a BMI of over 30. Our modern addiction to sugar isn’t helping. 

We all need nourishment, but that doesn’t include the white stuff.


Get your vitamin A

You may see vitamin A added to breakfast cereals and dairy products as retinol, which comes from animal sources. Another form of vitamin A comes from plants, including beta-carotene.

We need vitamin A throughout our body for good eyesight and healthy skin and many other functions. Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the west. 


Get your iron 

Iron helps our red blood cells move oxygen around and supports cell growth. We can’t make iron – so we need to get it from our diet. Foods rich in iron include red meat, chicken and seafood, as well as green, leafy vegetables, like spinach and sweet potatoes.


Drink alcohol in moderation

Alcohol in moderation means one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 

One drink means 5 fluid ounces of wine (around 12% alcohol content) or 1.5 fluid ounces of spirits (40% alcohol).


Stop eating three hours before bed

Our bodies are designed to consume calories during the day when we need the energy. Insulin resistance increases at night, which means those night time calories are more likely to be stored as fat. 

A rough rule of thumb is to stop eating three hours before bed.


Watch for diabetes

Diabetes is diagnosed by high blood sugar and measured through a blood test. 

HbA1c from a blood test measures your average blood sugar or glucose over the past two to three months. Normal is less than 5.7%; prediabetic is 5.7-6.4%, and over 6.5% is diabetic.


A Brazil nut per day

Brazil nuts are not the most popular nut, but they are packed with nutrients, particularly selenium for immune health. 

A little goes a long way: one nut will deliver your recommended daily amount.


Measure your biological age

There is the number of candles on a birthday cake. That’s chronological age.

Biological age is how old your body is when measured by biological markers. There are a several ways to measure biological age, including InsideTracker and GlycanAge.

I find measuring my biological age every few months helpful to check that I’m on track.

Take daily body-weight exercise

Body-weight exercises like push ups and planks have the benefit of not needing any equipment and being able to do it at home. You don’t need to get to the gym. A routine of 15 minutes a day will make a big difference.

Build metabolic flexibility

Metabolic flexibility is the ability for our bodies to switch modes, depending on our needs. For example: from burning carbs to burning fats; from fasting to feeding. 

As we age, it can become harder for our bodies to switch modes. Dr Molly Maloof describes how in her new book The Spark Factor. 


Cut out sugary drinks

The average American consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugar A DAY! That’s a lot, most of it from sugary drinks. One regular soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar.

Instead, drink water or – if that’s too dull – add a slice of lemon or cucumber. Skip the syrup in coffee. 

Take the stairs

Even taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a difference. Stair climbing increases leg power and delivers short term health benefit, including reduced blood pressure.


Switch from butter to ghee

Ghee is butter with the milk solids removed. It’s made by heating butter until liquid evaporates and milk solids separate. The remaining oil is ghee. That means it has no lactose sugar, nor casein protein, which is good if you’re sensitive to lactose or casein. 

Ghee, like butter, is a saturated fat: in fact, ghee has a higher concentration of fat than butter.


Lose visceral fat

Visceral fat is well below the skin and surrounds our organs. Many of us carry visceral fat around our belly. 

A couple of quick ways to measure visceral fat: use a tape measure around your waist just above your hip. For women, 35 inches or more suggests your visceral fat may be higher than ideal; while a BMI of over 25 indicates you’re overweight. 


Buddy up

It’s a lot easier to make progress if we’re sharing our health journey.

Find a partner who’s up for the journey with you. That could be a friend, a colleague or a life partner – or a coach at the gym.

Study the habits of centenarians

There are places in the world where people live longer than most, so-called blue zones. These include Okinawa in Japan, the island of Sardinia in Italy and Ikaria in Greece. 

Valter Longo has studied what’s they have in common in his book The Longevity Diet: mostly plant-based diets with lots of nuts, olive oil, and some fish.

Remember we are what we eat

Food doesn’t just deliver us energy: it affects how our whole body functions. It determines how well we sleep, how much sugar is in our blood, and how easily we can adapt to the challenges of the day.

It is worth your attention. 

Filter drinking water

Photographic image of water filter jug on kitchen counter, with full glass of water by its side. One of 101 ideas to live a longer and healthier life.

We all need water for life but the standards of our drinking water vary greatly, particularly across America. The Environmental Working Group has a database of water tests – just put in your zip code and see what comes back. You may be shocked by the results.

Filtering your drinking water is an easy and cost-effective way to ensure what you’re drinking is not just legal but also safe.


Use soap for sensitive skin

Our skin has a layer of fats that keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. Strong soaps with sulfates and fragrances can disrupt our skin barrier. For soap, less is more and definitely worth keeping it simple. Here is a list of reviewed soaps for a gentle approach to our skin. 


Read labels on food

It takes a little bit more time to read labels on food – but the more you read, the more you’ll understand what you’re eating.

Pay particular attention to serving size, which tells you how much of the food in the packet will deliver the ingredients and nutrients described. 


Use foundation with a sunscreen

Many foundations have a mild sunscreen built into their formulas. That’s one less thing to think about, protecting our skin while we go about our day. Look for broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays and SPF of 15 or higher. 


Clear out the food cupboard

There’s nothing like a spring clean to reduce temptation. If it’s not in your cupboard, you can’t eat it. Throw out the high-sugar, high-salt, highly-processed foods.


Replace sugar with monkfruit

Monkfruit is a small fruit, a bit like a melon, from China that is relatively new to American consumers. It’s 100 times sweeter than sugar but with no calories. A little goes a long way.

Ideally, use monkfruit without erythritol (a sugar alcohol that can cause stomach upset in some people). 


Develop a morning mindset routine

It’s much easier to stick to healthy habits if it becomes automatic and you don’t need to think about it. Some like a miracle morning of 30 minutes that involves 10 minutes of reading something inspirational, 10 minutes of thinking, and 10 minutes of writing. 


Try Tai Chi

Tri Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition, commonly described as meditation in motion, that involves gentle movements and stretching. 

A scientific review found that Tai Chi improved balance and flexibility in older adults.


Drink enough water

Water makes up up to 70 per cent of our body weight. We need it to keep our bodies functioning, and we need to keep it replenished as we lose water through breathing, sweat and urine.

It’s estimated that women need 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluid a day, most of which will come from water. Men need a little more at 15.5 cups (3.7 liters). 


Avoid high-fructose corn syrup

High-fructose corn syrup is cheap and sweet and has crept into many processed foods. Fructose is a sugar naturally found in fruit, but processed high-fructose has been shown to increase appetite and promote obesity. 

If you see it on the label, avoid it! Choose an alternative product.


Try fish oil

If you don’t like eating fish, fish oil supplements are another way to get your omega 3s, an essential fatty acid. 

We can’t make omega 3: we need to get it from our diet. It’s crucial fuel for our brain, which is 60 percent fat.

Summary of 101 ideas to live a longer and healthier life

I’ve covered lots of ideas in this post on how to live a longer, healthier life. 

If I had to summarize the central theme it would be that you are the CEO of your own health. 

You are the only person who is going to ensure you eat the right foods and supplements, take regular exercise, get a good night’s sleep, cultivate a positive mindset and track your biological data. 

It does take a little time to get up to speed, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Start with one or two ideas that you can make into a habit and go from there. 

Remember, a journey of a thousand miles, begins with one step. You can do it.

NOTE: In terms of dietary supplements, it’s important to know that they aren’t regulated in the US in the same strict way that pharmaceutical products are. That means a manufacturer can produce a food supplement, say what’s in it, and put it straight on the market without waiting for any external approval. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only intervenes if the supplement subsequently proves unsafe. You can read more about the rules that do govern the supplement industry in the regulation article linked here.