Quick tips for better health

Food & Nutrition Tips | Lifestyle Tips | Physical Health Tips | Longevity | Around the home

Food & Nutrition

ADD SLICES of lemon or limes to a jug of water for a citrus tang.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR is one of the best natural agents for removing certain pesticides and bacteria from fruit and vegetables. Try a solution of 10% vinegar to 90% water as a bath in your sink or bucket to briefly soak produce. Just place your veggies or fruit in the solution for a few minutes, swish them around, and rinse thoroughly with water (don’t use this process on fragile fruits like raspberries as they could be damaged).

TO KEEP CELERY FRESH trim bottom lightly to open pores of the “root”, keeping bunch intact, place in a container or glass of cold water and lightly cover top with plastic wrap, then store in fridge.

WHEN LEMONS ARE PLENTIFUL, freeze the juice to make it last longer. Add freshly squeezed juice to ice cube trays and put in the freezer. Once frozen, seal in zip lock bags. These can last for up to 4 months when you want fresh lemon juice for a recipe or drink.

USE FRESH ORANGE JUICE in icy pole containers for a healthy frozen snack. You can also drop in some slices of fruit such as strawberries, kiwi fruit or blueberries.

BANANA BREAD might sound healthy but it can contain as much as 2,500kJ (597 calories). Take a real banana, at about 400kJ (95 calories), in your lunch box instead. This is a very easy way to save 2,000kJ.

TO SPEED-RIPEN A PEACH put it in a closed paper bag with a ripe banana.

HOW MANY NUTS IS 30g?  A healthy daily intake of nuts is 30g (a small handful) or approximately:

  • 20 almonds
  • 15 cashews
  • 20 hazelnuts
  • 15 macadamias
  • 15 pecans
  • 2 tablespoons of pinenuts
  • 30 pistachio kernels
  • 9 walnut kernels
  • a small handful of mixed nuts or about two of each of the ten nut varieties (except chestnut which isn’t eaten raw)

CARROT, BEET AND CELERY JUICE help flush toxins from the liver. By drinking nutrient-dense juices, your body uses less energy for digestion, leaving more available for healing. Adding as much liquid as possible will increase circulation to your organs.

Thirst and hunger both originate in the hypothalamus and are sometimes hard to differentiate from each other. So drink a glass of water before you have a snack. If kids don’t like plain water, toss some slices of fruit into a carafe of filtered water for a healthier alternative to sugary beverages.

CRANBERRY, POMEGRANATE AND BLUEBERRY JUICES enhance kidney function and supply essential nutrients. Staying hydrated with cranberry juice in particular will help prevent kidney stones.

DETOXIFYING TEAS include nettle, dandelion, burdock and ginger. These teas flush out toxins and help detoxify the liver and kidneys.


IF YOU WANT TO CREATE A NEW HABIT – track your actions. Jerry Seinfeld had one simple accountability trick up his sleeve: tracking his progress on a calendar. He wanted to write jokes every day, and when he did, he’d mark an “X” on a calendar with the marker, creating a chain after a few days of consistency. The chain motivated Seinfeld to stick with writing.

MEET REGULARLY WITH FRIENDS – it can prolong your life. According to results published in BMJ Open, a UK medical journal, people enjoy healthier lives if they maintain social bonds after they retire. Something like a book club, where you regularly meet friends and chat, can significantly reduce your risk of death in the first six years post-retirement.

KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL  Gratitude is shown to help ward off depression. So keep a journal and during the day make mental notes of the things you are grateful for – simple things such as friendship, a sunny day, a good cup of coffee, anything at all. At night, jot them down. By doing this for just one week, you can boost your entire mood for up to 6 months.
Get the Gratitude App HERE

OLDER PEOPLE DON’T NEED LESS SLEEP  All adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. As we age, it gets more difficult to get a good night’s sleep, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still need seven to nine hours.

AVOID ALCOHOL, CAFFEINE AND NICOTINE BEFORE BED  These three culprits will wreak havoc on your sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, cut back and be sure not to use any of these within three hours of going to bed.

EAT MORE MEALS TOGETHER  Studies have shown that kids who eat dinner with their families tend to eat less fried food, drink less soft drinks, and consume more fruits and vegetables. Those kids also have a higher intake of vitamins and nutrients and a lower intake of saturated and trans fats. But even beyond these practical reasons, a regular family meal provides a way to keep the lines of communication open.

BUY SMALLER DINNER PLATES  Studies show that if you dine from bigger plates and bowls, you’ll automatically eat more. It’s a mental thing – we tend to pile on more food until the plate looks full. Downgrade to a smaller set of dishes, and you’ll eat less without even thinking about it.

VOLUNTEERING has been linked to increased life expectancy, greater life satisfaction, and reduced rates of depression. There are plenty of opportunities listed on Our Community website.

Physical Health

DON’T AVOID HAVING YOUR EYES CHECKED BY AN EYE DOCTOR Many people put off visiting their eye doctors because they feel like wearing glasses will make their eyes dependent or become worse. In adults, wearing corrective lenses will not make one’s vision weaker or make them become dependent on them – corrective lenses will simply help to focus your camera. The need to increase the power of the reading glasses every couple of years will occur with or without corrective lenses because the condition worsens naturally from age 40-60.

TWO WAYS TO RELIEVE CHRONIC KNEE PAIN: DIET AND EXERCISE  Losing even a few kilos can provide tremendous relief. One study found that for every kilo you drop, you take 2-3 kilos of pressure off your knees. “Low-impact exercises—walking, swimming, cycling—help maintain a healthy weight and muscle mass as well as release endorphins, all of which can lead to a decrease in pain,” says Roxanne Wallace, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin.

STRETCHING IS GOOD FOR YOU  Flexibility will make daily activities easier and less tiring. Stretching also improves your circulation as well as your range of motion, which helps keep you balanced, preventing falls and other injuries as you age.

Try this stretch as soon as you wake up: Stand with your feet a metre apart, hips directly over your ankles. Interlace your hands behind your back and straighten your arms. Inhale and draw your shoulder blades in toward each other, then exhale and bend forward at the pelvis. Allow your arms to move down toward your head. Hold for ten seconds, taking three to five deep breaths. To release, unclasp your hands and place them on your thighs, bend your knees slightly, and roll back up.


SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS  The Longevity Project conducted over 80 years found the one resolution that would have the greatest impact on your longevity, is to spend time with family and friends – a strategy that reduces stress and its negative impact on longevity. A sense of responsibility and emotional interaction will keep you happier and alive longer.

Maintain friendships. A Brigham Young University review revealed that social isolation increases your risk of mortality by up to 32 percent—on par with obesity.
Learn a new skill. A University of Texas study found that people who mastered a new and challenging skill (like digital photography or quilting) showed greater gains in memory than those who performed passive activities, like crossword puzzles.

Around the Home

VINEGAR SHOWER CLEANER  Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 to 60 seconds. Pour into a spray bottle. Spritz onto the shower surfaces and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Wipe clean with a microfibre cloth.

STOP WEARING SHOES INDOORS  Your shoes don’t just bring dirt into the house, they also track in countless germs, as well as pesticides, smoke and toxins, dust mites, and allergens. One study from the University of Arizona found that the outsides of our shoes contain an average of 421,000 bacteria. So leave them at the door Japanese-style.