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Your average life expectancy here in the U.S. is just over 84 years if you’re a man, while women can add two years to that number for a life expectancy of 86.
However last year, for the first time in more than a decade, the life expectancy in the U.S. dropped.
It’s too early to tell what all the causes behind the fall in the number of years we can expect to live involve or if the trend will continue.
But, it does illustrate the need to take your health into your own hands and do all that you can to live longer and healthier now.
So, here are a five ways to add years to your life you might not have thought of.
#1 – Get nutty
You may have heard that eating nuts is healthy but did you know those tasty little treats can lengthen your years on the planet?
That’s right, according to one study, tracking the lifestyle of Seventh-Day Adventists, a group known for their longevity, people who ate nuts 5 days a week or more, lived on average 2.9 years longer than people who avoided nuts.
Why do nuts help you live longer — and healthier? Researchers believe nuts help prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease because they tame the inflammation abomination.
Just 20 grams of nuts per day (roughly a handful) can:
- Cut your risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30 percent.
- Cut your risk of cancer by 15 percent.
- Cut your risk of dying from respiratory disease by 50 percent.
- Cut your risk of dying from diabetes by 40 percent.
- Cut your risk of premature death by 22 percent.
#2 – Facebook
Did you know that if you accept all your Facebook friend requests, you’ll probably live longer?
In fact, scientists who studied Facebook activity for more than a decade say that people who have strong social media networks and receive multiple friend requests are less likely to die.
According to the researchers, Facebook users who accept more friendships increase their life expectancy but the same doesn’t hold true for users who initiate more friend requests.
And, the risk of death was lowest for people who had high levels of offline social interaction, with moderate levels of online time…
Meaning, while spending time with your virtual friends can help, it’s very important to have real world friends to spend time with and talk to. An analysis of available research shows feeling lonely and socially isolated increases your risk of having a stroke and developing coronary artery disease.
#3 – Think positive
Having a positive outlook on aging could be one of the biggest determinants of your life expectancy.
In fact, according to a Yale University study, having a positive view of the aging process can extend your life longer than lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight or even giving up smoking.
In the study, those with a positive outlook lived more than 7 years longer than people who had negative views of aging. Try these happiness-building techniques to boost yours!
#4 – Go spicy
Do you like spicy food? If so, go for it! It turns out that those who like it hot live longer.
A study at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont found that people that regularly eat hot red chili peppers reduce their chance of dying by 13%.
But, if hot peppers aren’t your thing, try a supplement containing capsaicin, the active component in peppers to get the same benefits.
Plus, there are many ways different spices can promote good health. Check out this handy infographic for several!
#5 – Get or Stay Married
Did you know that marriage decreases your risk of dying? And, having never been married gives you one of the highest mortality risks.
In fact, studies show that married couples generally outlive their divorced, widowed or unmarried counterparts.
And, if you do get sick, being married increases both your chances and speed of recovery.
One more thing… if you need an excuse to spice things up, sexual energy does positive things for your lifespan too!
So, if you want to add years to your life try the five tips above and live longer, happier and healthier.
Calculators: Life Expectancy — U.S. Social Security Administration
Life Expectancy In U.S. Drops For First Time In Decades, Report Finds — NPR Science Desk
Legacy Appendix C – ADVENTIST HEALTH STUDY — Loma Linda University Medical Center
Facebook Could Be Associated With a Longer Life, Study Finds — The New York Times
Marital status and longevity in the United States population — Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Married Vs Single: What Science Says Is Better For Your Health — Medical Daily