It’s no secret that we’re living longer these days. Advances in medicine, improved sanitation, and increased knowledge related to health and nutrition all contribute to current U.S. life expectancy of 79 years (up from 47 in 1900). But recent findings about what can contribute to a longer life that may come as a surprise. A Yale University study of a group of individuals who carried the gene for dementia, but had a more positive attitude about aging had a 50% less chance of developing the disease compared to those who faced aging with pessimism and fear. Additionally, there may be something to be said for “living it up” a bit as we age: “The most important advice we offer people about longevity is, ‘Throw away your lists,'” says Howard Friedman, professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and co-author of The Longevity Project. “We live in a self-help society full of lists: ‘lose weight, hit the gym.’
People who live a long time work hard and play hard.” Finally, keep up with friendships. A 2017 study in the journal Personal Relationships looked at 270,000 people in nearly 100 countries and found that while both family and friends are associated with happiness and better health, as people aged, the health link remained only for people with strong friendships. So go call up a friend and meet them for dinner - for your health, of course!
May brings better weather, and who wants to be stuck in the kitchen? This super-quick, heart-healthy recipe serves 2, but you can adjust it up if you’re cooking for a family. After supper, head outdoors for an early-evening walk or bike ride together.
- 4 ounces wide noodles
- 8 ounces lean ground pork
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, divided
- 3 teaspoons fish sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon sweet red chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 6 ounces broccoli slaw (from a 12-ounce package)
- Lime wedges for serving
- Bring 5 cups water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add noodles and cook, stirring frequently, until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain, rinse well with cold water and let stand in the colander to drain.
- Meanwhile, combine pork, 1/2 tablespoon mint and 1 teaspoon fish sauce in a medium bowl. Form the mixture into 4 patties 3 inches wide.
- Heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray, add the patties, partially cover and cook for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for 3 minutes, then turn back over and cook on the first side again until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Combine the remaining 2 teaspoons fish sauce, chili sauce, lime juice and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Add the noodles and broccoli slaw and gently toss until well combined. Serve the pork patties on the noodles, sprinkled with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon mint. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
This month students all across America will be studying for finals. From 19-year-old freshmen to the “more mature” student, snacking will become a high priority. Of course, healthy snacking is something we should all be more aware of, since that’s definitely not something confined to the student population (as any spouse would attest to around 9 pm most evenings). So considering we’re going to snack anyway, what are some good ones to reach for?
During the day, look for foods that contain energy-boosting nutrients that help fight fatigue, such as magnesium, vitamin B-12 or Omega-3 fatty acids. Foods with protein help reduce hunger, control appetite and manage food intake, and help maintain blood sugar levels, preserve lean muscle mass, and repair body tissues. Ideal snacks are made of one serving of a high-quality carbohydrate (whole grains, fruits, or veggies) along with a source of lean protein (cheeses, eggs, nuts or seeds, or meat/poultry/fish). Good snacks to try include whole grain cracker sandwiches with nut/seed butter (peanut, almond, cashew, or sunflower) or reduced-fat cheese, a whole grain toaster waffle topped with nonfat/low-fat yogurt, or a part-skim cheese stick or a few slices of lean lunch meat rolled up in a whole grain tortilla.
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