EAT SOMETHING RED
Red-coloured foods often contain disease-fighting nutrients. Red pepper has more vitamin C than an orange, beetroots have nitrates that help to relax blood vessels and tomatoes are a great source of lycopene – a powerful antioxidant that can help protect against cancer and heart disease. Meanwhile, red grapes are rich in resveratrol, which is believed to help fight inflammation, prevent cancer and lower cholesterol.
GO TO BED AN HOUR EARLIER
Just one hour extra in bed every night could be enough to lower your blood pressure in as little as six weeks. A US study looked at people who slept for seven hours or less a night and found that going to bed an hour earlier led to a significant drop in blood pressure, which lowered the risk of heart attack and stroke.
SNACK ON BANANAS
They’re rich in potassium (as are dried fruit) which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Potassium helps counteract the damaging effects of excess salt and one banana contains the recommended daily dose.
GET STUCK INTO THE GARDENING
Anti-ageing experts say gardening is one of the best forms of physical activity you can do. It can combine cardiovascular exercise with flexibility, endurance and muscle strength. An hour’s steady gardening can be the equivalent of a 5km walk.
INCLUDE EXTRA ONIONS IN YOUR COOKING
They’re a great source of an antioxidant called quercetin, which can prevent harmful enzymes from triggering inflammation that can lead to colorectal and ovarian cancer. They also contain sulphur compounds that boost the immune system.
DON’T PUT FRUIT IN THE FRIDGE
Keeping fruit at room temperature can boost its health-giving properties. Tomatoes, watermelon and red and pink grapefruit kept out of the fridge contain twice as much beta-carotene than chilled fruit. This is the compound that the body makes into vitamin A. It also has 20 times more lycopene because the warmth allows them to continue ripening.
ARGUE WITH YOUR PARTNER
Bottling up your frustration is bad for you. US researchers found couples who suppressed their anger with each other were 25% more likely to die early. Over time, suppressed anger can cause high blood pressure, insomnia and heart problems.
Studies show that even a small amount of movement, such as fidgeting, is enough to trigger a brain chemical known as BDNF that can reverse cell deterioration associated with ageing. The more physical activity you do, the better, but even jiggling or wriggling can make a difference.