How to live longer: Sprinkle this 70p herb on your meals to increase your life expectancy2020-04-21
Life expectancy cannot be predicted with absolute certainty but informed predictions can be made based on your overall lifestyle. That’s because the leading causes of death in the world are mostly attributed to unhealthy lifestyle habits. The most obvious being heart disease, which is directly caused by eating an unhealthy diet.
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Committing to a healthy diet can therefore provide some guarantee of a long life.
There is no single miracle worker but evidence suggests certain ingredients provide numerous health benefits so it would be wise to include them in your diet.
One such superfood is sage, a staple herb used to spruce up various dishes.
Sage has shown promise in combating the mechanisms that may lead to serious health conditions, such as heart disease.
The herb has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, a fatty substance that is a precursor to heart disease.
In one study, consuming sage tea twice daily lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol and total blood cholesterol while raising “good” HDL cholesterol after just two weeks.
HDL cholesterol counters the negative effects of LDL cholesterol by transporting the harmful cholesterol to your liver where it is flushed out of your body.
The perennial herb has also been shown to lower blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity, factors that underpin type 2 diabetes, another precursor to heart disease.
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In one study, sage leaf extract lowered blood sugar and improved insulin sensitivity with comparable results to rosiglitazone, another anti-diabetes drug.
Another study in mice with type 2 diabetes found that sage tea acts like metformin — a drug prescribed to manage blood sugar in people with the same disease.
What’s more, it may boost memory and brain health, factors that may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain condition.
In one study, 39 participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease consumed either 60 drops (2 ml) of a sage extract supplement or a placebo daily for four months.
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Those taking the sage extract performed better on tests that measured memory, problem-solving, reasoning and other cognitive abilities
The benefits are partly attributed to the compounds found in sage, which can act as antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds that intercept unstable molecules called free radicals in the body.
Free radicals cause cell damage and are associated with the negative effects of ageing, such as brain decline.
In addition to packing your diet with healthy items, it is important to exercise regularly to ward off heart disease and other serious health conditions.
“Regular exercise will make your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient, lower your cholesterol level, and also keep your blood pressure at a healthy level,” explains the NHS.
It also helps you to maintain a healthy weight, which is also essential for longevity.
Obesity is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer, warns the NHS.
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