Regularly drinking green tea could protect your brain against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia according to research. While it has long been known green tea contains health-boosting compounds called polyphenols, scientists didn’t know for a long time if these survived the digestion process. But a study by Newcastle University in the UK published in the journal Phytomedicine confirms not only do polyphenols survive, but also the digested compounds bind to the proteins known to play a role in the development of dementia, so protecting the brain. You are also recommended to read a lot, do puzzles, answer quizzes, and learn new things like playing musical instruments or a new language to keep your brain active.
Over time, our eye muscles weaken and the lens stiffens. But doing regular eye exercises can keep the muscles strong and flexible. They also boost blood circulation to the eyes, ensuring a good supply of oxygen and nutrients. Try this simple eye workout as often as possible: Imagine a figure of eight, turned on its side, about 10 feet in front of you. Allow your eyes to trace the figure, without moving your head, first in one direction, then the other. Next, hold your thumb six inches away from your eyes in front of your nose. Gaze at your thumb, take a deep breath, then focus on an object at least 10 feet away, take a deep breath. Repeat as often as you like. Don’t sleep with makeup and throw away old makeup as it could cause eye infection. Also, have at least seven hours of shuteyes each night to avoid dark circles and tired looking eyes. Wear sunscreen around the eye area all the time when exposed to the sun.
Turn the TV off if you want to keep your heart young and healthy. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has linked sitting in front of the TV for long periods with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The research looked at the effect of ‘recreational sitting’, which includes gaming, watching movies, surfing the internet or any other downtime activity that keeps you sofa-bound for hours. It’s easy to snack on junk foods when you are glued to the screen or indulge in soda, alcohol or other unhealthy drinks. You often don’t get time to get active either, which is an unhealthy combination.
Women are often concerned about breasts heading south as they age. Because breasts are mainly fatty tissue, you can’t train them directly to resist the effects of gravity. But by working your pectoral and upper back muscles you can help support the breasts and improve your posture. Remember to always wear a support bra when running, doing aerobics exercise, or working out in the gym. If you want to avoid sagging breasts, don’t stay bra-less at any time other than when sleeping.
Fertility declines with age, but if you want to give yours a fighting chance, feed it up with healthy foods. According to a study by Harvard School of Public Health in the US, women who consumed more healthy unsaturated fats were less likely to experience fertility issues related to ovulation, than those whose diets contained more trans fats. Another Dutch study published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility found women who consumed most fish, legumes and vegetables were 40 per cent more likely to conceive.
If you want to keep your joints young and flexible eat lots of greens. Green vegetables can help prevent osteoarthritis – a painful condition caused by wear and tear on the joints, which is the leading cause of disability among older people. While it’s primarily a disease of ageing, if you do lots of high impact exercise, you could be increasing your risk. Researchers have discovered a compound found in broccoli, called sulforaphane, blocks the enzymes that cause wear and tear on the joints. Sulforaphane is also found in other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and cauliflower.
Apart from not smoking, protecting your skin from the sun’s rays is the single most important weapon in the war on wrinkles. You need a sunscreen on exposed skin all year round, even on cloudy days or while inside a car, and it must have protection against ultraviolet (UVA) rays. While UVB rays cause sunburn, UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and cause collagen breakdown and skin ageing. Ensure to use a sunscreen of no less than 15 SPF and higher if you live in the tropics, are outdoors on sunny days, or at the beach. Also wear a long-sleeved shirt and wide brimmed hat. If you are worried you will not get enough vitamin D, you can expose unprotected skin to the sun for no more than 10 minutes a day before 11am and after 3pm. Avoid exposing yourself to the sun during the hours in-between when the sun is directly overhead. You could also take a vitamin D supplement.