As a caregiver, it is important to be aware that fiber intake is the key to successful aging according to a recent study from Australia. Seniors with the highest intake of fiber had an almost 80% greater chance of living a long and healthy life.
Even the scientists were surprised by the results. Fiber had a greater impact than any other dietary factor they studied, including sugar consumption. Adults who ate more complex carbohydrates significantly lowered their risk for hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression, and disabilities.
If you want to live a longer and enjoy a more active life without eating like a rabbit, study these practical tips. You’ll learn new facts about fiber and how to include more roughage in your diet.
Facts about Fiber
1) Understand your needs. The average North American eats about 15 grams of fiber a day, which is far below the recommended levels. Individual requirements decrease slightly with age, and vary from a minimum of 21 to 25 grams for women and 30 to 38 grams for men.
2) Cover both bases. Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble, depending on whether it dissolves in water. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol and protects your heart. Insoluble fiber enhances your digestion and helps you stay regular. Eating a variety of foods provides enough of both.
3) Know the benefits. Foods rich in fiber make you feel full with fewer calories so you can manage your weight. They also help you stabilize your blood sugar and reduce your risk for certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes.
4) Take it gradually. Give your digestive system time to adapt to more fiber. Add about 2 to 3 grams a week to avoid bloating and diarrhea.
5) Drink more water. Drinking plenty of water will maximize the digestive benefits of fiber, and minimize constipation and gas. Stay hydrated around the clock.
Eating More Fiber
1) Breakfast hearty. It’s easier to take in more fiber when you start early. Prepare a bean burrito or whip up a smoothie with kale and fresh fruit.
2) Adjust the menu. Bulk up the dishes you love with a few simple tweaks. Stir shredded cabbage or carrots into chili and meatloaf. Top off your pizza with mushrooms and onions. Sprinkle a cup of beans into your salad.
3) Switch to whole grains. Trade in ultra-processed white bread and rice for their healthier versions. Order brown rice when you’re eating out. Make sandwiches with whole wheat wraps.
4) Cook fast. Some cooking methods, like boiling, rob vegetables of fiber and important nutrients. Steaming or microwaving will let you enjoy all their goodness.
5) Bake at home. You don’t even have to give up cookies and cake to make room for fiber. Rely on your own oven instead of supermarket brands so you can use ingredients like oats and whole wheat flour.
6) Keep the peels. Stop wasting apple and potato skins. Many vegetables and fruits have edible peels and seeds packed with fiber.
7) Snack smart. Use snacks as well as meals to help you reach your fiber goals. Dip raw vegetables into hummus. Create a trail mix with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.
8) Read labels. Manufacturers know that consumers are looking to eat more fiber. Check the label to see how many grams a product really contains. When an item says it’s an excellent source of fiber, it must contain at least 5 grams per serving.
The verdict is clear. Fiber can help manage weight now, and help protect from heart conditions and other diseases with the aging process. To help reach the golden years with fewer health issues and higher functioning, eat more complex carbohydrates like vegetables, nuts, breads, and fruits.
Happiness is elusive without a sense of self-worth. If you’re not happy with yourself, how can you be happy about life in general? Self-worth is about believing that you have value as a person. It’s not how you compare to others. It’s your belief in your intrinsic value as a human being. We’re all important. Some of us just require a little more convincing than others.
Maximize your feelings of self-worth with these 11 ways:
1) Forgive yourself. You have plenty of guilt and resentment toward yourself that you’ve been carrying around for years. You chose the wrong major in college or broke up with your significant other via text. Give yourself a break and vow to do better in the future.
2) Volunteer. Spending your time in a valuable and selfless way is a quick means to raise your opinion about yourself. Just two hours a week has been shown to make a difference.
3) Avoid gossiping. Gossip probably has gotten you in trouble in the past, and you know you shouldn’t do it. Try pointing out positive traits and actions in others, instead. You’ll both feel better!
4) Face a few of your smaller fears. We feel bad that we’re afraid of things that we know we shouldn’t fear. Face a few small fears and overcome them. You’ll be impressed with yourself.
5) Set personal boundaries and enforce them. There’s no reason to allow others to use or manipulate you. Decide what you consider to be reasonable behavior and enforce it. Word will spread, and your life will be smoother.
6) Set goals you can achieve. It’s important to have big goals, but small goals are important, too. Big goals lead to big accomplishments, but smaller goals can provide a great lift to your self-worth. Make it easy to succeed on a regular basis. Completing your daily to-do list is an example of completing a smaller goal.
7) Define your values and live by them. It’s important to determine what you’re willing to do and what you’re not willing to do, as well as what’s important and unimportant to you. If you’re able to live by these values, you won’t have a reason to think badly of yourself.
Most people don’t take the time to define their values. They rely on a vague sense of right and wrong from childhood. Give it some thought and put your ideas down on paper. When you’re stuck with a tough decision, pull out the list.
8) Be willing to make changes in your life. The same life will provide the same results. Some changes will be necessary if your goal is to enhance your self-worth.
9) Voice your opinion. Do you keep your opinion to yourself because you think no one cares? Maybe you put everyone else’s happiness above your own. Neither is good for your self-image. Your opinion matters. Share it.
10) Minimize time spent with others who don’t appreciate you. Do you have a friend or family member that drags down your self-worth? Think about letting them go or spending less time with them.
11) Make decisions. Indecisiveness creates stress and frustration. It’s also a way of avoiding responsibility. Take a reasonable amount of time and then pull the trigger. You’ll feel more in control of your life.
When you think negatively about yourself, you lower your expectations. You even begin to look for reasons to support those thoughts. This is the ultimate in self-defeating behaviors. Your feelings of self-worth influence your ability to be happy and successful. Be proud of who you are as a person. Life will be easier and more enjoyable.
When caring for others, it can be easy to forget about our own needs. It may take more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away, but a healthy diet and other simple lifestyle changes can keep you from becoming ill. Learn how to develop habits that will keep you fit and strong.
Many experts blame the Standard American Diet (SAD) for high rates of obesity, diabetes, depression, and other serious conditions. Good nutrition can strengthen your immune system and lower your risk for many illnesses.
1. Eat more produce. Fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense and light in calories. They’ll boost your immune system and help you stay hydrated. Plus, all that fiber can lower your risk of diabetes.
2. Focus on whole foods. Processed foods are usually loaded with excessive fat, sugar, and salt. Try eating foods in their natural state.
3. Limit alcohol. Too many cocktails can damage your liver and other organs. Most experts recommend up to one drink a day for women and two for men.
4. Manage your weight. Carrying around too many pounds increases your risk of heart conditions, arthritis, and certain cancers. Stay slim by watching calories and leading an active life.
Other Lifestyle Changes
Here are a few more changes to go along with your balanced diet. They’ll have a major impact on your body and mind.
5. Move around. Physical activity strengthens your heart and muscles. Aim to exercise at least 3 days a week. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
6. Sit less. Research suggests that the longer you sit, the poorer your health may be even if you exercise. If you have a desk job, try taking walking breaks every half hour. Cut back on your TV time.
7. Do yoga. While any form of exercise and relaxation can be beneficial, yoga seems especially powerful. A study at Massachusetts General Hospital recorded a whopping 43% reduction in healthcare use among patients who studied yoga for a year.
8. Deal with stress. If yoga is not your cup of tea, there are other ways to keep tension from piling up. Book a massage or listen to gentle music.
9. Be happy. The more you’re satisfied with your life, the less you’ll need your doctor. On a scale of 1 to 6, a patient could expect an 11% decrease in doctor visits for each level of higher life satisfaction, according to one University of Michigan study.
10. Adopt a pet. Holding your cat is good for mental and physical well being. The CDC says pets help people lower their blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. They also provide an antidote to loneliness.
11. Connect with others. Speaking of loneliness, support from humans helps too. Close social ties can help you catch fewer colds, and may even extend your life.
12. Sleep well. Adequate rest and sleep is vital to healing. Turn off the computer and TV in the evening and go to bed on time.
13. Quit smoking. Giving up tobacco may be the most important thing you can do for your health. It takes an average of 5 to 10 attempts to quit for good, so hang in there.
Working through grief and loss, it is importance to maintain our physical health but mental and emotional health are just as critical. Exercise prevention whenever possible. Mental and emotional health issues can be very debilitating and challenging to treat.
Place a premium on your mental and emotional well being:
1. Spend time with others socially. Your mental and emotional health won’t be optimal if you split all of your time between work and home. Spend some time in the company of others. Wednesday afternoon staff meetings don’t count! Humans are social beings and social interaction is a component of good mental health.
2. Train your brain. Keep your brain active and healthy. Buy a book of crossword puzzles or brainteasers. Play chess or learn a musical instrument. One of the best ways to preserve your brain health is to challenge it each day.
3. Take time for yourself. Between work, family, and maintaining a home, it can be challenging to find personal time. Nevertheless, spend a little time each day doing something that you enjoy. Even if it’s just sitting alone on your deck with a cup of coffee in the morning. Social activity is important. A little solitude is important, too.
4. Spend time with positive people. Your thoughts, attitudes, and expectations mirror those of the people around you. By spending time with positive people, you’ll be more positive, too. Whom do you spend time with now
5. Find a job that you enjoy. Besides sleep, you spend more time working than you do on any other single activity. If your job makes you miserable, your emotional health is sure to suffer. Money isn’t everything. Consider finding a career that you enjoy. You’ll be happier and more positive about the future.
6. Share your time and yourself with your community. This is also a great social activity. You feel better about yourself and increase your sense of self-worth when you help others. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Investigate a few and make a decision.
7. Spend more time doing things you love to do. What makes you happy? Spend more time doing it. Do you love golf? Build a weekly round of golf into your schedule. How can you not be happier if you spend more time doing things that make you happy?
8. Get sufficient sleep. Sleep is necessary for good health, both physical and mental. Those that lose the ability to sleep due to accident or illness die within several weeks. Your ability to manage stress, make smart decisions, and regulate your emotions are dependent on getting enough sleep.
9. Have a compelling future. For your emotional health to be at its best, you need something to look forward to. It might be a date on Saturday night, a vacation, or retiring. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you need something in the future that makes you smile when you think of it.
Give you mental health as much attention as you do your physical health. Strive to live a well-rounded life filled with enjoyable activities and people. Get enough sleep and find constructive ways to deal with stress. With good mental health, you’ll be able to handle any challenge that life throws at you.
Remember to get professional help if you’re unable to maintain good mental health. You wouldn’t attempt to treat a physical disease by yourself. Put as much importance on your mental health. Avail yourself of expert assistance if necessary.