AOL Health serves up 5 ways to age gracefully, check these simple steps out:
1. Floss Regularly
Oddly, flossing is good for your heart, and doing so regularly can add 6.4 years to your life. In “YOU: The Owner’s Manual” by AOL Health’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Michael Roizen, and Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, the doctors write that flossing and brushing daily, along with seeing your dentist regularly, can keep you kicking for longer. How? When you floss, you rid your mouth of bacteria that can cause inflammation in the gums. This inflammation can travel to the heart, leading to heart disease. In his book The Real Age Makeover, Roizen also found an Emory University study that revealed that those with gingivitis and periodontitis have a mortality rate that’s 23 to 46 percent higher than those without the gum diseases. Taking care of your mouth, it seems, really can lengthen your life.
2. Drink Tea
Drinking both green and black teas can help you live longer, according to a wealth of worldwide research. A 2009 study of 2,000 Chinese women suggested that drinking green tea regularly (and eating a diet rich in mushrooms) may cut cancer risk by 90 percent, while a study of over 40,000 Japanese men and women showed that those who drank five or more cups of green tea daily had the lowest chances of dying from stroke or heart disease. The caffeinated drink has high levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants (a cup contains can be as packed with antioxidants as a serving of fresh spinach). Meanwhile, black tea, which has antioxidants, too, offers its own benefits. Over 15 years, researchers recorded the tea-drinking habits of 60,000 Swedish women, ages 40 to 76. Some drank at least two cups of tea per day, while others drank less than a one cup per month. The regular tea-drinkers had a 46 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer. Experts recommend drinking at least two cups a day of the stuff you brew yourself (bottled teas seem to lose their health benefits).
3. Take Your Vitamin D
Pop vitamin D daily and you may be adding years to your life. A 2007 study of over 57,000 adults — mostly middle-aged and elderly people in good health — in Europe, the U.S. and the U.K. showed that those taking vitamin D (as opposed to a placebo) were 7 percent less likely to die during the span of the study. The authors don’t know exactly why vitamin D seemed to increase life span, but the vitamin is known to offer many benefits, including strengthening the immune system and building bones. It also lowers the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and heart and kidney disease. You can get vitamin D from the sun, but most people don’t spend enough time outdoors — or in sunny enough climates — to take in an adequate amount. FDA guidelines issued in November 2010 boosted the recommended daily dose to 400 International Units per day for people over nine (people 71 years and older should take 800 mg daily), combined with a diet rich in the vitamin. Foods with loads of vitamin D include mackerel, fortified yogurt and orange juice, whole eggs and Swiss cheese.