Many factors influence life expectancy in humans. Some of them cannot be changed, for instance, genetics and conditions, in which a person was born. However, on the brighter side, there is a number of variables that are still controllable by us, humans.

Here I present just a few easy things to do that can improve life expectancy for an average person.

Disclaimer: this is not medical advice, and it is a good idea to consult your doctor, before following any of the recommendations given below.

1. Take daily multivitamins

Many studies have been done on the effect of supplement intake on humans. In general, if you have a well-balanced diet, you probably do not need to take additional multivitamins. However, the amount of e.g. iodine in the western diets is clearly not sufficient, and thus it is even added to the salt that is being sold in the grocery stores. In the northern countries, vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem, as inhabitants often do not get enough sunlight. Moreover, there are a few very widespread deficiencies, such as iron deficiency, or vitamin B12 deficiency.

Especially, vegetarians are at risk of not getting enough iron and vitamin B12 in their diets.

Thus, intake of daily multi-vitamins will not cure your diseases but will help your body to get enough nutrients that you cannot get from food [1]. In this way, it helps to proactively keep yourself healthy.

2. Visit your dentist regularly

Research shows that keeping good mouth hygiene has a significant effect on your life expectancy [2]. In the elderly age, brushing your teeth every evening and visiting a dentist at least every 12 months, decrease the risk of death by 40-60%.

3. Use dental floss

Using dental floss every day is correlated with a lower risk of death among the elderly by about 30% [2]. Dental flossing helps cleaning the space between teeth and thus helps to reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation in the mouth results in fewer infections and cases of cancer.

4. Keep a calorie-restricted diet

Restricting your calorie intake has been shown to have an effect on managing excess body weight and a decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases [3]. People have seen and known such effects throughout the millennia, and modern research only confirms that. It is important to mention that restricted calorie intake does not mean restricted nutrition. It is still very important to get all the nutrients that the body need from the food. You can check out, how to do that in our guide in calorie restriction.

5. Avoid drinking too hot beverages

Recent research [4] shows that in the long term, drinking more than 700ml of any hot beverage with a temperature above 60 degrees Celsius increases the likelihood of getting esophageal cancer by 90%. Thus, those, who like hot beverages and are too impatient to wait, have basically almost doubled their chances of getting that type of cancer. In general, when human skin is exposed to temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius, it starts to feel uncomfortable and becomes painful. No wonder that hot beverages burn our insights and can increase the chances of getting cancer.

Some good rules of thumb could be to wait around 6 minutes after pouring the water into the cups, or adding cold water to decrease the temperature of the beverage.

Conclusions

Overall, there are many relatively simple things that we can do to increase the probability of living longer. It is important to keep an eye on the latest research and educate yourself about good hygiene, balanced diet, benefits of exercising and engaging your mind. However, we should not forget the big elephant in the room: bad habits (both active and passive smoking, alcohol), sedentary lifestyle, stress, and excess sugar consumption.

Be healthy!

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22684632
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3124861/
  3. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/calorie-restriction-and-fasting-diets-what-do-we-know
  4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.32220
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