Eat smart to stay healthy

The month of September usually marks the beginning of new decisions and new goals. It is the month that marks the end of summer and the beginning of new cycles such as the new school year.

With new beginnings comes the desire to define new healthy goals and to live a healthier lifestyle. Some foods can help you get slimmer, make you live smarter and even longer. Depending on your goals, there are plenty of seeds that can be very good for your health.

Those who embrace a healthy diet are also more likely to improve their cognitive skills and fight memory loss that comes with aging. When healthy food groups are preferred over saturated fats or high amounts of sugar, the brain responds positively as people age. A study by the American Academy of Neurology in over 40 countries and lasting more than 2 years concluded that higher diet quality was associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline.

Seeds are among some of the healthiest choices one can make. They are usually rich in protein, low in sugar and saturated fat and they will make the perfect add-on to your favorite snack.

  • Sesame – they have a good satiating effect and they act as a shield to the heart. The best way to eat them is in snacks like yogurts, or in soups, juices and salads. Contain proteins, omega 6 and omega 9.
  • Flaxseed – these seeds are known for regulating the intestinal transit and for being a good substitute of the regular wheat flour (which contains gluten) for traditional flour recipes. Contains omega 6 and omega 9.
  • Sunflower – their action against the early aging of cells and tissues is proved and they go well with salads, juices and soups. Contain omega 6, minerals and vitamin E.
  • Chia – a source of energy and resistance these seeds have become very popular in the last few years. They can be used in salads, juices or added to cereal bowls. They contain fiber and calcium.
  • Pumpkin – these seeds have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. They can be consumed in yogurts and salads.

Adding seeds to the diet is an easy and tasty way to start making healthier choices and to get the best of the food intake. The better the nutrients in our diets, the better our physical and mental health will be.

Portugal in the top 5 countries with best quality of life

Portugal is ranked as the 5th country in the world with the best quality of life.

Internationally recognized expat website, Internations recently announced the 2015 quality of life index ranking.

The Index includes 64 countries, ranked according to different factors such as leisure, personal happiness, travel and transport, as well as health, safety, and well-being. This year, “affordable healthcare”, “quality of environment” was added as new questions and “political stability” and “peacefulness” was considered individually to reflect new thoughts and feelings.

Portugal jumped 8 places from last year’s ranking where got the 13th place. In 2015, Portugal is the 5th country with the best quality of life index leaving behind countries like Spain, Japan, Germany and many other European countries.

Besides the overall rank, there are four sub-categories, which are leisure options, personal happiness, travel & transport, and health, safety & well-being. Portugal ranked number 3 in the health, safety & well-being subcategory and number 7 in personal happiness.

The first 5 countries are:

  1. Singapore
  2. Ecuador
  3. Austria
  4. Switzerland
  5. Portugal

Below is the full list of the 64 countries analyzed:

 

Quality of Life Index 2015

The 2015 Quality of Life Index confirms that Portugal is one of the best options for expats to live, whether to work or to retire. The country enjoys mild temperatures all year-round, above the average and affordable healthcare and it is an overall safe country to live in and to travel to.

Portugal named in the top 10 great retirement spots for golfers

U.S. News gathered the list of the best retirement spots for American golf lovers to retire abroad.

Those who like to golf usually look for a retirement spot where they can practise their skill and live a comfortable life. U.S. News writes: “Many people dream of spending their retirement years lining up the perfect putt while enjoying the grass and sunshine. Golf generally helps you get plenty of exercise and fresh air and provides opportunities to meet other golfers and make new friends.”

Those retirement ideal spots can be found abroad, where the cost of living is cheaper than the United States. According to U.S. News, Quinta do Lago, in the Algarve, Portugal is the 8th best place to retire for golf lovers:

“Portugal’s Algarve receives top marks in every category of importance to retirees, including cost-of-living, climate, infrastructure and residency options. In addition, this region is dense with golf courses, including Quinta do Lago. With three award-winning championship golf courses, – the North, South and Laranjal – excellent practice facilities and the only Paul McGinley Academy in Europe, Quinta do Lago makes this corner of Portugal a golfer’s dream retirement choice.”

Great retirement spots for golfers, U.S. News
Great retirement spots for golfers, U.S. News

After being recently named the best region in the world to retire abroad, the Algarve is getting the attention of the press all over the world as we wrote in a previous post (click here to read it). In the Algarve (as well as in the entire country of Portugal) the sunny weather attracts many expats who enjoy the Mediterranean style food, the reasonable cost of living and the overall quality of healthcare and other important services for expats living in Portugal.

The other countries in the top 10 of the best retirement spots for golfers are: Nicaragua, Italy, Vietnam, Thailand, Argentina, Mexico, France, Dominican Republic and Ireland. Click here to see the full list.

 

10 ways to live longer

Health and lifestyle website Medical Daily, shared their 10 tips that can help everyone to live longer.

Although we cannot predict until what age we will live, there are ways to extend our lives by living a healthier life and having a positive attitude.

These are the 10 ways to live longer:

  1. Manage stress
  2. Exercise
  3. Don’t smoke
  4. Don’t do drugs or drink too much alcohol
  5. Think young
  6. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
  7. Keep a Mediterranean diet
  8. Always learn something new
  9. Keep close friends
  10. Stay positive

The key to live longer lies in the attitude towards life and in keeping the right balance between what is healthy and what is not. If there is something you really like, for example, eating fast food, you should have it once in a while, but not regularly. You should keep a Mediterranean style diet, as it is considered the healthiest diet by the World Health Organization, privileging cereals and vegetables over meat. But, sometimes you crave fast food and that is ok, since you keep it sporadically.

Maintaining a healthy life is also about doing what you like the most and feel happy with your choices.

Control your stress levels is also very important for your overall health because when you feel stressed for long periods of time, your immune systems goes down and you become more vulnerable to diseases.

Practicing exercise and avoid a sedentary lifestyle are crucial for a longer life since they rejuvenate your body and prepare it for the days to come. The more active your life is when you are 30, the better prepared your body will be for when you are 60.

Attitude towards life plays a big part in living longer.

This is what Medical Daily says about the importance of a positive thinking: “Whether you’re in college, working, or retired, making goals for yourself and challenging yourself is going to improve your outlook on life, which will make you happier and keep you healthier. At the end of the day, it’s all about being positive, focusing on the good things, and never giving up.”