A short guide to a long life | David Agus

Published: 2014
Goodreads | Book Depository

Stroke, cancer and heart disease account for 50% of the deaths in the western world and are the result of how we live. But life does not have to be a coin toss whether we are to suffer from any of these three. Minor corrections and good habits early in our lives can significantly improve our odds. In the book, oncologist David Agus shares 65 tips, based on scientific studies, for a long and healthy life.

EAT REAL FOOD. “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food,” said the Greek Hippocrates (called “the father of medicine”) almost 2,500 years ago. Agus believes that statement is more relevant now than ever. Real food does not need a label that describes its nutritional content. Eat natural and healthy foods and avoid processed foods with many ingredients.

NO COFFEE AFTER 2 PM. If we take caffeine after two o’clock in the afternoon, it disturbs our sleep whether we believe it or not – provided we go to bed at normal times. In addition, a “two-rule” reduces the possibility of excessive consumption.

TAKE SOME ASPIRIN EVERY DAY. Aspirin is used for headaches, toothaches, menstrual cramps, joint and muscle aches and for infectious and cold diseases. According to studies, a small daily dose of aspirin has been shown to have far-reaching positive effects. The use of aspirin significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and can also ward off most diseases through its anti-inflammatory effects.

THE MIRROR TEST. To get a sober picture of how healthy we are, we can undress in front of the mirror. Do you like what you see? If not, what’s wrong and why? What can you do to improve the mirror image?

QUANTIFY YOUR LIFE. We humans are built for having routines. Our bodies thrive when we are getting up at the same time, going to bed at the same time and eating at about the same time every day. By using any of the apps to measure sleep and movement, we can keep track of our lives. It keeps us on track of our normal levels and encourages improvement.

A GLASS OF WINE TO DINNER. Studies have shown that a moderate intake of wine can reduce the risk of heart disease. However, it is associated with a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Women should not drink more than one glass and men no more than two. High alcohol consumption, on the other hand, is harmful to the heart.  

FROZEN VEGETABLES INSTEAD OF FRESH VEGETABLES. Fresh vegetables are picked before they are ripe so that they can ripen during the transport process. Frozen vegetables do not have that ability and must be picked when they are naturally ripe. Naturally ripened vegetables contain significantly more nutrients than “truck-ripened” vegetables. 

LOOK FOR ANSWERS IN THE FAMILY. Agus believes that we should study the family history of our family. Find out what our relatives have died of. We then find out risk areas and can adopt preventive behaviors to reduce the risks we are extra exposed to due to our genes.

INSPECT YOUR BODY. We should make continuous visits to the doctor to check that everything is as it should be. Going there before we have problems is like going for service. Surveys of the elderly have shown that they often regret not taking better care of their teeth and feet. Poor dental health has a negative effect on the whole body and if we have pain in the feet, we move less. Flossing and taking care of our feet is a low price for a long life.

GOOD POSTURE CAN PROLONG LIFE. Thinking about one’s posture is becoming increasingly important as we spend more time sitting in front of a computer. To sit should be to stand, and to stand should be to walk. Take walking meetings and install a treadmill in the office.

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