Many people ignore or overlook the powerful impact that lifestyle, diet, and habits make on how our bodies function and how we feel. Living a healthy lifestyle encompasses making quality choices for your body, mind and soul. Below are some simple ways to naturally start building a healthier you and live longer.

Invest in Sleep

Everyone sleeps: some more than others. In fact, the average person spends one third of their life asleep. In fact, according to the NIH, sleep is essential for our bodies to repair, for our minds to form memories, and for good emotional health.

Investing in improving the quality of our sleep directly improves the quality of our lives. Some easy ways to improve the quality of your sleep are finding the perfect pillow and buying higher thread count bedsheets (anything over 800), turning down the brightness on your laptop and mobile phones the last 2 hours before going to bed, sleeping in comfortable clothes, and investing in a white noise machine if you are a light sleeper.

The NIH reports that as much as 30% of all Americans suffer from some form of insomnia. According to Healthery, people with more milder sleep disorders may benefit from relaxation methods like yoga and meditation before bed, while those with more serious issues may require cognitive behavior therapy or prescription medication. Another common complication with sleep revolves around back and neck pain, so focus on simple exercises to keep your back and neck pain at bay and help prevent uncomfortable sleep for yourself and your partner.

Eat Superfoods like Kale and Berries, Eliminate Unhealthy Foods, and Drink Lots of Water

There is a growing body of medical literature that points to Kale and Berries being superfoods with powerful anti-cancer and life-prolonging properties. Enjoying a hearty Kale and Spinach salad with healthy toppings and low-fat dressing may not be palatable for some people, such a diet has been shown to improve life expectancy and reduce health complications as we age. Healthy vegetables include bok choy, broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, dandelion, cabbage, and kale. All of these will help keep you functioning well past your eighties and has been linked to reduce the likelihood of onset for Parkinson’s disease. For the elderly especially, it has been reported that a good balance of a healthy dietary choices along with exercise is very beneficial at extending longevity.

Berries contain phytochemicals that remove toxic molecules from your body and reduce the risk of cancer. Supercharge your breakfast by adding strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, acai berries, bilberries, and blackberries.

In an era where the obesity epidemic is out of control and affordable healthcare is becoming a more relevant topic than ever, being thoughtful about eating choices is essential. Eliminating or reducing processed foods and carbonated sodas will have an immediate positive impact on your health. Frequent and excessive drinking is another epidemic that will accelerate aging and reduce life expectancy. Limiting alcoholic beverage consumption to just once a week seeking treatment if you suffer from addiction are both immediate ways you can prolong longevity.

Doctors suggest drinking 8 glasses of water per day to keep our bodies functioning at peak performance. This will keep your lymph system in good shape and help to protect you from disease.

Reduce Salts and Meats in your Diet

Stuffing ourselves with lots of food doesn’t help us at all, particularly if the flavors are only sweet and salty. Our body thrives when we add other flavors into our diet. Avoid synthetic and non-natural foods, as they often get their flavor from salt, oil, and carbohydrates in ways that are bad for your body.

Cooking homemade meals from natural, “whole“ ingredients and moderate salts and oils is probably the best way to avoid succumbing to the temptation to scarf down on processed foods like chips. Many modern studies, in fact, suggest that eating excessive amounts of meats is associated with heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, kosher, and pescetarian are all fine diets to consider. Many studies support the benefits of an all-vegan diet. If you can’t live without meat, the best types for consumption are fish and turkey, and even then it is best to limit consumption to no more than twice per week. Some types of meat, however, should be avoided most of the time, including fatty, fried meat products like bacon.

Incorporate Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Medicines

In order to keep a healthy lifestyle that adds years to your life, you need to also stay disciplined with your physical health and mental health. Although there are many approaches to living a healthy lifestyle, Ayurvedic medicine calls for examining your mind, body and soul to help reduce stress and, ultimately, improve health. The guiding principle is the mind has power over the body, helping it to heal and transform. It espouses a holistic approach to treating disease- not the “one-size-fits-all” approach of Western medicine. In fact, many studies with Type 2 Diabetics found Ayurvedic medicine to be powerful at reducing symptoms of the disease.

Even if you can’t incorporate all of these suggestions into your lifestyle, even just making partial improvements in these different areas of your health will be sure to pay dividends overall. Stay persistent and continue to do all you can to live a healthy lifestyle.