Article
15 November 2019
Article
15 November 2019

How to improve your health indicator scores?

All the six health indicators included in the My Nightingale results have an equal impact on your Nightingale Health Index. Here’s how you can improve them.

The My Nightingale app provides you with 23 different health parameters to measure and track your wellbeing. Among these, six are health indicators that represent specific aspects of your health and are attuned to reflect how your lifestyle affects them. You can read more about what these health indicators are and how they work here. In this post, we share how you can improve these indicator results by making small tweaks to your everyday life.

Cholesterol balance

Cholesterol balance is connected to your heart’s long-term good health. Research shows, a combination of diet and exercise helps in maintaining a healthy cholesterol balance. For instance, oats which are rich in β-glucan can help in lowering bad LDL-cholesterol count, while endurance sports will increase your good HDL-cholesterol count. Then there are things you probably already know. Like, cut down on saturated and trans fats (dairy, meat and fast food) and try replacing them with unsaturated fats (fatty fish, nuts, plant-based oils) and high-fibre foods (vegetables and wholegrain). Also, keep an eye on your simple sugars (candy and soft drinks) intake.

Blood sugar

Your blood sugar indicates the level of glucose in your blood. Glucose is needed to produce energy in your body. So, maintaining your blood sugar is essential for everyday life. In terms of longterm health, a rise in blood sugar could lead to diabetes. Research shows, 20 minutes of daily powerful exercise lowers blood sugar. Studies also show switching to a high-fibre diet, especially cereal fibre with moderate fat content or a low glycemic index diet, can help normalise your glucose levels. For instance, vegetables, legumes, fruits and oats are all high-fibre food that ranks low on the glycemic index.

Insulin sensitivity

Like blood sugar, your insulin sensitivity is also linked to your energy update in the body and a poor insulin sensitivity indicates risks of developing diabetes in the long run. You probably already know that you must reduce your refined-sugar intake and choose a fibre-rich diet (vegetables, legumes, fruits and oats) to normalise your insulin sensitivity. Also, studies say, cutting down on sodas, pastries and replacing white rice and bread with wholegrain options helps. Again, try including some physical exercise in your daily routine. That’s anyway good for your overall health.

Inflammation

Chronic low-grade inflammation is a steady, low-level inflammation throughout the body that indicates disease risk. Medical science says weight management is crucial to control inflammation. Maintain your weight if your inflammation is high. Also, aim to be more active and have a weekly schedule that includes endurance training like a brisk walk, jogging or swimming. In terms of diet, as per research, switching to meals that have less meat and include a lot of greens, fruits, nuts and wholegrain can help. For example, the Mediterranean diet.

Fatty acid balance

Some fats are essential for our body but unfortunately, they can’t produce them all. So, we need to make sure we include them in our diet. The fatty acid balance shows whether you are maintaining your good fat levels in your body. If you are low on good fats, follow diets that contain a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts and plant-based fats, wholegrain and fatty fish. Try giving diets like the DASH diet or a Nordic diet a shot.

Heart age

Heart age reflects your cardiovascular health vis-à-vis your actual age. If you have the same heart age as your chronological age, it means you’re taking good care of your heart. If it’s higher than your actual age, you’ll need a combination of diet, physical activity and weight management to improve your heart’s health. Also, you probably know this, smoking and alcohol consumption are big two factors that adversely affect your heart. Medical studies suggest cutting down saturated and trans-fats (dairy, meat, fast food) and sugary things. Instead, have unsaturated fats (plant-based oils and fish) and fibre-rich food (veggies and whole grains). A weekly 150 minutes exercise routine, especially endurance sports (brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming), will do your heart good.

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