How to improve your health indicator scores

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

My Nightingale blood test and app provides you with different health parameters to measure and track your wellbeing. Among these, the health indicators 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, while endurance sports will increase your good HDL-cholesterol. 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 it is essential for everyday life. In terms of long-term health, a rise in blood sugar could lead to diabetes. Research shows, just 20 minutes of daily exercise helps lowering your glucose. Studies also show switching to a high-fibre diet with moderate fat content, or a low-glycemic-index diet can help normalise your blood sugar levels. For instance, vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains are mostly high-fibre foods that rank low on the glycemic index.

Diabetes resistance

Like blood sugar, the diabetes resistance indicator is also linked to your energy uptake in the body and estimates how resistant your body is currently to developing type 2 diabetes. To improve your diabetes resistance, you must reduce your refined-sugar intake and choose a fibre-rich diet (vegetables, legumes, fruits and oats). 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 low-grade inflammation. Also, aim to be more active and have a weekly schedule that includes 2 to 3 hours of 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. Also, new studies have found, a good 7-8 hours of sleep and reducing stress can lower your inflammation.

Fatty acid balance

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

Heart age

Heart age reflects your cardiovascular health compared to 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 health. Also, you probably know this, smoking and too much alcohol are big 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 2 to 3 hours of exercise, especially endurance sports (brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming), will do your heart good.

Apart from the health indicators, the My Nightingale blood test results also include the My Nightingale Health Index, disease risk estimates for heart illnesses and type 2 diabetes along with various blood-based biomarkers to give you a comprehensive view of your metabolic health that helps you find out how your lifestyle affects your long-term health.