Many people reach well into their 100s in places like Nicoya in Costa Rica, Sardinia in Italy, and Ikaria in Greece. Would you take a daily pill with the potential of extending your life to 100 years in excellent health if the chance of it increased? Surely. Food is even more effective than prescription drugs for achieving the same results.
Certain foods have been linked repeatedly to longevity in scientific studies. Therefore, they can help you live long into old age rather than simply helping you survive for as long as possible. A diet full of foods scientifically linked to longevity will not guarantee you’ll live into your triple digits, but eating a diet rich in these foods will have an impact. The following suggestions may be helpful. Experts say these ten longevity-enhancing foods are the most important out of all the nutrient-rich foods out there.
Dietary Supplements for Longevity
Veggies were always going to be on the list, wasn’t it? Dr Cary Kreutzer, professor at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California, explains that scientific studies have shown that cancer rates increase the fewer plant-based foods people eat, especially fruit and veggies.
Aside from antioxidants, veggies also contain anti-inflammatory compounds, which protect the body against free radical damage. Even if you buy from the produce section or farmers’ market, your eating habits will benefit you over a long period. However, if you’re looking for more specific information, registered dietitian and associate professor Stephanie Polizzi, MPH, RD, of Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences, suggests prioritizing cruciferous veggies. Sulforaphane, an antioxidant in these vegetables, offers protection against DNA damage and cancer growth.
Get Some Fruits
Fruit contains antioxidants, too, just like veggies. Polizzi advises that you should leave fruit skins on when you eat them since they contain pectin, which is a soluble fibre that’s nutritious for the gut. Another nutrient that plays a vital role in promoting longevity is fibre. In addition to vegetables and fruit, this list offers a wide range of food options. Since they are high in polyphenols, an antioxidant known for their ability to assist in ageing, blueberries are a healthy and beneficial fruit to include in your diet.
Beans and lentils
They both recommend focusing on plant-based protein as well as legumes as a protein source. The legumes that Polizzi eats have a lot of protein, and fibre, and do not have saturated fats or cholesterol. There are places in the world where people regularly live past 100 years old while in reasonable health, like Nicoya, Costa Rica, Sardinia, Italy, and Ikaria, Greece.
Kreutzer suggests eating whole grains like oats, quinoa, and brown rice because they contain fibre and help keep blood sugar levels stable. By eating whole grains, she says, you can reduce your risk of type two diabetes. It matters to those with diabetes who have a shorter life expectancy than people without diabetes by up to eight years.
Chia or flaxseeds
Determinate the link between fibre and longevity? Flax seeds and chia seeds are both excellent sources of soluble fibre and may aid digestion and lower cholesterol levels. That’s why Polizzi recommends including them in your daily meals.
Kreutzer sprinkles nuts, seeds, and dried fruit on salads as an easy way to include nuts, seeds, and dried fruit in meals. Nuts have anti-ageing properties, as well as fibre, plant-based protein, antioxidants, and unsaturated fats that are good for the heart.
Agricultural fermented products
Gut health is gaining popularity in the world of health and wellness. This is because, according to Kreutzer, your gut needs to be full of healthy bacteria if you want to live a long, productive life. Consuming fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and tempeh is a delicious way to accomplish this. Kreutzer explains that these foods nourish our gut by supplying healthy bacteria.
Yummy sweet potato
Although vegetables are already on the list, this one is worth mentioning because of how beneficial it is. In a TED Talk, Polizzi explains that 60 per cent of the calories consumed in Okinawa, Japan (a “Blue Zone” where people regularly live into their early teens) come from sweet potatoes. This list contains many foods rich in fibre and antioxidants as well as 400 per cent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A – an invaluable nutrient for boosting the immune system.
Health experts are praising avocados for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as their high monounsaturated fat content. Avocados are also high in fibre and contain unprocessed sugars.
Chocolate with a dark hue
As with blueberries, dark chocolate provides longevity benefits because of its high concentration of polyphenols, which are beneficial for heart health. Choose dark chocolate containing at least 70 per cent cacao to reap the benefits.
As important as it is to consume all of these foods, it is equally important to get adequate sleep, exercise regularly, and manage stress to live a longer life. You should use all the cookbooks and websites online to learn how to cook the foods on this list that you enjoy because you’ll likely be eating them for a long time.
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