When it comes to living longer and healthier, what we eat plays a crucial role. Learn about 12 of the best foods for longevity
When it comes to living longer and healthier, what we eat plays a crucial role. Studies have shown that eating fresh, natural foods, especially nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, have tons of health benefits that can help boost your immune system and fight diseases.
Here are 12 foods that may help increase life expectancy.
12 of the best foods for longevity
- Nuts: Nuts are full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, and minerals that can help decrease risk of heart disease, lung disease, and cancer. Eating nuts can also help prevent weight gain because the fiber, protein, and fat content helps keep you feeling full for longer and can prevent you from overeating.
- Beans: Beans are not only hearty and satisfying, but they are also an excellent source of fiber, packed with more nutrients per gram than any other food. They contain almost no fat as well as 21% protein and 77% complex carbohydrates, which are the type that delivers slow and steady energy rather than increased energy that you get from refined carbohydrates such as white flour.
- Whole grains: Grains are considered whole when they include the germ (which contains many vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats), bran (fiber, protein, B vitamins and phytochemicals) and endosperm (protein and starch, along with more vitamins and minerals). Studies have shown that people who eat whole grains over refined white carbs had a lower risk of premature death.
- Tofu: Tofu is a great source of protein, iron, and calcium and rich in healthy antioxidant compounds known as flavonoids, which help fight free radicals that cause oxidative stress on your body.
- Seaweed: Seaweed is a broad classification of edible marine alga that contains high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage.
- Bitter melon: Bitter melon is a very low-calorie vegetable that is exceptionally high in soluble fiber as well as vitamin C and vitamin A, both of which are important for disease prevention.
- Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a great low-glycemic index starch to include in your meals, since they are high in soluble fiber, vitamins, potassium, and magnesium, which can help regulate blood pressure.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are low in calories and high in fiber and other macronutrients. They are also known to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body, which can help prevent cell damage and slow cancer cell growth.
- Burdock: Burdock contains inulin, which is a prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Fennel: Fennel contains numerous phytochemical compounds with potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as fiber, potassium, and magnesium.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a super spice that has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can be especially helpful in fighting chronic inflammation.
- Hot peppers: Hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin that delivers not only spice but also health benefits such as a possible reduction in certain types of cancer. Capsaicin is also associated with pain relief, helping to calm sore nerves, muscles, and joints.
What type of a diet can help increase life expectancy?
The Mediterranean diet has been linked with numerous health benefits that can help you live longer, including weight management and lowered risk of heart diseases and cancer. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, peas, unrefined grains, olive oil, and fish and keeps dairy, meat, and saturated fats to a minimum. On top of that, you’re allowed to have a glass of red wine with dinner.
The Mediterranean diet solely focuses on whole, plant-based foods (not processed foods that may or may not be vegan). The diet can extend the life of telomeres that are attached to chromosomes in our cells:
- Telomeres prevent the chromosomes from fraying and altering the genetic codes they contain. This is crucial because the genetic material within our cells shortens with age but does so much more slowly in people who eat a healthy diet.
- A study showed that people who ate more fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthy fats from olives and olive oil (which are all part of the Mediterranean diet) showed the greatest increase in telomere growth.
Medically Reviewed on 7/27/2021
The 10 Best Foods for Longevity: https://www.denverhealthmedicalplan.org/blog/10-best-foods-longevity