Eating for longevity: 12 Foods and drinks for a long, healthy life
08/28/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Eating for longevity: 12 Foods and drinks for a long, healthy life

Want to live a long, healthy life? Pay attention to what you eat. Foods like fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and compounds that help reduce your risk of conditions that may negatively impact your quality of life and life expectancy.

Here are 12 foods and drinks to add to your diet to improve overall health and longevity:

1. Cruciferous vegetables

Broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in fiber, antioxidants and vitamins A, C and K, all of which are associated with healthy aging.

Brighteon.TV

These vegetables are also rich in an antioxidant called sulforaphane, which is known to have tremendous anti-cancer potential. Sulforaphane can also lower your risk of heart disease by protecting blood vessels from inflammation.

Take care not to cook these vegetables for too long as doing so can affect their nutrient content.

2. Green leafy vegetables

Raw green leafy vegetables, such as kale, lettuce and spinach, are usually low in calories, making them ideal foods for weight management. Aside from keeping your weight down, the consumption of green leafy vegetables has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Green leafy vegetables are also rich in antioxidants that protect cells from damage, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Antioxidants are also some of your most powerful weapons against aging.

Green leafy vegetables are best enjoyed raw so you can reap their nutritional benefits.

3. Berries

Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are brimming with antioxidants, especially anthocyanins. These compounds are responsible for the blue, red and purple pigments in berries. They also help reduce inflammation, which contributes to aging.

Enjoy fresh berries as healthy snacks or blend them into a tasty smoothie.

4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, all of which help reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage due to oxidative stress. Take note that your body can absorb lycopene better when tomatoes are cooked.

Lycopene and beta-carotene are also best absorbed when accompanied by healthy fats, so enjoy your tomatoes in a salad with chopped nuts or a nut-based dressing for an extra nutritional punch.

5. Water

Water helps your body maintain a normal temperature, lubricates and cushions your joints, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues and gets rid of waste products. As such, drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day may improve your overall health and increase longevity.

6. Coffee

It turns out, coffee won’t just wake you up. It could also save your life. A 2017 study showed that caffeine, the natural stimulant found in coffee, can help reduce chronic inflammation. This type of inflammation contributes to dementia, arthritis, cancer and many other age-related diseases.

7. Green tea

Since it contains caffeine, green tea also has the same protective effects that coffee has against age-related diseases. Green tea can also help lower your risk of obesity, which contributes to and worsens aging.

8. Fermented foods

Yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir and other fermented foods contain beneficial live microorganisms called probiotics. They have been linked to better immunity, gut health and longevity. Enjoy yogurt for dessert or serve kimchi, sauerkraut or pickles as a side dish.

9. Oily fish

Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, tuna, mackerel and other oily fish help prevent heart disease by reducing blood pressure and inflammation. To lower your risk of developing serious heart conditions, aim for two to three servings of oily fish a week.

10. Beans

Beans are rich in soluble fiber, a type of fiber that slows the absorption of sugar in your gut. As such, beans help control blood sugar levels. Beans can also keep your weight down by curbing your appetite.

In addition, beans contain high amounts of potassium, an essential mineral that regulates muscle contraction and fluid balance. A deficiency in this nutrient can lead to confusion, nervous disorders and weak bones.

11. Whole grains

Eating whole grains may help you live longer, according to a 2015 review of 12 studies. In particular, the review showed that people who ate at least 70 grams (g) of whole grains per day had a lower risk of premature death compared to those who ate fewer or no whole grains.

Whole grains include brown rice, rolled or steel-cut oats, buckwheat, bulgur (cracked wheat) and millet.

12. Red wine

Red wine, in moderation, can keep your heart healthy. That’s because it contains powerful compounds, such as catechins and resveratrol, that protect your heart muscle cells and arteries from inflammation and damage due to oxidative stress.

When combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, these 12 foods and drinks can help increase longevity. Complement them with other healthy habits for best results.

Sources:

Health.com

IntechOpen.com

Med.Stanford.edu

LiveScience.com

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