What we put into our bodies directly affects everything in our lives from the size of our waistlines, to the condition of our hearts, and yes, even how long we may live.
Some of the leading causes of sickness and death around the world are chronic "lifestyle" diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes which you can reduce your risk of simply by watching and improving your diet. What we put into our bodies directly affects everything from the size of our waistlines, to the condition of our hearts, and yes, even how long we may live.
Researchers have been fascinated by the factors of longevity. They’ve studied the natives of Okinawa, Japan who are known to age more healthily and tend to live longer than most places in the world. Or the residents of the San Blas Islands who have incredibly low rates of heart disease. Or Seventh Day Adventists who live up to seven years longer than their neighbors, on average. What’s food got to do with it? Well, a lot.
In order to help you extend your projected lifetime and enjoy more birthdays, we've created a short list of scientifically proven great foods to consume;
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, berries are amazing for you. Not only are berries a beautiful way to add color and juicy flavor to your favorite desserts and salads, but they can also be powerful little pills to help you on your health journey. They possess one of the highest levels of antioxidants per serving of any food, with their trademark color coming from a high amount of anthocyanidins, which help fight the damage of free radicals on a cellular level. They also reduce the risk of developing cellular diseases, such as heart disease, glaucoma, and ulcers. Even blackberries lower cholesterol and fight chronic disease with vitamin C, E, and pectin fiber.
2. Green Tea
Besides boasting benefits like reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, the world’s second most popular beverage was shown to reduce risk of death by up to 26 percent for those who consumed several cups a day. A daily cup of green tea lowers the risk of heart disease and premature death, according to research published in the Annals of Epidemiology. The study, carried out by Japan’s National Cancer Centre, found that the more green tea a person drinks, the less likely they are to die from heart disease, stroke and respiratory diseases. The study, which looked at the drinking habits of 90,916 subjects aged between 40 and 69 years old, concluded that women who drink one cup a day reduce their risk of an early death by ten per cent, and that this increases to 17 per cent if they drink more than five cups a day. A similar (though reduced) trend was observed in men.
People who snacked on a handful of nuts everyday were found to live longer than those who didn’t, according to a Harvard University study. An added bonus: they also lived healthier lives with a lower chance of developing cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. Overall, the daily nut-eaters were 20% less likely to have died during the course of the study than those who avoided nuts. (Peanuts, which are actually legumes, counted as nuts in this study).
A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology suggests that people who eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids might have less risk of developing cardiovascular disease and could potentially live longer. The study found the risk of death was reduced by almost a third in people who had the highest omega-3 levels in comparison to those with a lower omega-3 index.
5. Dark Chocolate
For the chocolate lovers out there, good news! Chocolate can help you live longer. Cocoa beans are packed with antioxidants which studies have found can help cut your risk of heart disease – the biggest killer in the Western world. This may be why Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived a grand total of 122 years and 164 days (the oldest verified age of any human being ever) put her good health down to her regular chocolate consumption.
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