The foods you eat can either harm or benefit the body. People have an addiction to processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine, and other unhealthy foods that offer little to no nourishment. This type of diet is at the root of many common and preventable illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. In fact, you have the power to eat your way to a longer life.
Many people know that they should eat foods that make the body feel good, but seldom does this happen. So many foods can help fend off disease, so why not turn to those foods that promote longevity? Eating for longevity is not a new concept, especially when you consider the various blue zones around the world. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, fiber, lean protein, and phytonutrients makes you feel good and may add more years to your life as well. Continue reading to learn about seven foods that can contribute to a longer, healthier life.
Rich in an assortment of healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, phytosterols, minerals, and protein, nuts are low-glycemic foods that everyone should consume. Well, maybe don’t consume nuts if you have a nut allergy. Nuts are rather high in calories, so it’s best to eat them in moderation, for example, a handful as a snack or on top of a salad. According to studies, nuts have heart-healthy compounds that may help reduce cholesterol.
Blueberries may not automatically add 20 years to your life, but they can help protect against harmful diseases. They also contain vitamins, minerals, and an impressive antioxidant profile. Antioxidants are natural compounds that help to protect your cells from free radicals, which can increase early signs of aging. The antioxidants in blueberries have exhibited abilities to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Speaking of antioxidants, pomegranates are rich in phytochemicals that exhibit antioxidant activity. According to several studies, punicalagin, the signature phytochemical in pomegranate, has anti-cancer, cardio-protective, and brain-boosting properties. One study monitored patented with sever carotid artery blockages. They drank one ounce of fresh pomegranate juice daily for one year. The results indicated a 30% reduction in atherosclerotic plaque, a major contributor to heart disease. In a different study, participants who drank fresh pomegranate juice for one month improved memory and overall cognition.
Beans, beans, they’re good for you heart, and apparently a longer life! Researchers state that beans and other legumes help to stabilize blood sugar and protect against colon cancer. Beans are actually the most nutrient-dense starch source, and they act as anti-diabetes and weight loss-promoting foods. Beans promote satiety because the body slowly digests them, preventing cravings. Eating more legumes like peas, lentils, or beans twice a week may also reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Onions And Garlic
The allium family continues to exhibit more and more health benefits. Not only do onions benefit the cardiovascular and immune systems, but they also exhibit anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties. Eating more allium vegetables like leeks, garlic, and onions also helps to reduce the risk of gastric and prostate cancers. The organosulfur compounds aid this process by detoxing carcinogens from the body and halting cancer cell growth. Organosulfur compounds release when you chop or mash allium vegetables, and you absorb more of them when eaten raw.
These mighty nutritional powerhouses possess a unique ability to activate the body’s detoxification system. It’s best to thoroughly chew cruciferous vegetables, or eat them in shredded or chopped form, because that helps them release their anti-cancer properties. Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a potent phytochemical that works to protect blood vessel walls from inflammatory signaling. Experts say that cruciferous vegetables are the most nutritious of all foods, and eating a variety of them can help promote longevity.
Mushrooms may be an under-appreciated food, but they provide a diverse mix of nutrients. According to researchers, women who eat mushrooms have a reduced risk of breast cancer. The aromatase inhibitors in white and portobello mushrooms work to inhibit the production of estrogen, which lowers the risk of breast cancer. Mushrooms also exhibit anti-inflammatory activity and may help to slow cancer cell growth and prevent DNA damage.