A person could expect to live for about 50 years in 1900. The average lifespan has increased to roughly 79 years ( in the United States) as a result of medical advances and the eradication of some diseases. People who maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle are believed to live longer. On a global scale, the majority of people desire to live long lives. However, if you want to live a long life, you should also strive for a disease-free existence with top mental and physical health so that you can lead an active and independent life. In order to keep you healthy and happy, we’ll talk about the top 11 foods for longevity with scientific references.
How food can add to your longevity?
It is a well-known fact that the diet we consume has a great impact on our health both positive and negative. Consuming an unhealthy diet may play a vital role in causing various diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, etc. On the other hand, healthy foods can play a significant role in protecting us from various diseases.
Unhealthy diet- A major cause of premature death.
Some foods can energize you, facilitate a healthy body BMI, and help you reduce the risk of many health problems. As per a meta-analysis published in the year 2017 in the International Journal of Epidemiology, it was found that higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of mortality from all causes, including heart disease and cancer. Adding foods like fruits and vegetables can add to your longevity in a healthy way, enabling you to lead an active and healthy life. For more reading, vegetables are the ultimate source of nutrition and protection; click on the link.
What are the top 11 foods for longevity?
The following are the top 11 foods for longevity and good health:
1. Cruciferous Vegetables:
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower are among the top 11 foods for longevity, as they possess a unique ability to modify human hormones, activate the natural detoxification system of the body, and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The phytochemical sulforaphane helps to provide protection to the walls of blood vessels from inflammatory signaling, which can lead to heart disease. They are one of the most nutrient-dense foods and have antioxidant and anti-tumor properties. Add it to your daily routine in raw or cooked form.
2. Raw leafy green vegetables (salads):
Raw green leafy vegetables are ideal for maintaining a healthy BMI. Besides helping with optimizing body weight, they also help to reduce the risk of many diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers. In addition, dark leafy greens are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, which include them in the top 11 foods for longevity. A few of the vitamins and minerals present are discussed below.
Folate is a B vitamin (B9) that is essential for the synthesis of RNA and DNA and helps in cellular growth and functioning. Therefore, it is extremely essential for the stages of growth like pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and adolescence.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K is essential for the clotting of blood and bone metabolism. It helps to optimize bone health and lowers the risk of osteoporosis.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and, besides citrus fruits, is also available in leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale. One single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains 134% DV (daily value).
Leafy greens are also rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and carotenoids that protect your eyes from light damage.
A study examined the relationship between fruit, vegetable, and legume consumption and the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. For more reading, click on the link.
Nuts are the powerhouse of nutrition, thus included in the top 11 foods for longevity. The reason is that they provide healthy fats. plant-based proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, and essential minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
A study stated: (for more reading, click on the link) “We found that people who ate nuts every day lived longer, healthier lives than people who didn’t eat nuts,” said study co-author Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Further, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that people consuming nuts (one-ounce serving daily) are more likely to live longer in comparison with their counterparts who consume nuts rarely. “The preponderance of evidence suggests a health benefit [from eating nuts],” says researcher Charles Fuchs of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.
Nuts, besides being nutrient-rich, are also a good source of fiber, which helps optimize cholesterol and blood sugar levels. They also help with easy bowel movements (relieving constipation). There are a lot of options for nut consumption. A few are discussed below.
Almonds: Almonds are full of nutrients required for the healthy functioning of your body. They are the ideal choice to keep your heart healthy, lower your cholesterol levels, maintain a healthy BMI, lower systolic blood pressure, have healthy bones, and control your blood sugar levels.
Pistachios are a rich source of fiber, minerals, and unsaturated fats. It helps in optimizing your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels. They can help lower the chances of developing heart disease. High levels of unsaturated fatty acids and potassium in pistachios have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Lentils, pulses, and beans:
The nutritional profile of seeds (beans, pulses, and legumes) is similar to that of nuts. They also provide healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants. Seeds are a rich source of plant-based protein. “And when combined with rice [which they often are], beans become a complete protein with all essential amino acids but without the saturated fat content of meat products,” says Michelle Jaelin, RD., a registered dietitian based in Ontario, Canada.
Beans and other legumes are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. They assist in maintaining optimal blood glucose levels by providing a steady stream of glucose while digesting more slowly. Fiber supports a healthy digestive system and bowel movements. Omega-3 fatty acids, abundant in hemp, chia, and flex seeds, help lower the risk of developing many health issues like depression, anxiety, and heart disease. During pregnancy and the early years of life, they are beneficial for brain health. The lignans found in flax, chia, and sesame seeds are phytoestrogens that are thought to lower breast cancer risk. Sesame seeds are a good source of calcium and vitamin E, while pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc.
Berries are good for taking care of your heart health. They are an excellent source of antioxidants. Studies have shown that their consumption can help to optimize blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Berries possess anticancer properties and are very effective in maintaining your brain health. Berries are a rich source of phytochemicals, including anthocyanins. Therefore, they are among the top 11 foods for longevity.
A study- concluded: Increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, and berries was associated with a delayed risk of all-cause mortality and of mortality due to cancer and stroke.
Blueberries are also enriched with vitamin K and manganese. which helps in maintaining your bone health and reducing inflammation. Vitamin K is essential for the clotting of blood.
Indian gooseberry (Amla) A study revealed: Amla (Emblica Officinalis Gaertn.) prevents dyslipidemia and oxidative stress in the aging process More information about Amla’s Amazing Health Benefits can be found here. Click on the link.
Pomegranates are enriched with phytochemicals such as punicalagin, which is responsible for more than half the antioxidant properties of pomegranate juice. Phytochemicals present in pomegranates are very useful in reducing the risk of certain cancers (such as cervical, ovarian, and prostate) and are good for taking care of your heart and brain health. Moreover, punicalagin has antiviral and antibacterial properties. For more reading: Punicalagin suppresses osteosarcoma growth and metastasis by regulating NF-κB signaling The most common malignant bone tumor in adolescents is osteosarcoma. Pomegranates are among the top 11 foods for longevity. A study reveals: these findings indicated that pomegranate could be used as a supplement to enhance longevity, fertility, and growth rate for other living organisms and human beings, but the dose should be carefully adjusted to avoid adverse effects.
Mushrooms are one of the top 11 foods for longevity. Consumption of mushrooms can help in reducing the risk of breast cancer. They contain aromatase inhibitors, which inhibit the production of estrogens (female hormones). Studies have found that mushrooms possess anti-inflammatory effects, enhanced immune cell activity, prevention of DNA damage, slowed cancer cell growth, and angiogenesis inhibition.
A landmark study published in April 2021 followed the dietary patterns of 15,000 Americans for nearly 20 years.
Compared to no consumption, those who consumed mushrooms in their diet had a 16% lower overall mortality risk.
When one serving a day of mushrooms was ingested in place of processed or red meat, there was a 35% reduction in all-cause mortality.
8 Add onions and garlic as 12- top foods for longevity:
The plant family Allium includes both garlic and onions. They help you keep your immune system and heart in good shape. By regularly consuming vegetables from the allium family, the risk of gastric and prostate cancer can be decreased. These foods contain organosulfur compounds, which can help prevent cancer by removing carcinogens, slowing cancer cell growth, and stopping angiogenesis. Onions are also a rich source of flavonoid antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the risk of cancer. Therefore, these are the ideal top 11 foods for longevity.
9. Tomatoes are included in the top 11 foods for longevity:
Lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and flavonoids, which are antioxidants, are abundant in tomatoes and can help you stay healthy. The pigment lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red color, can be extremely effective in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and skin cancer. In cooked tomatoes, lycopene is more absorbable. One cup of cooked tomatoes contains around 10 times more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Lycopene is best absorbed when consumed with healthy fats as the carotenoid-lycopene is fat soluble. Tomatoes are also a rich source of vitamin C, which helps in making your immunity strong.
10. Olive oil:
Olive oil is enriched with polyphenols that act as antioxidants. It protects your body from cell damage and inflammation. A study in April 2020 by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology concluded: “Higher olive oil intake was associated with a lower risk of CHD and total CVD in 2 large prospective cohorts of U.S. men and women.” The substitution of margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with olive oil could lead to a lower risk of CHD and CVD”. Olive oil is among the top 11 foods for longevity as it is full of monosaturated fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, which contribute to healthy aging.
Last but not least oatmeal is one of the top 11 foods for longevity. Oatmeal provides necessary fiber, vitamins, and iron making it ideal for your heart, and gut health. It can help you in optimizing your blood sugar levels. A study in the year 2012 in the Nutrition Journal concluded: “Instant oatmeal consumed daily for 6 weeks significantly increased fiber intake and decreased major risk factors for CVD in Chinese adults with hypercholesterolemia.” Increased consumption of whole grains, including oats, should continue to be encouraged. ” Moreover, a meta-analysis of studies in 2016 stated that eating whole grains like oatmeal is associated with lower chances of early death, especially from heart disease.
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