Can you live longer by living healthier?
While many factors ultimately decide how long a person lives, following a healthy lifestyle, staying physically and mentally active and regularly consuming nutrient-packed anti-aging foods can help to fight off disease and slow down the aging process.
Here are five foods packed with vitamins, minerals and other healthy nutrients that you can add to your diet to live a longer, healthier life:
Olive Oil - Researchers from the Seven Countries Study found that monounsaturated fats in olive oil were mainly responsible for the low rates of heart disease and cancer on the Greek island of Crete. Olive oil also contains polyphenols, which are powerful anti-aging antioxidants known to help prevent age-related diseases.
Fish - Western health experts have always wondered why native Inuits of Alaska are so remarkably free of heart disease. Now they know it has to do with the large amounts of fish the Inuits consume. Cold water fish are an abundant source of omega-3 fats which offer many anti-aging benefits such as protecting your heart, reducing risk of stroke, and even lowering risk of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing overall inflammation. A study of middle-aged American men found that those who ate fish two to three times every week had a 40% lower mortality rate than those who did not. In men who had previously suffered a heart attack, eating fish twice a week lowered their mortality risk by 29%.
Cocoa/ Dark Chocolate - Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation rapidly ages skin. Eating or drinking dark chocolate or cocoa has been shown to protect skin against harmful UV exposure. Cocoa beans, from which chocolate is made, have a higher antioxidant capacity than any other food. The high concentration of antioxidant flavanols in cocoa beans reduces inflammation of the skin caused by exposure to UV light. Not only that, eating dark chocolate increases circulation, preserving healthy and youthful blood vessels - lowering risk of high BP, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.
Nuts - Studies of Seventh-Day Adventists have shown that those who eat nuts gain, on average, an extra two and a half years of life. Nuts are rich sources of protein, unsaturated fats, as well as concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals - including powerful anti-aging antioxidants. Nuts also contain omega-3 fats which are great for heart health. They're a good source of potassium, which helps to lower BP; vitamin E, which helps to prevent cell damage; and calcium, which helps to maintain strong bones.
Wine - Drinking one glass of red wine every day has been shown to be good for your heart. Antioxidants and nutrients in red wine can prevent heart disease because they protect arteries and the lining of blood vessels. One of the best recognized anti-aging components in red wine is an antioxidant called resveratrol, which has been shown to prevent blood clots, reduce cancer risk, decrease inflammation and lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol. Also, alcohol in moderation keeps blood clots from forming and increases levels of ‘good’ HDL-cholesterol.
Given the many natural benefits of these anti-aging foods, why not consider adding them to your diet today?