We’ve all heard of the old saying that “you are what you eat”. There’s a lot of truth to it. When you eat nutrient-dense foods, you feel and look better, and you can increase your lifespan. But some healthy foods are especially good for longevity and should be on your shopping list as often as possible. Let’s explore.
#1 Leafy greens
Number one on the list of anti-aging foods is leafy greens. People consistently eating leafy greens such as spinach and kale can increase their lifespan and fight and prevent various illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
Leafy greens are cheap, delicious, and easy to add to nearly any kind of meal. Since leafy greens are filling but have a very low calorie count, they’re great if you’re trying to lose some weight or just avoid overeating.
#2 Onion and garlic
These two superfoods, along with other allium vegetables like leeks, chives, and scallions, not only add an excellent and unique taste to your dishes but can also reduce the risk of various diseases, including cancer. This is because allium foods have high counts of antioxidants, which fight inflammation across your body and halt cancerous cell growth.
There aren’t many foods so rich in antioxidants as berries like blueberries and strawberries. Because of all the nutrients found in berries, they can help reduce the aging process by reducing oxidative stress, improving cognitive function, balancing cholesterol levels, and fighting diseases such as cancer and high blood pressure.
Beans are so much more than just a vegan alternative to protein-dense foods such as meat and fish. Beans (and other legumes such as lentils) have a variety of anti-aging benefits for our bodies. First, beans are very filling and they’re digested very slowly. This helps regulate blood sugar and keeps you satisfied for a longer period than other foods. As you get older, foods like these are very important because it becomes much easier to put on weight.
Since beans are so rich in fiber, they also help in maintaining the health of your digestive tract, which in turn decreases the risk of colon cancer.
Tomatoes feature plenty of great vitamins and nutrients, but one element that stands out most is lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that improves heart health, reduces UV damage from the sun, and protects against cancer, especially prostate cancer.
If you want the highest count of lycopene possible in your tomatoes, you should cook them instead of eating them raw. Also, add some oil or nuts to your tomatoes to make it easier for your body to absorb the useful nutrients.
Mushrooms may be low in calories, but they’re packed with fiber, antioxidants, and protein. Mushrooms also have high levels of aromatase inhibitors, which help protect women against breast cancer. Additionally, mushrooms can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and heart disease.
Nuts are an excellent source of nutrients, including magnesium, selenium, and vitamin E. Vitamin E is especially good for your aging skin: it protects against UV damage, repairs your skin cells, and helps maintain your skin’s elasticity and moisture.
Nuts are also loaded with antioxidants and fiber and can help lower cholesterol levels and fight inflammation.
#8 Fermented foods
Your gut is one of the most important indicators of your overall health. If you often experience constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, or other gut-related problems, something is off. And when your gut is off, you’re more susceptible to various bacteria and viruses.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, or cultured yogurt are packed with healthy bacteria to help restore your gut health. They’re also full of antioxidants and have antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
#9 Green tea
A daily cup of green tea can do wonders for your health. This drink is a great source of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that help fight inflammation. Green tea is also rich in a catechin called ESGC (which is another antioxidant), potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. And the list goes on.
This mixture of healthy substances makes green tea an excellent weapon against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and declining brain function.
What about supplements?
As healthily as you eat, supplements can always help get the most out of your diet, especially since some substances are very difficult to obtain from food alone. Here are some of the best supplements for longevity:
- As you age, your body’s natural ability to produce collagen declines, which leads to wrinkles and brittle hair. By taking collagen supplements every day, you can artificially boost your collagen levels and make your skin and hair look more youthful.
- NMN is a precursor to the NAD+ molecule, which is responsible for generating energy, repairing DNA, and fighting inflammation. Just like collagen, our bodies produce declining amounts of NAD+ as we get older, which is why NMN supplementation is one of the most effective ways to boost NAD+ levels.
- Vitamin C. Taking vitamin C can help boost your immune system, reduce oxidative stress, and it can also improve skin health.
- The bright yellow curcumin is the main chemical in turmeric, and it’s another powerful antioxidant that you should include in your longevity diet. Curcumin can help protect your aging cells and also improve your cognitive abilities. You don’t necessarily need to take curcumin supplements to reap their benefits – you can just add turmeric to your daily meals.
It’s never too late to start a healthy lifestyle
It doesn’t matter how old you are – by incorporating the foods and supplements mentioned in this article, you’ll be on your way to a longer and healthier life in no time! Just remember: there’s no single solution to living a longer life. A healthy diet will only be effective in prolonging your life if you stay consistent and eat the rainbow every day.
You’ll also need to combine healthy foods with other important lifestyle changes, such as daily exercise (a simple walk is plenty), a healthy sleep schedule, and reduced alcohol intake. Good luck and stay healthy!