Who doesn’t want more time on the planet? Living longer is not only about getting to that ripe old age but also about doing it in the pink of your health.
We often see a few senior folks who seem very active and healthy even as they touch the eighty mark. You’d think they’ve had the elixir of life that’s often being referenced in movies and books. But the reality is they’ve probably just been eating well and working out for a good part of their lives. If you’d like to start small and make some dietary changes, here are the science approved options.
Coffee gets a lot of bad rep. But, here’s some good news for lovers of this strong beverage. Two new studies on the subject have shown that coffee drinking and longevity are linked to each other. Across continents and climatic conditions, drinking two to three cups of coffee has helped people live longer.1
The mechanism by which this happens isn’t known yet. So, while you can sip on your coffee with less guilt now, do keep in mind that it is a stimulant and quite an addictive one at that. Hence, it might be a good idea to limit your drinking to two cups a day. This way you’ll get all of its benefits while avoiding the side effects.
Berries are an antioxidant powerhouse. And, antioxidants are the boss when it comes to fighting off free-radical damage and keeping our tissues and organs healthy. A lower consumption of berries has been associated with a higher mortality due to coronary heart disease.2 So, make berries a part of your diet, you won’t regret it.
3. Olive Oil
The Mediterranean diet is not new to us. It has been around for centuries and advocates the consumption of fresh produce, seafood, healthy oils, and wine.
Olive oil holds a special place in the diet due to its health benefits.3 Despite the fact that olive oil is poured generously on Tapas and is an integral part of hummus, people who consume it are at a lesser risk of heart disease than people who consume regular oils.
Determining whether alcohol is good or bad for you is a slippery slope. There’s both good and bad aspects to its consumption. But, studies have shown that a glass of red wine, can help reduce mortality rates significantly. It does this by reducing the risk of isemic heart disease.
However, this intake must indeed be limited to a glass and no more. Drinking too much can cause more problems than the benefits it offers.4
5. Whole Grains
Refined foods have all of the empty carbs and none of the fiber and nutrient-rich goodness of wholegrain based foods. This is why it’s important to replace at least one serving of refined products such as white rice, refined flour, and white pasta with brown rice, whole wheat flour, and wholegrain pasta every day.
Studies show that fiber obtained from wholegrain produce reduces the risk of mortality, especially in women.5
Ginseng’s ability to reduce mortality is linked to it being an adaptogen. Adaptogens are compounds that can help a system adapt to stress. When associated with the human body, adaptogens can help relieve stress and inflammation and helps us live longer.6
Ginseng is also believed to fight free radical damage in the body and prevent certain forms of cancer. Recently, it’s been linked to stabilized blood sugar levels in diabetes, which in turn leads to a decreased risk of mortality.7 You could try ginseng tea prescribed by a natural health practitioner to reap these benefits of ginseng.
Leading an active and healthy lifestyle can help you get close to a 100 candles on your birthday cake. But, as with most things, you’d need to start from somewhere. Incorporating the above foods in your diet is a good way to do it.
|↑1||Park, Song-Yi, Neal D. Freedman, Christopher A. Haiman, Loïc Le Marchand, Lynne R. Wilkens, and Veronica Wendy Setiawan. “Association of coffee consumption with total and cause-specific mortality among nonwhite populations.” Annals of Internal Medicine 167, no. 4 (2017): 228-235.|
|↑2||Rissanen, Tiina H., Sari Voutilainen, Jyrki K. Virtanen, Birgitta Venho, Meri Vanharanta, Jaakko Mursu, and Jukka T. Salonen. “Low intake of fruits, berries and vegetables is associated with excess mortality in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study.” The Journal of nutrition 133, no. 1 (2003): 199-204.|
|↑3||Hu, Frank B. “The Mediterranean diet and mortality-olive oil and beyond.” New England Journal of Medicine 348, no. 26 (2003): 2595-2596.|
|↑4||Grønbæk, M. “Wine and mortality.” Biofactors 6, no. 4 (1997): 377-383.|
|↑5||Jacobs Jr, David R., Mark A. Pereira, Katie A. Meyer, and Lawrence H. Kushi. “Fiber from whole grains, but not refined grains, is inversely associated with all-cause mortality in older women: the Iowa women’s health study.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 19, no. sup3 (2000): 326S-330S.|
|↑6||Nocerino, Emilia, Marianna Amato, and Angelo A. Izzo. “The aphrodisiac and adaptogenic properties of ginseng.” Fitoterapia 71 (2000): S1-S5.|
|↑7||Luo, John Zeqi, and Luguang Luo. “Ginseng on hyperglycemia: effects and mechanisms.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 6, no. 4 (2009): 423-427.|