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Eating For Long Life

We are what we eat. We eat to live, but we could also eat to live even longer. A good start could be eating foods rich in antioxidants to help fight free radicals that cause illnesses such as cancer. Antioxidants can be found in colourful vegetables and fruits like berries, beets, and tomatoes.

Olive oil

Olive oil is a tasty monounsaturated fat that may positively affect memory. A compound in extra-virgin olive oil called oleocanthol is a natural anti-inflammatory and produces effects similar to ibuprofen and other NSAIDs.

Berries

A great source of antioxidants, strawberries and blueberries are powerful, may help combat cancers and degenerative diseases of the brain.

Fish

Top your salad with tuna or salmon instead of chicken. Fish has been called “brain food” because its fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are important to brain and nervous system development. Eating fish one to two times a week may also lower the risk of dementia. Omega-3 fats found in fatty fish can lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

Vegetables

Veggies contain fibre, phytonutrients, and loads of vitamins and minerals that may protect you from diseases. Dark, leafy greens contain vitamin K for strong bones. Sweet potatoes and carrots contain vitamin A, which helps keep eyes and skin healthy and protects against infection. Studies suggest having a serving of tomatoes or tomato products every day may prevent prostate cancer.

Nuts

Whether eaten whole or ground into paste, nuts are packed with cholesterol-free protein and other nutrients. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the body from cell damage and helps boosts the immune system. Pecans contain antioxidants. The unsaturated fats in walnuts can reduce LDL and raise HDL cholesterol. But nuts aren’t fat-free. One ounce of almonds—about 24 nuts — contains 160 calories. So eat nuts in moderation.

Milk

Drinking vitamin D-fortified beverages like milk helps increase calcium absorption. That’s especially important for bone health. Vitamin D may also help reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers. Eat yoghurt with live cultures to aid digestion.

Whole-grains

Eating whole grains can reduce your risk of certain cancers, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. Choose whole-grain breads and pastas and brown or wild rice instead of white. Drop barley into soups or add plain oatmeal to meatloaf. Whole grains are minimally processed, so they retain more nutritional value. The fiber in whole grains helps prevent digestive problems such as constipation and diverticular disease.

Watermelon

Watermelon is high in lycopene, a nutrient known for its cancer- and heart-disease-fighting benefits. Store it at room temperature, because research from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that watermelons produce more lycopene at room temperature than when they are chilled.

Eat more good fat

This may not sound like the most health-conscious advice, but the good-for-you variety of fat (namely monounsaturated) can help lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and cut your risk of atherosclerosis. Foods high in monounsaturated fats include nuts, olives, oils, and avocados.

Eat fruits often

Vitamin C may protect the body’s cells from harmful free radicals. Unfortunately, vitamin C is water-soluble, and our bodies don’t store it. In order to keep levels up, you need to eat fruits regularly, multiple times each day.

Slow down at the table

People who eat more slowly can more easily detect when they’re full than people who eat hurriedly. What does this mean for living longer? People who eat more slowly also eat less, and research suggests that people who eat lower-calorie diets live longer.

Lose weight

Keeping off extra weight puts less pressure on your joints, less strain on your heart, and can reduce your risk of certain cancers. It gets tougher to do as metabolism slows and as you lose muscle with age. Select proteins like lean meats, tuna, or beans. Include vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. It takes more energy for your body to break down complex carbs, and the added fiber will help you feel fuller.

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