Top 10 foods to eat and avoid for a longer life

Dietary choices matter when extending your lifespan and enhancing your wellbeing. Here’s a guide outlining what to include in your diet for longevity and what to steer clear of [1]:

Eat to live longer:

  1. Leafy greens: Spinach, kale and Swiss chard are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They support heart health, aid digestion and may lower the risk of certain cancers.
  2. Berries: Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are bursting with antioxidants, fiber and essential vitamins. They combat inflammation, boost brain function and promote heart health.
  3. Fatty fish: Salmon, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for heart and brain health. Regular consumption can reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease.
  4. Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts and flaxseeds are nutrient-packed snacks with healthy fats, protein and fiber. They keep you feeling full, aid weight management and support heart health.
  5. Olive oil: A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants [2]. It fights inflammation, protects the heart and may help prevent certain cancers.

Avoid to live longer:

  1. Processed meats: Bacon, sausage and deli are often high in sodium, saturated fats and preservatives. They contribute to heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers [3].
  2. Sweetened drinks: Sugary beverages like soda, energy drinks and sweetened juices are packed with added sugars and empty calories. They lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Fried foods: French fries, fried chicken and doughnuts are loaded with unhealthy fats and calories. They raise cholesterol levels, promote weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease.
  4. Refined carbohydrates: White bread, white rice and pastries lack nutrients and fiber. They cause blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance and contribute to weight gain and type 2 diabetes [4].
  5. Excessive alcohol: While moderate alcohol consumption may have benefits, excessive drinking can harm the liver, increase the risk of certain cancers and lead to alcohol dependence.

You can make significant strides towards a longer, healthier life by incorporating more “Eat” foods and reducing or eliminating the “Avoid” foods from your diet. Small changes over time can lead to significant improvements in overall wellbeing.


Photograph: thananit_s/Envato
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