Eat well and live long
Discover the nutritional impact of eight longevity foods. From blueberries to walnuts, these foods will increase your vitality and help prevent disease.
When we discuss the value of longevity foods, we’re really talking about a conscious and natural approach to eating well that has the accumulated effect of helping our bodies stay younger for longer. Over time the right nutrients from the right foods can help us prevent cancer, improve our cognitive abilities, keep our hearts strong, and even maintain a healthy weight. No matter what our age, it’s never too late or too early to start enjoying these simple longevity foods on a regular basis.
This simple nut may hold the key to reducing bad cholesterol, fighting cancer, and staving off bone loss.
In recent animal studies three ounces of walnuts a day was associated with the shrinking of some prostate tumours. A 30 percent reduction in new tumour growth was also noted.
Walnuts also offer benefits when it comes to bone loss. According to the same study, the high amounts of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts help prevent bone loss, while the nuts’ protein punch adds to muscle growth, which directly affects bone health.
Found in the beloved Indian spice turmeric, curcumin shows great promise when it comes to a wide variety of inflammatory conditions including breast, ovarian, and lung cancers. This active ingredient is thought to interfere with cell signaling pathways so the message to grow never reaches the tumour.
The potential for curcumin to fight cancer is so exciting that researchers are seeking ways to develop the ingredient as an assistant to current chemotherapeutic agents.
Often called a superfood, kale’s reputation is well earned. Providing support for the body’s detoxification system, this cruciferous vegetable contains at least 45 different flavonoids—those hidden nutrients that help the body deal with inflammation and oxidative stress.
With the ability to lower cholesterol, kale is a heart-friendly superstar that binds to bile and removes it from the body. As bile leaves the body, the liver is able to remove additional cholesterol from the blood.
Those who battle slightly higher than normal blood pressure, often called prehypertension, may benefit from the regular consumption of raisins. In a small study men and women with elevated blood pressure who ate raisins three times a day for 12 weeks experienced a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure.
The study did not collect data on the reason for the improvements, but researchers suggest that it may be because raisins contain potassium, fibre, polyphenols, phenolic acid, tannins, and antioxidants—all of which may assist the blood vessels to avoid stiffness, which in turn may reduce blood pressure.
Obesity is often considered by researchers to be a chronic state of low-grade inflammation. The consumption of garlic may help us maintain our most desirable body weight, as early research suggests that sulphur compounds found in garlic bulbs may have anti-inflammatory effects that can stop some cells from becoming fat cells.
Garlic consumption may also assist those with arthritis—another inflammation disease. Research suggests that compounds found in garlic have the ability to inhibit DNA binding that result in inflammation.
Studies suggest that baby spinach leaves may have a special relationship with aggressive prostate cancer. When compared to other vegetables such as cabbage and collards, spinach came out as the leader, providing significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.
Another study found that nutrients found in spinach leaves called glycoglycerolipids may help protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage, including the reduction of inflammation.
This popular drink is making waves as an effective therapy for many conditions. Five or more cups of green tea per day may help to lower the risk of death from all causes of disease, particularly cardiovascular disease. Some researchers even suggest that green tea is better than water for simple hydration as it contains polyphenols, which provide health benefits not found in water.
Tea drinking has also been associated with a strong and healthy skeletal structure and with the preservation of hip structure in elderly women.
Well known for their anti-oxidation benefits, blueberries are now popping up as a brainpower booster. New evidence suggests that about two cups of blueberries per day can help older adults improve their scores on cognitive testing that includes memory exercises. This could have a beneficial effect on the day-to-day mental operations of older adults while postponing other cognitive decline.
Blueberries have also been shown to reduce the cardiovascular risk for obese men and women with metabolic syndrome.