10 foods that increase longevity
29 December 2011, 15:30
If you want to live longer, take a look at the foods in your weekly shopping basket. It may sound like trite advice, but a healthy diet really is key to longevity.
What you put into your mouth has a dramatic effect on the way your body
functions. Food is far more than just fuel to keep you going and to
stop the hunger pangs. It’s an essential source of energy, assists in
growth and repair, and helps to regulate and protect the body. Your body
is an intricate machine with many complicated functions and your body
needs many different nutrients to keep it functioning well. As soon as
you start disturbing its delicate balance with an unhealthy diet and
lifestyle, you are bound to get ill.
Just think of all the modern lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer – many of these are preventable. Yes, lifestyle choices such as getting enough sleep and exercise, managing stress levels and not smoking are very important when it comes to living a longer and healthier life, however, making a concerted effort to follow a balanced diet for life can literally add years to your life.
Numerous studies have proven the effect a balanced diet can have on longevity. One such study,
conducted by the City University of New York, has found that a good
diet can reduce the risk of death by up to 25% over a 10-year follow-up.
The study looked at the dietary habits of more than 350 000 men and
women in the US and participants were asked about six components of a
healthy diet: fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean
meat and poultry, and fat. The researchers noted that the participants
did not have to eat perfectly to get a top score, but that adhering to
mostly good dietary habits made all the difference to their longevity.
A balanced diet for health and longevity implies limiting your kilojoule-intake,
cutting down on saturated fats, salt and sugar, eating the daily
recommended allowances of carbohydrates, protein and fibre and stocking
up on loads of fruit and vegetables every day.
Some foods are especially good when it comes to adding years to your
life. Check out our slideshow of 10 foods that promote longevity.