Do you want to live a long life? More importantly, do you want to live a long, healthy life? While there are no guarantees about how long you might live or what your health might be like as you age, there are simple, positive steps that make it more likely you’ll be able to enjoy life no matter what the calendar says. Check out these 7 foods to boost your health and longevity.
When it comes to living a long and healthy life, genetics play a role, and, frankly, so does chance. But the fact is that you have more control over health and longevity than you might think. Experts who research the subject have identified Blue Zones, or regions of the world where people tend to live longer, healthier lives than is normal. One reason is that folks in those areas are eating meals that nurture the body for maximum health. In other words: they’re not choosing foods that are packaged, processed, or dripping with fat, sodium, and artificial additives. Instead, they choose foods that work with the body rather than against it.
By the way, be wary of many “healthy” store-bought granola, cereals, snacks, and even beverages; they can be loaded with sugar, salt, and fat. (Think about all those health-food granolas that are packed with candy-coated chocolate!) Learn Tips for Deciphering Food Labels so you can shop for healthy foods for longer life.
7 Foods to Boost Your Health and Longevity
It’s true that nuts used to sport a bad reputation—but no longer! Now, it’s fine to go nuts for nuts, like walnuts, which contain largely unsaturated fats that are heart healthy. These health-boosting foods can be enjoyed as snacks or added to salads or entrées, like this Walnut-Crusted Chicken Breasts recipe.
Tasty fish are a smart addition to healthy meals. You may already know that the omega-3 fats in fish are good for the heart, but increasing evidence suggests they may help safeguard the brain from clinical depression as well. Try this Flounder with Brown Rice, Tomatoes, and Fresh Thyme.
This berry is a powerhouse source of antioxidants, which fight free radicals (rogue cells that cause damage that leads to disease and signs of aging). Blueberries also deliver maximum nutrition for minimum calories. Need one more reason? Regular consumption may also reduce belly fat. Check out this tasty Blueberry Banana Smoothie.
Healthy foods for longer life include leafy, dark green veggies, like kale and its cousins: spinach, Swiss chard, and collard greens. They’re packed with vitamins A and C, plus kale delivers high levels of bone-building vitamin K, which is essential for staying active throughout your life. Give kale a go in this Skinny Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Kale Soup.
Legumes are a smart addition to any diet. Along with antioxidants, beans offer complex carbohydrates, which regulate blood sugar, and fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. What’s more, they provide added heart protection because they deliver protein—without the cholesterol found in many protein-rich foods. Treat yourself to this Skinny Slow Cooker Tangy Coconut Black Bean Soup.
Health-boosting foods like quinoa, whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal are not refined, a process that eliminates fiber and other nutrients the body needs. Superfood quinoa is especially high in protein and fiber. Overall, whole grain intake, as part of a healthy lifestyle, can reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Find out how tasty quinoa and other whole grains can be in Quinoa (Meatless) Meatballs, Homemade Whole Grain Tortillas, and TexMex Rice and Beans.
This soy-based food is a common substitute for meat in some cultures where people live longer lives than normal (like Okinawa, Japan). Tofu provides protein without cholesterol, along with isoflavones, which are antioxidants believed to have an anti-aging effect. Swap out the egg for cubed tofu in this Quinoa and Vegetable Stir-Fry for a delish vegetarian entrée.
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