￼Top 10 Superfoods for Longevity
We Are What We Eat
The Blue Zones: Models for Healthy Aging
Top 10 Anti-Aging Superfoods
1 –Cruciferous vegetables
2 – Leafy green veggies
3 – Nuts and seeds
Don’t avoid nuts for fear of their calorie content. One study found that people with a diet high in nuts were 20% more likely to have a longer lifespan than those who didn’t consume them. Another found that people following a Mediterranean diet had improved cholesterol levels with increased nut intake. Walnuts, pistachios, and almonds are all particularly beneficial, and versatile. Add some to salads and baking, or just as a healthy snack! Nuts are a good source of fibre, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
Flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are excellent sources of protein and omega-3, and have been linked to reduced cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. It’s easy to incorporate these powerhouses into your diet – just sprinkle some on your cereal and even yogurt, and incorporate seeds into salads wherever possible.
4 – Berries
Brightly coloured berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are high in antioxidants, fibre, and vitamin C. Blueberries and strawberries can help fight insulin resistance and diabetes, and all berries are excellent substitutes for sweet desserts. Make sure to buy organic – all berries, and strawberries in particular, can contain high levels of pesticides. Plus, organic tastes better!
5 – Beans and legumes
With their high amounts of fibre, beans keep your digestive system working in top shape and can help prevent colon and other digestive cancers. They’re also protective of heart health, and are associated with lower blood pressure. And, beans are a filling high protein source, which can help regulate blood sugar, and keep weight in check. In fact, one study linked bean consumption with a smaller waist circumference.
Beans are an excellent addition to soups, salads and stews. If you’re a meat eater, try adding some to recipes with ground beef, like meatballs, to add extra fibre and vitamins.
6 – Mushrooms
Mushrooms are high in B vitamins and potassium, and therefore good for your heart. They’re a good source of selenium, a mineral that acts as a powerful antioxidant.
They’re also very versatile, and can be enjoyed raw, grilled, or sauteed. Try marinating mushrooms on a skewer before barbecuing, or use a marinated portobello mushroom as a healthy burger substitute.
Recently, functional mushrooms have been taking centre stage in the mainstream health and wellness space. Functional mushrooms include chaga, lion’s mane and cordyceps among others and are considered adaptogens for their supportive role in the body’s natural adaptation response. Typically found in supplement form, functional mushrooms can be a great addition to your routine to help manage stress, improve focus and more. Be sure to speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner to see if these are right for you!
7 – Alliums like onions and garlic
These aren’t just flavour enhancers. Allium vegetables include onions, garlic, leeks, and shallots. Alliums have antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which are good for heart health and cancer prevention. Research suggests onions can even improve bone health. Some people have unpleasant digestive issues with onions, so some trial and error may be necessary, but it’s easy to add more sauteed or raw onions to many dishes.
8 – Tomatoes
In addition to high levels of insoluble fibre, vitamin C, and potassium, tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene, which is associated with a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes. It’s also thought to lower rates of cancer and high cholesterol levels. Lycopene content in tomatoes increases with cooking, so tomato sauces are particularly good sources.
9 – Turmeric
The medicinal properties of this herb have been recognized for centuries, and recent studies back its effectiveness. The benefits of turmeric are largely derived from the compound curcumin, which is highly anti-inflammatory and beneficial to heart health. Some studies have found that it can help prevent cancer and reduce the symptoms of arthritis. It’s difficult to get therapeutic levels through diet alone (although it is delicious in a smoothie or latte), so supplements may help. Interestingly, absorption is increased when consumed with black pepper – a combination that happens in many spicy dishes.
10 – Green tea
The many benefits of green tea make it one of the healthiest beverages you can consume. It’s high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which are compounds associated with cancer prevention. Matcha green tea is considered one of the healthiest varieties of green tea because the entire leaf is consumed by tea drinkers. Make sure you are buying organic to reduce pesticide exposure and to ensure you are reaping all the benefits of this superfood
Eat Your Way To A Longer, Healthier Life
You may have noticed that all of these superfoods are easily adapted into your regular diet. These simple dietary changes can have positive impacts on your health, and, ultimately, your longevity.
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