A well-balanced diet along with regular exercise can go a long way. To have a healthy life, it is important to keep alcohol and smoking at bay.Also Read - 5 Healthy Ways to Improve Gut Health And Increase Immunity
As per Fox News, there are a few superfoods that you can consume to live a long and healthy life. “As a dietitian, I’m always telling people to ‘eat the rainbow’ because all those different colours represent different nutrients that help keep us healthy long-term,” offered Mackenzie Burgess, a registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. Also Read - Food Tips: Here Are Top 10 Winter Super Foods to Promote Bone Health And Immunity
“It’s key to create balance by finding foods you both enjoy and nourish you for a healthy mind and body,” Burgess added. As Elena Paravantes, a registered dietitian, Mediterranean Diet expert and author of ‘The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners,’ puts it, “It is important to note that a combination of lifestyle factors contribute to longevity, not specific foods. A dietary pattern, physical activity, social and community support, naps and other practices play a role.” Also Read - From Citrus Fruits to Eggs, 9 Foods to Include in Diet to Improve Brain Function
Let’s have a look at the different foods you can have to live a long and healthy life:
- Greens: Greens such as spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, etc. are a nutrient-dense food. They are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress.”Research has shown that consuming at least one serving of greens a day resulted in slower cognitive decline as measured on tests for memory and thinking skills,” Paravantes said.
- Berries: You can always start your day with a smoothie filled with berries or add them to your oatmeal. “Berries like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are filled with ‘anthocyanins’ which are responsible for the red, blue, and purple colours found in berries. Anthocyanins have been studied in-depth, and some research points to them as a potential source of anti-ageing agents,” said Burgess.
- Sardines, anchovies and salmon: “They are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can protect from diseases such as arthritis and heart disease,” Paravantes said.
- Cauliflower: It’s low in calories while being high in important nutrients like vitamin C, folate, and fibre. Cauliflower also contains a type of plant pigment called anthoxanthins, which have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. “Reducing inflammation helps protect the cells in our body from damage and can contribute to longevity,” Burgess said.
- Tomatoes: They are a source of the antioxidant lycopene, which not only can protect from certain types of cancer but is a carotenoid that can protect the skin from sun damage, said Paravantes, citing research published in the ‘British Journal of Nutrition’ on lycopene being inversely associated with death. “Tomatoes are also a great source of potassium, which plays a role in controlling blood pressure,” Paravantes added.
- Greek-style coffee: Researchers found “that higher consumption of coffee was associated with better endothelial function, and the individuals who drank mainly boiled Greek coffee had better endothelial function than those who consumed other types of coffee,” summarised Paravantes. “While all types of coffee are a source of antioxidants, Greek coffee contains much higher amounts of cafestol and kahweol, substances that appear to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. An older study had found that consumption of Greek coffee improved the elasticity of arteries in individuals with high blood pressure,” Paravantes added.
- Herbal teas: Paravantes recommended adding herbal tea to your diet if you are not a fan of coffee. “Consumption of herbal teas that are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols are associated with longevity. They are drunk daily, usually twice a day,” she said.
- Dark chocolate: Polyphenols, a specific type of nutrient found in dark chocolate, have been found to lower signs of inflammation and are especially helpful in protecting blood vessels from damage as you age. “Make sure to consume dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao (70 per cent or higher) in order to gain the most anti-inflammatory benefits,” said Burgess, who likes to add dark chocolate into her day by eating a handful of dark chocolate-covered almonds or enjoying dark chocolate avocado truffles as a healthy dessert.
- Legumes: Legumes like beans and lentils are a great addition to the diet because they are packed with satiating protein and fibre.
For example, one cup of boiled lentils packs in 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fibre, said Burgess. “They are also loaded with a class of nutrients called flavonoids. Recent research has proven these flavonoids to be helping in maintaining our brain health long-term,” she continued, recommending people add beans and legumes to quinoa salads, blend into healthier dips or stir into bean curry.