We live in an age where the line between fact and fiction has been blurred considerably.
From self-driving cars to CRISPR gene-editing, we are living and breathing in a world that was once just dreamt up by imaginative science fiction writers.
And one of the biggest perks of living in this era is a 100+ years life span, courtesy of the advances in medical science and treatment modalities.
But before you get too excited, here's a bubble-bursting reality for you: Medical science cannot add years to your life if you abuse your body and health constantly.
In fact, according to a famous Harvard study, there are five factors that contribute towards a long life:-
1. Not smoking.
2. Engaging with friends and family often.
3. Regular exercise.
4. Maintaining your weight in the healthy category of 18-24 BMI.
5. Eating foods that improve your general health and give you sufficient nutrition.
And in this article, we are going to tackle the fifth point on that list - foods that can make you live longer.
So let's dive in.
#1 Green Leafy Veggies
They may not taste all that great (if you are a bad cook), but adding them to your daily diet is the best thing you can do.
This is because all leafy green vegetables, from spinach to collards, are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals required to keep your body functioning at its best and free from the disease-causing effects of free radicals.
Plus, multiple studies have shown that eating leafy greens once a day can reduce your risk of developing life-threatening diseases by almost 15%.
Almonds can help you stay sharp, smart, and prevent age-induced degenerative diseases of the brain. Plus, having them daily is good for your heart and respiratory system.
This is because almonds are rich in fibers and healthy fats that reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your brain's cognitive abilities and memory power.
Caution: Soak a handful of these nuts in water overnight, and then have them without the skin because certain compounds in the almond skin are known to disrupt digestion and prevent absorption of nutrients.
#3 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
All olive oils are not good for your health because most of them are produced by heat-treating olives to extract the oil, which destroys all the beneficial nutrients in this oil.
So stick to the extra virgin variety as this is produced by cold-pressing olives, and therefore, has a high amount of brain-healthy polyphenols and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids in it.
Plus, studies have shown that regular use of this oil for cooking can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease drastically!
If a plant's leaves, seeds, or fruits resemble a part of your body or an internal organ, then 90% of the time that plant will be beneficial for that corresponding part. And walnuts are no different.
These slightly bitter nuts resemble the brain when you crack open their shell. And true to the above maxim, they are extremely good for your brain's health and cognitive development as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and DHA.
In fact, studies have shown that pregnant women who have a cup of walnuts during pregnancy are known to give birth to smarter children than their non-walnut-eating counterparts. And other studies have shown that having these nuts daily can prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
So you should definitely add them to your daily diet.
This temperamental fruit has a short window of consumable time, but is a superfruit known for being rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that are capable of reducing your blood-cholesterol level and keeping you free of heart diseases.
Plus, more recent studies have found that avocados also contain a compound in them that is capable of destroying nascent cancer cells of acute myeloid leukemia, which is a blood cancer that predominantly affects the elderly (above 65 years of age).
#6 Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are native to South and Central America, and are hygroscopic in nature with the ability to absorb liquids and form gel globules ten times their original size. But that's not why you should add them to your daily diet.
Chia seeds are abundant in essential minerals, contain almost 11 g of fibre in just 2 tablespoons, and can protect you from heart disease and diabetes. So if you want to live longer, make sure you add them to your daily smoothie or yoghurt!
Proteins are good for your health as they boost your metabolism, help you stay slim and fit, and improve your muscular strength and resilience. If that's not a good enough reason to add eggs to your daily diet, then here are a few more.
Egg yolks are rich in good cholesterol and increase your blood's HDL cholesterol level. Plus, they contain the chemical choline in them, which is an essential nutrient for the production of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter. So they are great for boosting your brain power too!
Caution: Don't eat more than 3 eggs a day.
#8 Oatmeal Porridge
Oatmeal is a healthy carbohydrate as it is rich in fibres, and therefore, good for your digestive tract. Plus, they contain a compound named beta-glucan in them, which has the ability to reduce the bad LDL cholesterol in your blood.
All berries are good for your health. But some are better than others. Like the humble blueberry, which looks tiny but packs a large dose of antioxidants in it and is capable of scavenging disease-causing free radicals circulating in your body.
And since free radicals are also responsible for all the signs of ageing, like fine lines, liver spots, and wrinkles, having more of them will help you live longer and make you look younger at the same time!
The humble bowl of curd and yoghurt are not one and the same thing. The latter is more homogeneous and has a constant amount of probiotic bacterial colonies in it than the former. But when it comes to the health of your gut, both are equally good for you.
Why? Because the lactobacilli colonies in curd or yoghurt (a.k.a good bacteria) replace the harmful bacterial colonies in your gut and prevent digestive problems, like diarrhoea, flatulence, and bloating.
Plus, they are like an in-house factory of vitamin B12!
#11 Chilli Peppers And Capsicum
Hot chilli peppers are capable of boosting your metabolism and burning excess fat off your body, while capsicums (a.k.a bell peppers) contain a high amount of carotenoids and vitamin C in them, which improves your immunity and your eyesight.
This wonderful fruit is rich in vitamin C and lycopene, and therefore, has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, studies have shown that those who have a lot of tomatoes have a stronger brain power.
This jewel-like fruit is very powerful against heart diseases and conditions because it can reduce your blood-cholesterol level, prevent atherosclerotic plaque formation in your coronary arteries, and regulate your blood pressure.
Plus, it is a rich source of dietary iron, and therefore, beneficial for women more than men since they usually suffer from anaemia due to their menstrual cycle every month.
Beans might make you fart, but studies have shown that this protein-rich legume is very effective at preventing insulin-resistant diabetes and can regulate your blood sugar levels.
#15 Green Tea
Green tea contains a lot more polyphenols and catechins in it than regular tea, and therefore, is a more potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.
That's why those who regularly drink green tea look younger than their age, rarely fall sick, are slimmer, and have a faster metabolism.
RELATED - Here's Why You Should Drink Green Tea
#16 Whole Grains
The reason why you should choose whole grains over refined grains is because the refining process gets rid of most of the nutritious properties of all grains, including most of their fibre content. Plus, studies have shown that those who regularly eat whole grains have better digestion and bowel movements, and have lesser risk of premature death.
#17 Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate with more than 75% cacao content is far better than the milk chocolate variant because numerous studies have shown that this bitter treat is very good at improving your heart's health, boosting your memory and mood, and scavenging free radicals in your body.
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