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Eat These Food to Add Years to Your Life

By Debra Rodzinak

For years, scientists have known that particular groups around the world live longer, in part to their diets.  The Mediterranean, Japan, and Costa Rica are a few of the areas that have been noted to have the highest percentage of residents who live to over 100 years of age and have fewer instances of cancer, heart disease, and dementia.  What is their secret?  Food choice.

Even though these cultures are vastly different in culture, their food choices are similar.  Eating a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, soy, fruits, nuts, and limiting their meat and dairy intake have led to their long health.

Fruits

Some fruits that are commonly eaten across these zones include:

  • Avocado – rich and creamy in texture, the avocado has gained popularity in the U.S. and is high in oleic acid, which can improve cholesterol levels
  • Bitter Melon – this fruit is eaten often in Asia and the Caribbean and has been found to increase metabolism and lower blood sugar and cholesterol

Vegetables

  • Fennel – Loaded with fiber and Vitamin C, fennel is sweet when roasted and helps cells fight stress
  • Potatoes – Since most Americans fry or add butter or cheese to this vegetable, the benefits of the potassium and Vitamin C are often lost

Legumes

  • Garbanzo Beans – The chickpea is full of fiber and protein, which helps reduce cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Lentils – A versatile legume, lentils are very good for expectant mothers and helps improve the immune system

Drinks

  • Goat Milk – Better for sensitive stomachs, goat milk has less sugar and more vital calcium
  • Green Tea – Free radicals and oxidative stress levels are reduced after drinking this liquid full of antioxidants

Other Foods

  • Brown Rice – Rich in fiber, this complex carbohydrate contains the whole grains that are vital in reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer
  • Rosemary – Herbs add flavor and interest to many dishes and also increase the function in the brain and circulation of blood
  • Shiitake Mushrooms – Scientists have proven that consuming shiitake mushrooms can reduce tumors and stimulate the production of white blood cells
  • Tofu – A wonderful supplement for red meat, tofu is healthier overall due to the missing saturated fat and cholesterol that is often found in other protein sources

No matter which foods are consumed in pursuit of the century mark, just remember that a diet rich in a variety of these foods can help those looking to live a healthier life achieve their goals.

 

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