7 foods increase life expectancy

7 foods increase life expectancy

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With the right diet you can slow down your own aging process. You can find out which foods are suitable for this here.

In the so-called Blue Zones, the life expectancy of the people who live there is 90 to 100 years. Its residents have excellent health and live significantly longer than people in other countries. In addition to special environmental influences, social interactions, sufficient exercise and general lifestyle, diet also plays an important role. Residents of the Blue Zones consume many foods rich in nutrients and health-promoting properties.

Aging healthily: Seven foods help increase life expectancy

Senior eats in the kitchen
People in the so-called blue zones stay in shape with a healthy, balanced diet. Therefore, they have a long life expectancy and age more slowly. © Monkey Business 2/IMAGO

What are the “Blue Zones”?

The Blue Zones became known through the report “The Secrets of a Long Life” which was broadcast by National Geographic. Producer Dan Buettner visited these regions around the world in 2005 and was accompanied by anthropologists, geneticists and nutritionists, among others. He also reported in several books about the diet and lifestyle of the residents, who have a long life expectancy. The Blue Zones include the following five locations: Ikaria (Greek island), Nicoya (Costa Rica, peninsula), Loma Linda (California), Okinawa (Japan), Ogliastra (Sardinia)

Their diet consists of a variety of plant-based and whole foods, which provide plenty of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. This means they not only have a long life expectancy, but also a lower rate of age-related diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. The following seven foods are frequently on the menu in this region:

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  • oil: It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and lower LDL cholesterol, which is considered bad. Olive oil also contains antioxidants. These have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes or cancer. Oil is therefore suitable as the main source of fat in the kitchen. You can use it in vegetable dishes, sauces and salads to combat rapid aging.
  • Vegetables: Blue zone residents eat mostly cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. They provide lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals. They strengthen the immune system, nervous system and promote brain health. Eating a variety of vegetables every day (raw, steamed or otherwise prepared) also contributes to longevity. At the same time, the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer or heart disease is reduced.
  • Beans: They also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals and are rich in fiber and protein. Consuming them promotes intestinal health and reduces the risk of heart disease. They are also frequently consumed by people living in blue zones. This contributes to their long life expectancy.
  • Coffee: The popular hot drink can boost your metabolism and therefore help you lose weight. It may also support good heart health and memory performance, as well as reduce the likelihood of certain types of cancer.
  • nuts: With their numerous fibers, healthy fats, minerals like magnesium and potassium, as well as lots of protein, nuts are really little sources of energy. As people in blue zones consume them regularly, they promote a long life expectancy. Because walnuts improve heart health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It’s best to eat a handful of nuts every day, such as walnuts, pistachios or almonds.
  • Water: People in blue zones drink plenty of water per day. Water supports all body functions and is important for good hydration. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) therefore recommends that adults drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water every day. This ensures that the body receives fluids optimally.
  • Red wine: In blue zones, red wine in particular is consumed in moderation when it comes to alcohol. Contains antioxidants from grape skins. They have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no way does it replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editorial team is unable to answer individual questions about medical conditions.

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