Eating for a Long Life

Throughout the world, plenty of examples of disparities between the life expectancies of certain populations due to their diet choices can be found. For instance, it’s long been thought that Seventh Day Adventists, who commonly live on a vegetarian diet, have a greater average life expectancy than their immediate neighbours.

If diet does play a large part in improving life expectancy, what exactly are the healthiest types of food to include in a diet?

Protecting the Brain

For the brain, a diet consisting of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and unsaturated oils is said to provide the best protection from the stresses and strains of life.

In terms of preventing age-related diseases such as dementia, it is though that fruits high in anti-oxidants – blueberries, grapes – may play a part in slowing the changes to the brain as we age.

Omega-3 oils found abundantly in fish have also shown to be beneficial for staving off depression and memory loss. Also, healthy diet choices such as eating food low in salt, which can reduce blood pressure and the risk of dementia, and drinking coffee can be beneficial.

Helping the Heart

The heart is particularly susceptible to a number of strains in the body, including high blood pressure and cholesterol. To reduce these risk factors, certain foods can have beneficial effects.

Fruits and vegetables are particularly advantageous due to being high in fibre and low in calories. They help keep your weight in check, provide plenty of important vitamins and prevent cardiovascular disease.

Similarly, whole grains such as barley and oats provide a great source of disease-resistant nutrients while saving on the calories. Equally beneficial are nuts, which are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats for preventing heart disease.

Maintaining Strong Bones

In later life, bone diseases are one of the most debilitating afflictions to affect the elderly. Therefore, it’s important to introduce foods rich in nutrients beneficial for strong and healthy bones.

Particularly, plenty of dairy in your diet is important such as milk and yogurt. Low-fat varieties will provide a great source of calcium and nutrients vital to the growth of bones. Calcium can also be found in dark, leafy vegetables such as spinach.