Our government has been passing out conflicting health advice for the last few decades, trying to keep up with new information.
So you’re not alone if you’re confused about what to eat, especially for long life. We were told to eat eggs, and then to avoid eggs, and now to eat eggs…
Fat was bad but now we’ve learned that there is good and bad fat. Luckily for us, we have actual research on longevity from studies spanning decades, and we can uncover what centurions eat to live so long.
The first step is throwing out the traditional food pyramid and instead eating a plant-based diet that’s half vegetables and fruit. With that in mind, incorporate the following superfoods into your diet for long life, and one you can enjoy!
Organic, whole grain oatmeal and other whole grains
Carbs have gotten a bad rap lately too.
But that doesn’t mean you should go on the Atkins Diet. To the contrary, it’s made people sick to completely cut carbs. Carbs provide needed energy. If you eat the Standard American Diet, you’ll get too many simple carbs that cause problems.
However, oatmeal is a fiber rich grain that regulates cholesterol. It contains beta-glucan, which reduces LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and oatmeal even blocks cholesterol from entering your bloodstream.
Whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and stroke. Skip the sugary oatmeal that comes in packs with dried fruit or “one minute oatmeal”. Buy whole grain oatmeal. Groats are another option but need to cook for much longer.
They’re the hulled kernel of the grain so they have the bran portion and endosperm, which is the part we get when we buy cut oats. Steel cut oats, or Irish Oats, are groats cut a few times with steel blades, so you get all the goodness and nutrition that you do from groats.
Oatmeal lowers cholesterol, extends life, and makes a great base for adding other superfoods like maple syrup, honey, blueberries, fruit, nuts, and seeds. Alternate your breakfasts with oatmeal and eggs for a great start to your day.
Organic, free range eggs
Eggs actually help your cholesterol by improving your good HDL levels.
Eggs help regulate blood sugar according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study found that middle-aged and older men who ate 4 eggs a week had lower blood sugar, and a 38% lower risk of diabetes than those who ate only one egg a week.
We’re learning that eggs from free range chickens are packed with even more omega 3 fats and other good nutrients than eggs from caged hens. You can actually raise your own hens in most cities, which often allow up to 4 or 6 hens. (No roosters for obvious reasons!) Chickens are fun and entertaining pets that provide eggs once they’re about 6 months old.
You can see the difference in color when you crack open a free range chicken egg, and the flavor is amazing too. If you’ve had trouble peeling a fresh egg, try this method: Put eggs in water so they’re covered and bring to a boil.While waiting, fill a bowl with ice cubes and water. Boil the eggs for exactly 15 minutes, and then spoon them into the ice water.
Wait half an hour and the egg shells will slide off.To make deviled eggs into a super food, mix the hardboiled egg yolks with avocado and your favorite spices before returning to the cooked egg whites.
Brightly colored fruit and vegetables
All fruit and vegetables are good for you, but brightly colored produce is even more beneficial because the natural pigments prevent and fight cancer.
Okinawans have the world’s longest life expectancy and very low rates of heart disease and cancer. They have a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, especially the dark green and yellow varieties. They eat large quantities of sweet potatoes, which they’ve actually used instead of the traditional Japanese staple of rice.
You can slice sweet potatoes into stir fries, make sweet potato fries, bake them, or add them to a root bake with parsnips, carrots, and potatoes. Red and orange bell peppers have powerful antioxidants.
They’re also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Red bell peppers contain phytochemicals and carotenoids, which are antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. All berries are extremely healthy and promote long life.
They’re packed with antioxidants that protect against cancer, boost our immune system, guard the liver and brain, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Berries have 50 times more antioxidants than animal based foods! Blueberries, a famous superfood, are full of antioxidants, which fight aging, disease, and inflammation.
You’re in luck if you like spicy food! A Chinese study found that people who ate spicy food 3 to 5 days a week reduced their risk of dying by 15%.
A study published in PLOS One analyzed data from more than 16,000 Americans from a span of 19 years. This study found that hot red chili pepper consumption was associated with a 13% lower risk of death. The key ingredient is the capsaicin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts your metabolism. Many studies suggest that capsaicin may act as an anti-obesity, antioxidant, anti-inflammation, anti-cancer, and antimicrobial.
Eskimos have a very high fat diet, yet they’re extremely healthy due to the fat source from oily fish.
People in Japan have the longest life expectancy in the world, thanks to their traditional diet which is high in fish. Eating more fish reduces your red meat intake, and that also reduces your risk for heart disease while offering a wealth of health benefits. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are a good source of vitamins A and D, which are good for the immune system.
Many people eating the Standard American Diet ingest high levels of omega 6, which isn’t a good thing, and don’t get enough omega 3s that we get from fish. The high levels of of omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish have been linked to a lowered risk of heart disease, brain damage, and stroke.
The DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, in fish combats Alzheimer’s Disease because the DHA slows down the progression of the disease.
Almonds are rich in fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fats.
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that those who ate the most nuts had a lower risk of dying of any disease, especially cancer, heart disease, or respiratory disease.
They also contain high levels of monounsaturated fats so they lower bad cholesterol. Walnuts might also prevent cognitive decline.
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that eating walnuts helped memory.
The heart-healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados lower bad cholesterol and fight heart disease.
A study published in the journal Cancer Research found that molecules in avocados targeted stem cells of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is an aggressive cancer that kills 90 percent of people who are diagnosed over the age of 65.
Other studies found that eating avocado helps you slim down, actually helping to lower belly fat.
One secret to long life is getting enough fiber in your diet. Fiber is key to suppressing your appetite and keeping blood sugar low.
Chia seeds are surprisingly full of fiber with a whopping 11 grams in just two tablespoons. These seeds also lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
People who increased their dietary fiber intake significantly lowered their risk of death.Add chia seeds to oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, and salads.
And start small when adding more fiber to your diet so your body can adjust. That helps prevent gas!
Herbs and spices
One of the best things you can do for your health is to grow your own garden full of vegetables and herbs.
If space is limited, you can grow a container garden.
Herbs can be grown in a window box, or a large planter with openings on the sides.
Using fresh basil, cilantro, rosemary, and other herbs gives you the benefits of eating fresh, leafy vegetables and all the benefits of eating herbs. They also add a lot of flavor.
Turmeric is an anti inflammatory that improves many diseases and conditions. Cinnamon, a common spice we all love, also treats disease.
Herbs benefit your health weather they’re dried or fresh. Remember to buy organic if you’re not growing your own.
Non tropical vegetable oils like olive, peanut, avocado, and sesame seed oil
The Mediterranean Diet boosts the immune systems and lowers bad cholesterol and blood pressure, largely due to the use of olive oil.
It’s better to cook with non tropical oils than traditional oils, but you’ll get even more health benefits by using healthy oils raw. Use oil in your salads or even add a teaspoon to a smoothie.
For optimal health and an extended life, jot down these superfoods and make them a regular part of your diet.
- Steel cut oats and groats
- Free range eggs
- Brightly colored fruit and veggies
- Hot peppers
- Oily fish
- Nuts chia seeds
- Herbs and spices
- Non-tropical oils
Learn even more about extending life here.
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