You can add years to your life by making healthy food choices! There are lots of variables that affect how long you live, but we know that following a healthy lifestyle, staying active and eating a nutrient-rich diet can help slow the aging process and ward off age-related diseases including osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease. Start with these five anti-aging super foods:
- Olive Oil – the monounsaturated fats in olive oil are largely responsible for the low rates of heart disease on the Greek island of Crete. Now we know that olive oil also contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent age-related diseases.
- Yogurt – it may not seem like a super food, but yogurt is rich in calcium, which helps fight against osteoporosis and also contains good bacteria that helps maintain a healthy gut and reduce the incidence of age-related intestinal illness.
- Fatty Fish – researchers are very interested in the low incidence of heart disease among the native Inuit of Alaska. They now suspect it is due to the large amount of fatty fish they consume. Fish is an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent cholesterol buildup in arteries and protect against abnormal heart rhythms.
- Nuts – Studies of Seventh-Day Adventists (a religious denomination that emphasizes health living and a vegetarian diet), found that those who ate nuts gained roughly two and half extra years of life. Nuts are rich sources of unsaturated fats and are concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals including antioxidants.
- Blueberries – in 1999, researchers at Tufts University Center on Aging fed rats blueberry extract for a period of time equivalent to ten human years. Those rats outperformed rats fed a regular diet on tests of balance and coordination as they reached old age. Compounds in blueberries reduce inflammation and oxidative damage, which are associated with age-related deficits in memory and motor function.