7 foods increase life expectancy

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

In the so-called Blue Zones, the life expectancy of the people who live there ranges from 90 to 100 years. Its residents enjoy excellent health and live much longer than people in other countries. In addition to specific environmental influences, social interactions, sufficient physical activity and general lifestyle, nutrition also plays an important role. Residents of the Blue Zones consume many foods rich in nutrients and health-promoting properties.

Age healthily: seven foods help increase life expectancy

People from the so-called blue zone regions keep fit with a healthy and balanced diet. Therefore, they have a long life expectancy and age more slowly. © Monkey Business 2/IMAGO

What are “Blue Zones”?

The Blue Zones became known thanks to the reportage “The Secrets of a Long Life” which aired on National Geographic. Producer Dan Buettner visited these regions around the world in 2005 and was accompanied by anthropologists, geneticists and nutritionists, among others. He has also reported in numerous books on the diet and lifestyle of 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 them with 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 often featured on the menu of this region:

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  • olive oil: It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and lower LDL cholesterol, 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. The oil is therefore suitable as the main source of fat in cooking. You can use it for vegetable dishes, sauces and salads to counteract rapid aging.
  • Vegetables: Blue Zone residents eat mostly cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. These provide lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals. They strengthen the immune system, the 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. Their consumption promotes intestinal health and reduces the risk of heart disease. They are also often eaten by people living in blue zones. This contributes to their long life expectancy.
  • Coffee: The popular hot drink can stimulate your metabolism and thus help you lose weight. It may also promote good heart health and memory performance, as well as reduce the chance of certain types of cancer.
  • peanuts: With its numerous fibres, healthy fats, minerals such as magnesium and potassium and lots of proteins, dried fruit is a real concentrate of energy. Since people in blue zones consume them regularly, they promote long life expectancy. Because dried fruit improves heart health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. It’s best to eat a handful of dried fruit every day, such as walnuts, pistachios or almonds.
  • Waterfall: People in blue zones drink enough 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 is optimally supplied with fluids.
  • Red wine: In the blue zones, especially red wine is consumed in moderation with regards to alcohol. Contains antioxidants from grape skins. They have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

This article contains only general information on the respective healthcare topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or therapy. It does not replace in any way a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editorial team cannot answer individual questions about medical conditions.

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