7 foods increase life expectancy

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With a proper 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 its inhabitants is 90 to 100 years. Its residents enjoy excellent health and live much 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 Blue Zones consume many foods rich in nutrients and health-promoting properties.

Aging healthily: Seven foods help increase life expectancy

People in regions called blue zones stay fit with a healthy and balanced diet. Therefore, they have a longer life expectancy and age more slowly. © Mono Business 2/IMAGO

What are “Blue Zones”?

The Blue Zones were made known through the report “The Secrets of a Long Life” that was broadcast 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 also reported in numerous books on the diet and lifestyle of the residents, who have a long life expectancy. Blue Zones include the following five locations: Ikaria (Greek island), Nicoya (Costa Rica, peninsula), Loma Linda (California), Okinawa (Japan), Ogliastra (Sardinia)

Their diet is made up of a variety of whole and plant-based foods, which provide them with lots of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. This means they not only have a longer life expectancy, but also a lower rate of age-related diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. The following seven foods are usually on the menu in 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, 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. Therefore, oil is suitable as the main source of fat in cooking. You can use it in vegetable dishes, sauces and salads to counteract rapid aging.
  • Vegetables: Blue zone residents especially eat cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli. These provide a lot 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. Consuming them promotes intestinal health and reduces the risk of heart disease. They are also usually consumed by people who live in blue zones. This contributes to their long life expectancy.
  • Coffee: The popular hot drink can speed up your metabolism and therefore help you lose weight. It may also promote good heart health and memory performance, as well as reduce the likelihood of certain types of cancer.
  • walnuts: With their high amount of fiber, healthy fats, minerals such as magnesium and potassium, as well as plenty of protein, nuts are real little sources of energy. Since people in blue zones consume them regularly, they promote long life expectancy. Because nuts improve heart health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It is best to eat a handful of nuts every day, such as walnuts, pistachios or almonds.
  • Water: People in blue zones drink enough water per day. Water supports all body functions and is important for good hydration. For this reason, the German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends that adults drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water per day. This ensures that the body receives an optimal supply of fluids.
  • red wine: In blue zones, red wine in particular is consumed in moderation in terms of alcohol. Contains antioxidants from grape skin. 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 case does it replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editorial team cannot answer individual questions about medical conditions.

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