The secret to long life has been found in many studies to be associated with what you eat. Health professionals recommend eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, basing meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta, eating some protein, having some dairy or dairy alternatives, and choosing unsaturated oils and spreads, and eating them in small amounts. But certain foods alone have been found to hold life-boosting qualities. There are five recommended by medical consultant Dr Sarah Brewer and dietician Juliette Kellow.
The secret to long life has been found in many studies to be associated with what you eat
In their book titled ‘Eat Better Live Longer’, the duo list all the benefits of foods that can be enjoyed at breakfast – eggs, oats, yoghurt, bananas and berries.
The pair write: “These powerhouses are packed with nutrients linked to good health and the prevention of many age-related diseases.
“Their positive effects on weight loss, memory, and eye and bone health mean that eggs are a great protein food to put on your menu.”
They recommend eating six eggs a week – hen eggs, quail eggs and duck eggs are all considered good.
Oats are just one of many foods that fall under the food category whole grains.
They say: “Whole grains are true all-rounders when it comes to their health benefits, having a positive effect on the circulatory, digestive, and immune systems and reducing age-related diseases.
“Switching from refined grains to whole grain is a simple but powerful step to better health and a longer life.”
Oats are rich in soluble fibre so can help control blood sugar levels, and you should aim to eat three servings of whole grains a day for the best benefits. Other examples of whole grain include whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta and quinoa.
The women write: “packed with gut-friendly probiotics as well as protein, calcium, and phosphorus, yoghurt’s longevity benefits lie in its protective powers.
“Studies have shown that yoghurt can help counter many of the health problems associated with getting older, such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and unwanted weight gain.”
Studies suggest one small pot a day offers the greatest health benefits.
Whether you like your bananas slightly green or freckly, they all come with triple levels of mood-boosting powers, say Dr Brewer and Ms Kellow.
They add: “They are food sources of carbohydrates (fuel for the brain and muscles), and of tryptophan and vitamin B6 (both of which are needed for production of feel-good chemicals).
“What’s more, bananas improve digestion and may help regulate blood pressure.”
Aim to eat three to four bananas a week.
All berries are good for you, they advise, with their vibrant blue, purple and red colours indicating their damage -fighting antioxidants.
They add: “But not all berries are created equal – some are better than other when to comes to longevity.”
The best rule to remember here is the darker colour the berry, the higher the anthocyanin content, which is beneficial for longevity.
You should aim to eat a couple of handfuls of berries three to four times a week.
When it comes to the best drinks for longevity, drinking a certain amount of coffee a day has been found to improve life expectancy.
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