Garlic, red fruits, chocolate… all of them are among the best foods that promote living longer.
Vitamins, antioxidants, and unsaturated fatty acids… what are the foods that are good for our health? Here is our top 10 list of foods to favor, to be in good shape!
1. Garlic, a health ally to live longer
If you had to choose a single ally for health, it would probably be garlic! Its virtues have been known and recognized since ancient times. The Egyptians used it to cure headaches or hypertension.
Today, there are hundreds of scientific studies on the subject. It is common knowledge that garlic has a very beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. But that’s not all !
Garlic has other virtues: it has antibacterial actions thanks to allicin, is antiseptic thanks to these phenolic acids, an antioxidant thanks to flavonoids, is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. It also helps aid good digestion by taking care of the intestinal flora thanks to the inulin it contains, a natural prebiotic. Finally, vitamins A, B, C and E make it a booster of the immune system.
Garlic can be consumed daily! It is better to eat it raw or at least add it at the very end of cooking so that it retains its maximum properties. For those who are afraid of the breath effect, sweet garlic or garlic marinated in olive oil and left to confit may be a good alternative.
2. Red fruits, food to live longer
Red fruits have in common… their pretty bright color obviously! This range of colors from bright red to bluish is due to the presence of natural pigments that may be lycopene as in strawberry, or anthocyanins as in blackberries or blueberries. These red, mauve, pink and blue pigments are extremely effective in fighting against free radicals, which are responsible for the oxidation of cells. They help to fight cell ageing…
The best, may be cranberry, which is the champion of antioxidants!
3. Olive oil, a well-deserved reputation!
Among the foods to live longer, there is, of course, olive oil. It is the symbol of Mediterranean cuisine, known for its beneficial effects on health. The Cretan diet among others gives pride of place to this excellent source of “good fat”.
If olive oil is excellent for health, it’s for several reasons:
- it contains polyphenols with strong antioxidant properties. These compounds help fight the formation of excess free radicals
- the presence of vitamin E which also protects the cells
- Oleic acid that lowers blood cholesterol levels by increasing the level of good cholesterol
4. Good news: dark chocolate is one of the foods that helps you live longer
Very good news for gourmands: dark chocolate is good for health, and it is scientifically proven! According to a study conducted by the prestigious Harvard University on 8,000 American men aged 65 years on average, subjects who consume a moderate amount of chocolate live longer than those who do not eat it.
Other studies show that dark chocolate is also beneficial for the cardiovascular system. This is explained by the presence of flavonoids, and again, those famous antioxidants.
Obviously, being greedy would be counterproductive! Experts recommend to be reasonable about the consumption of chocolate and of course, to focus on dark chocolate that is less sweet and less fat than milk chocolate, or white “chocolate”.
5. Whole grains, for a balanced diet
Whole grains like wheat or rice are cereals that have kept their outer husks and germs. They are, therefore, much richer in fiber and minerals than their refined counterparts. Fibers are not only useful for fighting intestinal laziness. They are also essential to prevent certain conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
Wholegrain cereals allow one to age in good health and even extend one’s life expectancy. This was demonstrated in a US study conducted by a team of researchers at the Rockville National Cancer Institute (1).
According to the results, the risk of death for subjects who consumed the most fiber was reduced by 22% compared to those who consumed the least. The researchers also found a reduced risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in both men and women.
6. Algae, to discover urgently
The lungs of the Earth, a real source of benefits, seaweeds are the allies of a healthy diet. Extremely rich in minerals and vitamins, it is in our best interests to include algae in our daily menus. Tonifying, they are also particularly recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women but also for the elderly and children.
In Asia, they are famous for preventing hypertension, hyperthyroidism and tumors.
Rich in fiber, minerals and trace elements, algae can be eaten raw or cooked.
7. Green tea, the king of teas
Poor in theine, but very rich in vitamins and antioxidants, green tea is most famous tea for its medical virtues. It is found both in our cups and in cosmetics.
Japanese green teas are the richest in catechins and therefore in antioxidant power. Tea could, among other benefits, promote the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Walnuts, heart assets
The nuts contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that fights the free radicals responsible for cell oxidation. They also contain plant sterols, or phytosterols, which reduce cholesterol levels.
On average, 85% of the fat in nuts is unsaturated.
Several studies highlight that regular consumption of nuts has health benefits:
- decrease in the rate of bad cholesterol;
- reduced risk of cardiovascular disease;
- reduction of type 2 diabetes;
- reduced risk of gallstones;
- reduced risk of certain cancers, especially colon cancer in women.
All these virtues will encourage more than one to integrate nuts in its diet, without abusing of course. Be careful however: nuts are one of the main sources of food allergies, along with milk, eggs, soybeans, crustaceans or fruits and wheat.
Where to buy quality nuts?
You can of course find some in organic stores. We also recommend the range of nuts in the shop ‘It was a nut’, which offers nuts in bulk and organic.
9. Citrus for your immune system
Citrus fruits are known for their wealth of vitamin C, a champion for boosting the immune system. One of the other important roles of vitamin C is its antioxidant effect which protects the cells against damage caused by free radicals.
Citrus fruits are also rich in flavonoids that work synergistically with vitamin C. To be preferred organic, they are naturally part of the foods that promote long life!
10. The aromatic herbs to put in all your dishes
Rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, mint, etc. are very rich in essential oils of the terpenes family, which give them their aromatic perfume, and which has anti-cancer virtues.
Each aromatic herb has its virtues: basil has antibacterial properties, chives favor the elasticity of the vessels, mint is particularly rich in antioxidants…