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These foods will help you live a longer and healthier life

Blogger, runner and passionate foodie. Never lets a day go by without trying a new recipe, collects running shoes and nail polish.

Foods that can help you live a longer and healthier life

Did you know that the Japanese archipelago Okinawa has the largest number of centenarians anywhere in the world — over 700? Most of them live this long because the region abounds in sunlight, and they eat properly and moderately. Healthy food is the key to a long life and you cannot expect to live to see your grandchildren if you eat nothing but fast food, drink soda drinks and munch on sweets and other unhealthy foods. To live long, you have to live healthy — and living healthy is all about eating healthy. Here are some foods that might help you achieve the age of Japanese centenarians.

Antioxidant-rich foods

Most people are unaware that free radicals are messing with their cells as we speak — well, as we read. Due to their instability, these molecules are making your cells unstable as well, thus affecting their performance and your health overall. In more severe cases, free radicals can alter your lipids and proteins, ultimately even harming your DNA and leading to cancer and other serious health issues. That is why you should do everything you can to fight them off, and the best way to do that is by food full of antioxidants.

A number of studies show introducing antioxidants to your daily diet will do wonders against free radicals. With just a handful of berries — from blueberries and cranberries to strawberries or raspberries, whichever you prefer — or vegetables like spinach and kale, you can boost your system and get protected against free radicals. Other antioxidant-rich foods include green tea, walnuts, sweet cherries and tasty spices like ginger, basil and oregano.

Protein-rich foods

To live long, you must be strong and properly built. Of course, that doesn't mean professional bodybuilders live to be 100 by default, but being active surely helps. What you need for an active life is a sufficient amount of protein on a daily basis. Among other benefits, protein will build your tissues and muscles, provide proper posture and, most importantly, transport essential nutrients to all parts of your body.

If you want to live longer, you need to focus on the best protein-rich foods you can get. Unfortunately, a big portion of the population cannot afford to eat properly every single day because protein-based items, like high-quality tuna, salmon and sardines, are often expensive. However, inexpensive protein foods, like eggs, whey and lean chicken, are everywhere around you and, if consumed daily, will expand your lifespan and help you stay healthy and strong.

Case study: nuts

If you have ever wondered why you see so many people eating pistachios and almonds in the park, the answer is quite simple: These magical little things have a great impact on your health, boost your metabolism, pump extra blood into your heart and regulate your weight. They are full of unsaturated fats, omega-3 acids, fiber, vitamin E and other healthy ingredients that enable you to reach old age.

Moreover, a recent study shows that people who eat nuts every day of the week have a 20 percent higher chance of living longer than those who do not include nuts in their diet. Additionally, another study proves “nut intake is related to lower overall and cause-specific mortality” with all age groups. You should definitely start eating nuts as soon as possible!

Other choices

Besides these foods, your daily diet should also include other foods to help you become a full-fledged centenarian, such as fiber-rich rice and wheat, as well as items like avocados, beans, green tea and asparagus. Or you can just listen to the advice of your elders or copy a diet of people who live the longest.

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