It’s only human to want long life. Greek legend showered immortality pretty generously on its heroes, and Methuselah, according to the Bible, lived 696 years. But for mere mortals, longevity requires participation.
Anti-aging researchers have finally identified the gene associated with long life. So if we can be patient, drugs are sure to be available.
In the meantime lifestyle changes can give us a boost. For one thing, a healthy diet that includes what science has labeled ‘superfoods‘ should become part of our daily routine.
Ten of the “Superfoods” are:
- Yogurt. Research shows that aging is accelerated by unfriendly bacteria in the intestines. Yogurt seems to destroy such bacteria. This might explain the longevity of ethnic groups whose diet contains a lot of yogurt. Make sure the label says “active cultures.”
- Cold-water fish, like salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines contain Omega-3 fatty acids. 2-to-3 servings a week lowers the risk of heart disease, helps fight arthritis, and may possibly slow memory loss. Don’t like fish? Substitute eggs, flax seeds, and walnuts.
- Blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit. One cup a day helps prevent cancer, diabetes and age-related memory loss. Or, if you prefer: strawberries, purple grapes, prunes, and raisins.
- Beans, peas, and lentils are great for your heart, full of antioxidants, low in calories and high in protein and fiber. Black beans have the added bonus of boosting brain power. Eat one cup a day and break a little wind, it doesn’t contribute to greenhouse gases.
- Spinach is a great source of plant based omega-3 and folate, which lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. The folate in spinach increases blood flow to the penis. Could this be why Popeye was so addicted to it? Broccoli, bok choy, kale, and romaine lettuce are good too. Eat at least one-half cup a day, cooked.
- Walnuts are the #1 nut source of Omega-3s, anti-inflammatory polyphenols, and proteins. Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios are good substitutes. Aim for one ounce a day.
- Pumpkin is loaded with iron, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and beta carotene. A study by the USDA confirmed that subjects absorbed less fat and calories from their food when pumpkin was included in their diet. Not just for pie anymore!
- Tomatoes (red ones) contain lycopene which decreases the risk of bladder, lung, prostrate, skin, and stomach cancers. Serving size, about 8 cherry tomatoes a day. Watermelon, pink grapefruit, persimmon and papaya are good substitutes.
- Both green and black teas contain antioxidant power, but green tea contains the most powerful antioxidants.
- Sprouts are a concentrated source of the living enzymes that are lost when we cook foods. As we age, our body’s ability to produce enzymes declines. In addition, sprouts are a highly nutritious source of protein and vitamin C.