Life & Style | Health

5 foods that help you live longer

While none of us will live forever, you can add some extra years on to your life by paying attention to what you eat. To increase your lifespan as well as improving the quality of your life, check out these five foods that help you live longer

  • Realbuzz
  • Published: 10:05 October 2, 2012
  • Aquarius

  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Dark chocolate can help you live longer! Cocoa beans are packed with antioxidants which studies have found can help cut your risk of heart disease.

Realbuzz.com

1. Dark chocolate

Good news for chocoholics – chocolate can help you live longer! Cocoa beans are packed with antioxidants which studies have found can help cut your risk of heart disease – the biggest killer in the Western world. This may be why Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived a grand total of 122 years and 164 days (the oldest verified age of any human being ever) put her good health down to her regular chocolate consumption. However, before you go stocking up on chocolate bars, it is worth bearing in mind that one square a day is enough to boost your health. Also, make sure you go for the over 70 per cent cocoa bars which contain more flavonoids and less sugar.

2. Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables

Research suggests that those who eat more fruit and vegetables tend to live longer than those who don’t, due to the nutrients they contain. While all fruit and veg is good for you, brightly coloured produce is particularly beneficial as the natural pigments which give them their colour can also help prevent cancer. The Okinawans – who are reputed to have the world’s longest life expectancy and who have low rates of heart disease and cancer – have a diet that is rich in fruit and veg, especially dark green and yellow varieties. In particular, the Okinawan diet features large quantities of sweet potatoes, having replaced the traditional Japanese staple of rice with this vibrant veg.

3. Oily fish

People in Japan have the longest life expectancy in the world, which may be down to their traditional diet which is high in fish. Not only does opting for fish over meat reduce your risk of many of the health problems associated with red meat, such as heart disease, but oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout are renowned for their health benefits. Oily fish are a good source of vitamins A and D which are good for the immune system. Furthermore, they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to a lowered risk of heart disease, brain damage and stroke.

4. Green tea

Another staple of the Japanese diet, green tea boasts an impressive array of health benefits, helping to improve cardiovascular health, regulate blood pressure, boost the immune system, and lower cholesterol. Studies have even suggested that drinking green tea – which is rich in health-boosting flavonoids – can help to lower your risk of cancer. Research findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association appear to back up these health claims, as the Japanese study of more than 40,000 participants found that those who drank five or more cups of green tea a day had a death rate that was 16 per cent lower than those who drank one cup, over the course of 11 years.

5. Olive oil

Many of us stay away from fats and oils in a bid to stay trim and healthy; however, ‘good’ monounsaturated fats, which are found in olive oil, are actually essential for good health. Studies have found that regularly consuming olive oil can help cut your risk of stroke and heart disease, due to its high content of micronutrients called phenols which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The oil is also a staple of the healthy Mediterranean diet, which studies suggests can help you live longer. Research has found that those who follow this eating plan have a 20 per cent higher chance of living longer, gaining an estimated average of two to three years.

More articles from Realbuzz:

Top 10 must-eat foods for a healthy diet

Top 5 facelift foods

The monthly wellbeing and family magazine

Aquarius
Lifestyle & Entertainment columnists
  • Russell Hemmings
    The Hemmings way

    Life coach Russell Hemmings on fears, anxieties and the human psyche demystified

  • Gaby Doman
    Gaby Doman: Notes to myself

    The everyday ups and downs of being a modern woman, according to this globetrotter

  • Uma Ghosh Deshpande
    The Dubai Insider

    TV personality Uma Ghosh Deshpande guides you through the city’s society gatherings and stories

  • Pratyush Sarup
    Design diary

    Dubai-based interior designer Pratyush Sarup lets us in on the world of design

  • Bharat Thakur
    Yoga for you

    Bharat Thakur guides you through practices and wisdom of this ancient science of exercising

FROM THE NETWORK

More from friday

  • WH_141024_Lambo_Huracan_STF_Stefan065
    Unhinged Huracàn meets the UAE’s maddest road

    Al Taween. Renowned for its goat s, tiny grocery shops and one of the great est mounta in roads in the world. Ripping up the newly laid tar mac? A Lamborghini Huracán. Buckle up!

  • WH_141031_mywheels_rashed (1)
    Rashed Abdulla Bin Fahad’s double impact

    Ever since he was bitten by a Mustang Cobra, Rashed couldn’t look beyond American cars. So when it came to choosing a pick-up truck and a performance saloon, the decision was easy for him

  • WH_141031_Subarub driven (6)
    Subaru WRX STI driven

    Subaru’s iconic flagship sports saloon is back, and along with all the upgrades comes a welcome price, too

  • WH_141031_SUP_Fiat 500 (2)
    Fiat 500 Cult refreshed

    Fiat’s nifty city car star has been updated for 2015 to keep pace with its small car rivals. Does it still have the magic that makes it a style icon?

  • Jonathan Castle
    Shifting opinions

    In defence of the (gasp!) continuously variable transmission...

More from Wheels

More from aquarius

More from alpha

  • gold-leaf-bath
    Inside Downtown Design

    From chic and contemporary to modern and magnificent home wares, this year's exhibition is nothing short of extraordinary

  • Noura_Main
    Highly commended finalist: Noura Al Ramahi

    Along with our three fabulous finalists, the judges decided to include a Highly Commended category as the standard of entries to our competition was so high. This goes to Noura Al Ramahi for her stunning villa in Abu Dhabi. Well done Noura – it’s beautiful!

  • IO_141020_Home of the Year awar86
    In pictures: InsideOut Home of the Year Awards

    The InsideOut Home of the Year Awards 2014 party held at the Nawwara Bar at the JW Marriott Marquis on the 20th October went with a swing! Here’s our gallery of a really great night….

  • IO_141014_Casablanca_STF_Stefan07
    InsideOut Home Of The Year finalist: Dana Jaber

    Dana Jaber’s Al Barsha villa was considered by the judges to be bold, original and eclectic. We loved her individual approach to decorating which lends interest and unexpected touches to every room

  • Main_2
    InsideOut Home Of The Year finalist: Helena Brown

    Helena Brown’s home in Umm Suqeim was a favourite with the judges because of the many personal touches, and undeniable sense of comfort and style. Her interest in Feng Shui has helped achieve a calm relaxed ambience

More from insideout