Health is undoubtedly our biggest blessing. After all, what’s the point of living a long life if you’re not mentally and physically fit to enjoy the world around you and the company of your loved ones?
There isn’t a soul on earth who doesn’t wish to live a long and healthy life. Although there’s no magic pill that can guarantee longevity, consuming the proper nutrients can sure stack the odds in your favor for a happily-ever-after life. Studies have shown that the food you eat directly impacts your overall physical and mental health, and creates a body that’s ready for a long and healthy life.
Healthy eating habits and the right type of food can keep chronic diseases at bay and help you improve your resilience, immunity, and energy. Certain superfoods, nutrients, and eating habits are essential for developing your body’s strength, which ultimately translates into longevity. Let’s take a look at some superfoods and healthy eating habits that can help you boost your health and live both longer and stronger:
1. Fad Diets are a Big No-No
People go crazy over fad diets that promise rapid weight loss within a short time. However, you must understand that crash diets and cutting out important nutrients can wreak havoc on your overall health in the long run. If you want to shed some extra pounds, you should consult a qualified nutrition professional (nutritionist, dietitian, health coach) or a research nurse.
A research nurse delves deep into the relationship between what we eat and how it affects our body, enabling us to make informed decisions about our health. Functional medicine research, including that conducted by research nurses who play a crucial role in medical investigations, has consistently highlighted the importance of nutrition and diet in our overall health.
2. Always Fruits and Vegetables on Your Plate
Eating more fresh and organic plant-based produce nurtures your body with all the essential ingredients you may need for a healthy and long life. Although there is no maximum limit to consuming vegetables in a day, a good rule of thumb is to make sure you have a protein and some kind of plant (vegetable or fruit) every time you eat.
3. Consume Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are powerful compounds that protect our cells from damage caused by toxic elements. Moreover, antioxidants boost your immune system and slow down the natural aging process, which helps you keep your body strong, healthy, and young.
Berries, dark leafy greens, nuts like almonds and walnuts, and colorful vegetables like bell peppers and tomatoes are great sources of antioxidants. Try to include a generous serving of these foods in your daily diet to get a healthy dose of antioxidants. Be sure to make leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard a staple of your meals. Spices like cinnamon and ginger are also good sources of antioxidants and have many long-term health benefits, so eat plenty of them. Remember, the richer your diet is on antioxidants, the healthier and more vibrant your life can be.
4. Protein Is Important
Lean proteins are essential macronutrients that help us keep muscle mass and strengthen our immune system. Best sources of protein are
- whey protein
- cottage cheese
If meat is the primary source of your protein intake, you can swap some with plant-based proteins like chickpeas, lentils, peas, and beans. Tofu, nuts, seeds, and fermented soybeans are other food sources rich in protein. Since plants are so important to our healthy, try to maintain a balance between plant-based and animal-based proteins.
5. Swap Coffee with Green Tea
Research shows that caffeine is good for your heart, but consuming more than 400 mg of caffeine (3 to 5 cups a day) can lead to toxicity and cause seizures, insomnia, dysphoria, gut health problems, and headaches. If you want to live a healthy and long life, it’s time to let go of your coffee addiction and swap coffee with green tea.
Green tea is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants. It can speed up your metabolism and fat-burning process. Research also shows that consumption of green tea is directly linked to reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. This means that a healthy habit as simple as drinking green tea can lower your risk of dying from cardiac arrest and stroke. And the best part is that green tea essentially contains zero calories, which means you can sip green tea throughout the day without counting your calories.
6. Love Seafood? Prefer Fatty Fish
Not all fats are bad fats. In fact, higher levels of good cholesterol or HDL are essential for maintaining heart health and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can improve HDL levels in blood and lower blood pressure. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD) or dying from heart conditions like heart attacks, CVD, and arrhythmia. Moreover, adequate consumption of omega-3 can lower your chances of developing unexpected blood clots, cognitive dysfunction, and even cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids also possess anti-inflammatory properties, making them beneficial for individuals dealing with inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
Include a recommended portion of fatty fish in your diet at least twice a week for optimal health benefits. However, consult your dietician to determine the optimal intake of fatty fish each week according to your health condition and medical history. Because of human pollution, most seafood is now contaminated with lead and other harmful chemicals.
You are what you eat, and your journey to a healthy and long life begins with what you put on your plate! The choices you make in your kitchen today develop the foundation of your health for the later years of your life. While the above food choices are suitable for people of all ages and health conditions, we recommend discussing any dietary changes with a research nurse or certified dietician before incorporating them into your daily routine.
READY FOR HELP WITH YOUR OWN NUTRITION FOR LONGEVITY? Drop us a note and we’ll find a time to talk about what will work best for you.