We all want to live a long and, hopefully healthy, life. However, we all have experienced illness and aging at some point. Even in fairytales we see how the desire for youth can drive some to doing horrible things - remember the evil queen? - and even vampires have to feed on blood to maintain their lives and youthful looks. I personally love vampire lore - minus the blood-drinking! Thankfully we don’t have to resort to any of those things! More and more research studies are showing that a diet rich in nutrient dense foods, that are consequently low in calories, promote cellular repair. Which is why in this post I will be sharing with you 10 of the best foods to eat, everyday, to promote good health and longevity!
10 Best Foods for Longevity
Green Leafy Vegetables - not surprising at all, huh?? Kale, swiss chard, spinach, romaine lettuce etc are very nutrient dense! Loaded with the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that aid in detoxification and boost immunity - and they are low in calories!
Cruciferous Vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, watercress, cabbages, brussels sprouts, etc are excellent for a healthy heart, reducing inflammation in the body and have cancer-fighting properties.
Berries - whether they are blueberries, strawberries, currants, etc - berries are rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins that keep your mind sharp, boost heart health, aid in maintaining a healthy weight and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Eat organic berries 4-5 times per week, in your smoothies, on your oatmeal, in chia pudding or as a snack!
Beans - are high in fiber, antioxidants, B-vitamins, protein and iron, as well as other minerals. Eating kidneys, cannellinis, black beans, adzuki, cranberry, pinto etc can help stabilize blood sugar levels and can possibly lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, can help lower cholesterol, improve your mood and aid in weight loss. Just be sure to soak them in some seaweed, kelp, prior to cooking and avoid soybeans!
Mushrooms - yes, these are not plants but fungi, but they are rich in a variety of B vitamins, vitamin D, minerals such as iron, selenium and potassium and fiber. They can improve immunity and help balance blood sugar levels & lower cholesterol levels and aid in weight loss - all things that contribute to good health and longevity. These are easy to add into your diet - eat them raw, steamed or sauteed.
Onions, Leeks and Garlic - are some members of the allium family (other veggies in this category are scallions and shallots) and have powerful organosulfur compounds that have been shown to protect against cancer and heart disease. I love garlic and onions and cook with them often. When you chop garlic, let it breath for 15 minutes to allow all the enzymes to be fully activates and be careful not to burn it!
Seeds - are the embryonic plants themselves and as such as loaded with a variety of vitamins, minerals, protein, essential oils and dormant enzymes. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds (more on these below) are some great sources of vitamin E, zinc, some B vitamins and essential fatty acids. They reduce inflammation, boost mood and aid in maintaining a healthy weight. It is best to eat seeds raw - when seeds are heated they produce toxic substances and the vitamins and minerals become denatured.
Nuts - are excellent nutritious snacks, full of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats. Regular consumption of these little guys have been linked to better heart health, lower cholesterol, weight loss and a decreased risk of cancer. Snack on a handful of walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pistachios or pine nuts.
Tomatoes - (organic, of course :) are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants like lycopene. Tomatoes can help reduce cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation in the body, aid in detoxification, prevent premature aging and can help prevent cancer. Just make sure you aren’t sensitive to tomatoes - if you have a sensitive digestive tract you might want to avoid these.
Pomegranates - are one of the oldest known fruits, native to Persia. It is a very nutrient dense fruit, rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The high levels of polyphenols and flavonoids protect against heart disease and cancer and help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Add the seeds to your smoothies or juice them, or you can add them to your salads like cranberries.
A balanced approach to your food, focused on nutrient-rich foods (like the ones listed above) and limiting your consumption of foods that increase inflammation and lead to a variety of chronic illnesses like the ones listed here will help on a wide variety of levels and help you live a long, healthy life. Vibrant health starts with what’s on your plate! The choice is yours - choose foods that increase your energy and rejuvenate your body from your innermost cells out? or choose foods that rob you of your vitality and good health? Here’s to your good health and longevity!
2 cups organic almond milk
2 large handfuls organic baby spinach
1 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup pomegranate seeds, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
=> Blend until desired consistency is reached and enjoy! :)
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