You are what you eat is a phrase that most of us are aware of, but how many times do we actually take it to heart? Especially when a cheeseburger is staring you in the face… or a doughnut… or French fries… you get the point. But, what we eat really does count, more than we realize. If you want to live longer, but don’t want to totally revamp your life, it is pretty easy to just make a few food modifications to your daily diet to increase your days on this plant. Here are 6 healthy foods to eat now, so you can be here later.
Healthy Foods to Eat Starting Now
Greens, Greens and More Greens
Greens, including the leafy and cruciferous kind really are the wonder drugs of food. Green cruciferous vegetables can help ward off the chances of getting cancer and help to maintain good memory function. Greens of all kinds (think lettuces, kale, and spinach) contain calcium and folate (as well as other nutrients) that also help prevent memory loss, while increasing bone and eye health.
Sneak greens into sauces or baked goods where no one will even notice they are there, or you could just suck it up and eat a big salad.
Berries are antioxidant powerhouses. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and even cranberries have been shown to help with brain function, muscle health and overall balance. There has also been a lot of research showing that berries can also slow the growth of some forms of cancer.
Sneaking berries into your diet is usually not hard since most people tend to like berries, at least one kind or another. Put them on your whole grain cereal or oatmeal, make a smoothie with them and some unsweetened almond milk, or eat them straight out of the container. Berries can have a lot of pesticide residue, so be sure to buy organic if you can. To cut down the cost, look for frozen organic berries. They are cheaper and are frozen at their antioxidant protection peak.
Olive oil has long been associated with the Mediterranean diet, which is the epitome of healthy living. Olive oil is rich in anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fat and antioxidants. Because it helps to lower inflammation in the body, olive oil has been shown to help lower heart disease, memory problems, and even some cancers.
Olive oil has the most health benefits when it is NOT heated. It is best to use it over a salad with a little vinegar as a dressing, or to drizzle over the top of savory dishes as a finishing “sauce”. Also try to find brands where you can check the harvest date. A lot of olive oil is imported and can lose some of its benefits or even go rancid the longer it sits.
Tea, especially green tea, has long been known to have long-term health benefits. (You can read my post: 5 Health Benefits of Green Tea for more information.) The top longevity factors of green tea are to help prevent cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Drinking green tea about 5-10 minutes after steeping is the best, but making a smoothie or iced green tea are also great ideas. Add a little honey to sweeten if you need to.
This is one that most of us are probably familiar with – fatty fish. Fatty fish (think tuna and salmon) contain omega-3 fatty acids that help take down inflammation in the body. The less inflammation, the better you are to avoid health issues that can cut your life short. Omega-3s also help reduce the risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
Fish is one of those things that you can’t sneak into much. Salmon is probably the one most people have the easiest time with. Start with a wild caught small filet without the skin and try a soy sauce or honey based sauce or marinade to help it become more palatable if you are a fish-disliker.
Nuts are a lot like olive oil in that they contain the “good for you” fats that help to lower inflammation. The best thing about nuts is that they also contain protein and extra vitamins. Nuts help to lower cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s disease.
Almonds and walnuts are the best. Walnuts also contain a good source of vegetarian omega-3. Best to eat them plain without salt as a snack. Watch your portion size since nuts are also high in calories. Try to stick to an ounce. If eating them plain isn’t your deal, you can also mix them into cereal, baked goods, or as a topping on a salad.
These six healthy foods to eat are not all that difficult to incorporate into your life, but they can most definitely pay off big later. By helping to reduce common health concerns and disease, they can help to lengthen your life. Easy swaps = longer life. I think that is a win win all the way around.
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Here are a few products I recommend if you want to add these foods into your diet:
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend these products because they are products that I personally use or companies that I have found trustworthy.