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The desire to live longer causes people around the globe to spend billions of dollars each year on supposed miracle foods, serums, and even supplements that promise extra years of vitality and glowing youth. Unfortunately, most of these don’t live up to their claims, which results in money simply being thrown away. The best way to live longer is to adopt healthy eating habits (and training of course). Here are some easy ones you can start incorporating into mealtimes today.
It’s a hurry-up world out there, and that means people want to do everything faster. They drive faster, they get faster internet, and they even eat full meals in record time. Science has shown that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to receive the signal that you’ve satisfied your appetite, so if you eat an entire plate of food in 10 minutes, you’re likely consuming more than you need. Take small bites, and chew each bite several times before swallowing. While eating, pay attention to the flavor and texture of your food, which can also help your brain produce all-important satiety hormones that can also prevent overeating.
When vegans say their diets will help them live longer, they’re not speculating. In fact, they’re right, and science has proven it time and time again. Studies have shown that consuming a cup of cooked greens each day were less likely to die within the next four years than those who ate no greens. What’s more, research and statistics alludes to the fact that cultures who eat primarily plant-based foods live longer, on average, than their omnivorous counterparts. While some meat and dairy is fine, try to get most of your nutrition from plants – and remember that raw is better as it preserves the nutrients in those plants. Here are five quick and simple vegetarian meals.
When you do consume something other than plants, make sure most of this meat comes from fish. A study that’s been ongoing since 2002 called the Adventist Health Study has looked at some 92,000 people and their eating habits. They found that people who ate mostly plants along with up to three ounces of fish each day lived the longest. This is also backed by statistics showing how cultures who consume no other meats than fish had a longer expected lifespan. The best choices are cod, sardines, and other fish that aren’t exposed to mercury or other potentially toxic chemicals. Read about the health benefits of fish oil here.
While it may not be exactly easy for some people who have a serious sweet tooth, this is one of the best things you could possibly do for your health, and you’ll almost certainly live longer if you do. Cultures who live longer consume about a fifth the sugar most people do. For example, aboriginal Australians consume virtually no sugar, and their life expectancy is almost 10 years longer. Natural sugars – like those found in whole fruits – are fine in moderation, but avoid processed foods with added sweeteners. If sugar, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup is in the first five ingredients, avoid it.
Cultures that live longer than all others eat, on average, about two handfuls of nuts each day. To back this up, some Harvard researchers conducted a study over 30 years focused primarily on diet. They found that people who ate nuts often had a mortality rate 20% lower than those who didn’t eat nuts or who only ate them rarely. The best part? There are even studies suggesting that nuts may reduce your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels by up to 20% over time.
These easy changes to your eating habits may not seem very easy at first. Moving from a meat-rich diet to one based on plants takes some acclimation, as does giving up sugar if you’re used to cakes and pies. However, as studies are finding – and as science is proving time and again – making these changes will help you live longer, and that’s always a wonderful thing.