Living a long, healthy life may be more within reach than you think as Ira Riklis focuses on health this week. A good diet is what you probably need to keep you traveling longer.
Scientists have studied the cultures around the world that tend to live the longest, and there are a few common themes that you can incorporate into your own diet to help stretch your golden years. Some of these may seem intuitive, while others will surprise you. The key is to be consistent over time – there are no quick fixes when it comes to slowing down aging.
What To Include In Your Diet For Longevity
Eat A Plant-Based Diet
This can be difficult if you live in the West, where meat and carbohydrates tend to dominate the diet. However, studies show that people who eat a diet made up of 95% plants live the longest. This includes foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and beans.
A range of plant foods in your daily diet will go a long way towards improving your health. Cutting down on meat and dairy is similarly beneficial. Try to limit your intake of meat to once or twice a week rather than every day, and eat smaller portions each time.
Eat Whole Foods
People who live a long time tend to eat foods in their whole form. Not pressed, extracted, juiced, or powdered. They eat simple, whole ingredients: an entire piece of fruit, unpeeled vegetables, or whole grains.
Of course, you can cook and season your food to your heart’s content, but try to make sure the foods you eat are recognizable as themselves rather than heavily processed. This allows your body to process the nutrients more readily.
Cut Down On Sugar
People from long-living cultures eat a fraction of the amount of sugar that’s common in the American diet. Sugar hides in so many foods that we eat, including seemingly “healthy” foods like granola and whole-grain bread, and it has a range of ill effects.
Steer away from cookies, soda, and other super-sweet items.
Drink A Lot Of Water
Staying hydrated is crucial for your health. Water is essential for pretty much all bodily functions, and it helps your body filter out toxins quickly. It also reduces the chances of a blood clot.
You should drink at least 7 glasses of water daily – try replacing any soft drinks or milk with a simple glass of water.
Eat Foods That Promote A Long Life
Aside from the general guidelines above, there are a few foods you should always include in your plant-based diet to help you live longer.
- Leafy greens: Leafy greens such as kale and spinach contain a lot of helpful vitamins and minerals. A cup of cooked kale has as much calcium as a cup of milk!
- Fish: A small portion of fish in your diet each day contains an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for your heart. Make sure you choose sustainably-sourced fish that doesn’t contain high levels of mercury.
- Cooked beans: Beans are an often overlooked powerhouse. They have a lot of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
- Whole-grain or sourdough bread: Bread made from whole grains has a wide variety of nutrients as well as fiber.
- Nuts: Nuts help balance your cholesterol levels and are chock-full of healthy nutrients.
- Locally grown items: Locally grown food is almost always healthier than food that has been shipped over long distances. This is because it’s fresher and requires less processing and manipulation.
- Red wine: A glass or two of red wine each day helps relax you, which in turn improves your health. It also has helpful compounds that help your body absorb antioxidants.
- Tea: Various kinds of tea confer different benefits. Some of the most helpful include green tea and dandelion tea.
With these dietary tips, you can be well on your way to good health, longer life, and more travel.