At the moment, the countries with the highest life expectancy are Monaco, Singapore, and Japan. Several factors are in play. They include a country’s GDP, their access to healthcare and the cultural lifestyle. The high quality of life experienced in these nations allows them to eat healthy meals.
The media has been notorious for praising ‘superfoods.’ These classifications of foods end up influencing people only to eat certain foods. The problem, however, is that emphasizing these foods, according to nutritionists, causes lack of a balanced diet. That, according to them, is what constitutes the body’s longevity. Beauty PR companies have been known to champion brands that advocate for healthy living.
Below are some of the foods that research has shown can protect against a range of diseases. When looking at this list, bear in mind that they should be eaten in recommended dietary quantities and with other equally nutritious food groups. Paired with an all-around healthy lifestyle, you can comfortably live well into old age.
Soybeans and Tofu
These have been a staple in Asian cuisine for many generations. They are served as edamame and have been gaining popularity in the Western world. Soybeans can be in snack form or added to a wide variety of dishes. You’ll probably find them in soups, rice-based means or cooked with seasoning on their own.
In general, beans are known to be rich in a type of phytoestrogen known as isoflavones. They are known for their anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. Beans fight microbes, slow down cellular aging and as per some researchers, protect against specific cancer types.
Other forms with equal benefits are tofu which is made of soybean curds and looks like white cheese. They are high in iron, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, magnesium and selenium. These all keep teeth and bones healthy. Tofu also makes you fuller for longer, thus preventing overeating.
Examples of these plants are cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, bokchoy, kale cabbage, radish and other leafy green vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are high in vitamins, carotenoids, and minerals. They also contain glucosinolates, which is what gives the plant its color. These substances have been seen to regulate inflammation and the body’s stress response and slow down cognitive decline. Of course, they are also an excellent source of fiber and regulate sugar levels in the blood and diminish fat absorption.
An excellent alternative animal protein source is fish, especially salmon. This is because red meat and poultry could harm your health in the long run. Fish helps reduce blemishes, dry spots and keep the skin supple. The omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen the skin cell membranes, protecting it from sun damage. It’s also beneficial for eyesight, brain health and keeps off cognitive decline.
Amino acids also help repair damage and rebuild cells. Research shows that salmon could potentially protect one’s cognitive health. The high potassium content in salmon could prevent the onset of heart disease, recent studies show. The selenium in fish contributes to thyroid gland health which regulates hormonal activity and plays a role in the metabolic processes.
Though not food, it would be unwise not to up your intake as you get older. Besides, our bodies are mostly made of water. People who are chronically dehydrated get fatigued more easily; have a hard time thinking clearly, and the skin (and cells) is wrinkled. Water flushes out toxins that may cause premature aging of the skin. Complaints of fatigue, mild headache or constipation are signs of dehydration.