You are what you eat, no doubt about it.
An article in the upcoming issue of Consumer Reports on Health says that eating six foods can add both life to your years and years to your life.
By decreasing inflammation, improving gut bacteria and altering the free-radical damage that alters cell functioning. What’s more, the right food can affect some serious conditions that often worsen with age, such as stroke, hypertension, heart disease, cognitive decline and type 2 diabetes.
And don’t think you have to give up certain faves to live to a ripe old age. Chocolate is on the list of the six anti-aging powerhouses. Here’s the CR list:
Beans are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other goodies that benefit you. They also help lower levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Chocolate doesn’t only taste good but it can be good for you in limited quantities, especially dark chocolate that has more flavonoids and less sugar than milk chocolate. Flavonoids seem to improve blood-vessel function, which can lower blood pressure and clotting. But, remember, chocolate also contains lots of sugar and saturated fat, not to mention calories.
Hot peppers are good for your heart — if you can tolerate the heat in your mouth. Capsaicin found in peppers improves blood flow and protects against bacteria that have been linked with inflammation and diseases. It also pumps up your metabolism. Best peppers to add to your diet: green and red chilies, cayenne, jalapeño and tabasco peppers all contain high levels of capsaicin.
Fish high in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids seem to help protect the heart and brain. It’s best to eat 8 ounces a week of sustainably farmed or wild-caught low-mercury fish, such as Atlantic mackerel, Pacific sardines, freshwater (farmed) coho salmon and wild-caught salmon, and sablefish (black cod) from Alaska.
Nuts high in monounsaturated fat content helps lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Though they are high in calories, with about 160 to 200 calories per ounce, frequent nut eaters weighed less than those who abstained, according to studies.
Whole grains — not refined carbs like white bread and white rice — reduce your risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, infectious disease and respiratory problems. One or two daily servings are enough to have a benefit.