Tag Archives: fruits and vegetables

11 Foods To Help You Live Longer

senior-with-redwine-943080-mI am obsessed with living longer. I want to live to be over 100 years old. However, I also want to be a healthy centenarian.

I have been reading that more and more research shows what we eat can influence how long we live. What works for weight loss can also help slow the aging process. That’s because what you’re eating affects your waistline, the condition of your heart and even how long you live.

So, take a good look at your pantry and see if you’re eating for longevity. Here are 11 foods that science proves will help you live longer:

Green tea
The world’s second most popular beverage can reduce the risk of death by up to 26% if you consume several cups a day. In addition, it has the added benefits of reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

A study found that people who snack on a handful of nuts every day live longer than those who didn’t. Nuts are packed with cholesterol-free protein and other nutrients. Almonds have vitamin E, which protects the body from cell damage and boosts the immune system. Pecans have antioxidants and walnuts are good for your cholesterol.

Fish has been called brain food because it has fatty acids, DHA and EPA – all are important to brain and nervous system development. The Omega-3 fats found in seafood or fatty fish can lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

Berries are a great source of antioxidants. Blueberries, strawberries and acai berries are a source of polyphenols, a powerful compound that may help combat cancers and degenerative diseases of the brain. Cranberries may also help you live longer.

Fiber may help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, prevent constipation and help digestion. Fiber also fills you up so that you can eat less. Beans are fiber-rich and can be eaten three or four times a week. Fruits and vegetables can also add fiber to your diet.

Veggies contain phytonutrients and loads of vitamins and minerals that may protect you from diseases. Dark, leafy greens have vitamin K that builds strong bones. Sweet potatoes and carrots contain vitamin A – good for your eyes, healthy skin and protects against infection. Tomatoes or tomato products may help prevent cancer.

Protein provides essential building blocks for daily repair of your cells. It’s critical to your health and vitality, especially as you get older. You can add protein to your diet with lean meat, fish, seafood, beans, low-fat dairy and eggs.

Healthy fats
You’ve probably heard about the Mediterranean diet. But what you may not know is the heart-healthy diet has been shown to increase the lifespan of elderly people by about 20 percent. The diet encourages eating healthy fats, like olive oil, as well as vegetables and whole grains.

Whole grains
Eating whole grains can reduce your risk of certain cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Choose whole-grain breads and pastas, as well as brown or wild rice, instead of white options. Whole grains are less processed and retain more of the nutritional value. Whole grains also add fiber.

Drinking vitamin D-fortified beverages like milk can help increase your calcium absorption. That’s important for bone health. Vitamin D also reduces the risk of colon, breast and prostate cancers. Eating yogurt can also give you the benefits of dairy and aid in digestion.

Red wine
Just a half a glass of wine a day can help you live longer. Research found that light wine drinkers lived up to five years longer than those who did not drink wine at all. Red wine is rich in antioxidants that help protect against heart disease.

Eat these super-foods to help increase your lifespan and improve your quality of life. By incorporating a balanced diet into your daily life, you can fight off some of today’s most life-threatening diseases and live longer!

13 ways to make fruits and vegetables half your plate

Choosemyplate.gov fruits and vegetablesWhen I first heard that you should fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, I thought that would be difficult. But, it’s easier than you may think.

Choosemyplate.gov encourages you to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. That’s because you need to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and veggies are low in calories and fat, and they give you the vitamins, minerals and fiber you need for a healthy diet.

You should be eating two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables every day.

Here are 13 ways you can mix more fruits and veggies into your daily diet:

Wake up with fruit
Get in the habit of putting fruit on your bowl of cereal, oatmeal, yogurt or pancakes. Eat a banana, orange or grapefruit with your breakfast.

Make an omelet
You can load up your omelet with veggies. Add tomatoes, onions, and red or green bell peppers. You can even mix it up and put in squash, zucchini, carrots, broccoli and more.

Keep cut vegetables handy
Keeping cut up vegetables on hand will encourage you to eat them instead of grabbing a prepackaged snack. I have found that if I cut up vegetables as soon as I get home from the grocery store, I am much more likely to eat them. Some easy to eat veggies include carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, red and green peppers, celery, cucumbers and radishes. I like to make a baggie with a variety of veggies to snack on. You can also add them to your lunch or munch on them while you prepare dinner.

Have a veggie wrap
Roll up a whole-wheat tortilla packed with vegetables and low-fat cheese. If you still want a little bit of meat, add some grilled chicken or cubed ham.

Make a sandwich
Load up your sandwich with lettuce, peppers, onions, cucumbers, pickles, olives, tomatoes and more. Go easy on the condiments to keep your sandwich healthy.

Eat pizza
Load your pizza up with vegetables. You can pile on the tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, green peppers, onions, spinach, broccoli and zucchini.

Fire up the grill
Another great way to get your fruits and veggies is from the grill. Make fruit kabobs out of peaches, apples, bananas, pineapple and more. Create vegetables kabobs with red potatoes, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, squash, zucchini and mushrooms. Remember to grill your food safely.

Add color to salads
Start out your salad with dark leafy greens. Add in other colorful vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, carrots, peas and olives. Or, make it fruit toppings by adding blueberries, orange slices, chunks of apples, dried cranberries or raisins.

Shred or grate veggies
You can add shredded, grated or chopped vegetables to all sorts of dishes. Top rice, pasta, meat loaf, lasagna or potatoes with carrots, zucchini or spinach.

Make fruit dessert
Use fruit as your dessert. Mix together any of your favorite fruits: grapes, apples, kiwi, blueberries, watermelon, orange slices, dried cranberries, bananas and more. Or, add fruit to low-fat frozen yogurt.

Eat soup
Make homemade vegetable soup or warm up a can of soup for lunch. Add a veggie-loaded sandwich to get in plenty of vegetables.

Stock the freezer
Load up your freezer with fruits and vegetables. You can buy bags of frozen strawberries and blueberries to have as a snack, add to yogurt or make a smoothie. You can also buy all sorts of veggies in the freezer section, including corn, broccoli, spinach, peas, cauliflower, carrots, green beans and more. You can even get mixed vegetables.

Put out a fruit bowl
Keep fruit out on the counter where it’s easy to grab on the go. Mix it up with apples, bananas, oranges, tangerines and pears.

Now you have some quick and easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. All forms count: fresh, frozen, canned, dried or 100% juice. Just remember the more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you will get all the nutrients you need!

Do you have tips for eating more fruits and vegetables? What are your favorite quick snacks?