Aging Well: Eating Right for Longevity
Is your diet the key to longevity? Find out why eating right just may mean aging right, too.
Extra-virgin olive oil also offers beneficial levels of oleocanthal, a
compound that mimics the effects of anti-inflammatory medications including
aspirin and ibuprofen.
It's good for you, but don't go overboard; olive oil is caloric. Limit total
oil consumption to 7 teaspoons daily (assuming all of the added fat you use is
from olive oil) on a 2,000-calorie diet; 5 for a 1,600-calorie plan.
- Make salad dressing with one part olive oil and three parts balsamic
- Choose olive oil instead of butter or margarine.
- Lightly coat chopped broccoli, sweet or white potato, or carrots with olive
oil and roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until done.
Fruits and Vegetables
Produce provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as well as hundreds of
anti-aging phytonutrients. When it comes to age-defying properties, some
produce is better than others, according to the United States Department of
Agriculture's tests for antioxidant activity.
Still, any fruit and vegetable is better than none. People who take in the
most produce -- upwards of 10 servings a day -- have higher levels of
antioxidants in their bloodstream, which probably translates to better aging.
Produce-lovers also have stronger bones, thanks to the magnesium and potassium
that fruits and vegetables supply (dark greens are also rich in vitamin K,
necessary to bolster bones).
Fruit: Blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries,
apples, and cherries.
Vegetables: Kale, spinach, broccoli, artichokes, avocado, asparagus,
cauliflower, sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin, and onions.
- Include berries at least once daily on top of breakfast cereals, in
smoothies or salads, or snack on them as is.
- Add dried cranberries or cherries to cooked whole grains.
- Make a quick guacamole by mixing a ripe avocado and large, diced tomato
with 1 tablespoon each of olive oil, fresh chopped cilantro leaves, and finely
- Prepare a pumpkin smoothie with 1 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 cup low-fat milk,
and ground cinnamon and sugar to taste. Heat the remainder of the can as a side
dish. Add chopped frozen kale or spinach to soups and pasta dishes.