Scientists Discover that Living Longer May Be Simpler Than You Think

By: Bel Marra Health | Healthy Eating | Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 04:20 PM

86806376According to U.S newspaper reports, the number of centenarians in the country – people who have made it to 100 years old –  is just over 70 thousand. How do they do it? Well, some people like to think it is all about advancements in medical technology, while others believe it has more to do with better lifestyle habits, like exercising, less drinking and smoking, etc.  Or, according to a new collaborate research study that just made headlines, perhaps the secret to living a longer, healthier life all comes down to something a lot more simpler than that…

The Amazing Ingredient in Fruits and Vegetables

Polyphenols are a plant substance necessary for metabolism. They can be found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as cereals and beverages. Fruits like cherries, pears, grapes and apples are high in polyphenols. On average, a glass of red wine or a cup tea has about 100 mg of polyphenols.

Over the last ten years, much investigation has looked into the possible health benefits of polyphenols. Epidemiology studies have suggested that diets rich in plant polyphenols can provide protection against cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, osteoporosis, diabetes and some cancers.

New Evidence Supporting a Diet High in Fruits and Vegetables

The latest evidence to support polyphenols in our diet comes from a collaborative research study conducted by experts from around the world, including the Department of Nutrition at the University of Barcelona, the Italian National Research Centre on Aging, and National Institute on Aging in the United States. The team concluded that a high intake of polyphenols was associated with a 30 percent reduction in mortality among older adults.

The research, published in the journal Nutrition, involved just over 800 men and women 65 years old and over. Not only food frequency questionnaires were used, butalso  nutritional biomarkers. The use of nutritional biomarkers allows researchers to make more accurate and objective estimates when it comes to disease risk and mortality.

By the end of the study, the research team discovered that people who had a diet of 650 mg of polyphenols each day tended to live longer. Participants in the study who had lower intakes – 500 mg per day or less – had a younger average age of death.

Live Longer by Adding Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet

Studies have shown that healthy eating, including polyphenol-rich fruits and vegetables, are not only beneficial for good health, but help healthy dieters to live longer as well. While we can’t be expected to love all fruits and vegetables, the good news is that there is a long list that happens to be rich in this incredible antioxidant, anti-inflammatory compound. If one doesn’t suit your taste buds, you can always choose another. Below are some of the fruits and vegetables that are highest in polyphenols, all of which are items you should consider including in your regular diet.

  • Apricots
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Dates
  • Pomegranates
  • Rhubarb
  • Artichoke
  • Celery
  • Red Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Raw Spinach
  • Onions
  • Sweet Potatoes

Nutritional scientists say inflammation is a major contributor to aging and age-related diseases, and it is believed that polyphenols contribute to reducing inflammation. Committing to a diet that is high in nutrients and polyphenols, low in sugars, and low in processed ingredients could ward off inflammation, the signs of aging, many degenerative diseases, and could aide significantly in living a longer, healthier and happier life.

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