Want to break 100? Research shows your diet plays a huge role in how many birthday candles you’ll blow out. The following 18 foods are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that have been linked to longevity. Eat up!
Broccoli: It contains immune-boosting compounds, and may also help ward off stomach ulcers and even cancer.
Salmon: Including omega-3-rich fish (and others like it, such as tuna, mackerel, and sardines) as a regular part of your diet may reduce your risk of heart disease and prevent against inflammation.
Water: Staying hydrated reduces your risk for blood clots. It also helps you feel younger by keeping energy levels high.
Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries—all are bite-sized antioxidant powerhouses that stave off life-threatening diseases.
Garlic: It may not do your breath any favors, but the phytochemicals in garlic may halt the formation of carcinogenic compounds in the body.
Olive oil: The monounsaturated fats in olive oil have been linked to brain and heart health, as well as cancer prevention. Plus, dermatologists say women who follow olive-oil-rich diets have less skin damage and fewer wrinkles.
Bok choy: In a Vanderbilt University study, Chinese breast cancer survivors with diets high in cruciferous veggies like bok choy had a lower risk of death or recurrence.
Avocado: If your cholesterol numbers could use some help, listen up: eating more avocado may help lower your bad LDL cholesterol while also raising your good HDL cholesterol.
Tomato: There’s no better source for the antioxidant lycopene than rosy-red tomatoes.
Beans: Your go-to choice for plant-based protein, beans are also high in fiber, low in fat, and packed with more nutrients per gram than any other food.
Whole grains: In a study of more than 40,000 women, those who ate lots of grains had a 31% lower risk of dying from causes other than cancer or heart disease when compared with women who had few or no whole grains in their diet.
Red wine: Research on the health benefits of wine and other alcohol is mixed, but here’s what we do know: a small amount of red wine at the end of the day may reduce stress, which is good for overall health.
Leafy greens: In a study, middle-aged people who ate a cup of cooked greens daily were half as likely to diewithin 4 years as those who ate no leafy greens.
Tea: Green tea has been shown to lower risk of heart disease and several types of cancer.
Coffee: Yes, your morning caffeine craving may be lengthening your life, one cup at a time. Research associates drinking coffee with a lower risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and a 2012 study found that coffee drinkers tend to live longer.
Dark chocolate: A 1999 Harvard study of 8,000 men discovered that those who ate chocolate as many as three times a month lived a year longer than those who didn’t. Try these five nutritionist-approved healthy ways to eat dark chocolate.
Nuts: With heart-healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, nuts may just be the healthiest snack you can eat. (That said, not all nuts are created equal, so choose wisely.)
Red cabbage: This vibrantly colored veggie boosts brain health and guards against cancer.