Longevity: The best diet to reduce disease risk and add nearly 10 years more to your life
Study suggests nuts can help you live LONGER
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Researchers from Loma Linda University, America, discovered that a specific type of diet prolonged the lives of men for nearly a decade – that is 10 extra years of life you could enjoy. In fact, men who followed a vegetarian diet were likely to reach 83 years of age. To compare, in the study analysis, men who did not follow a vegetarian diet lived up till 73 years of age.
For women, being a vegetarian added an extra six years onto their lives, reaching an average age of 85.
Considered a “gold standard” analysis in the world of nutrition, the 14-year study involved 34,000 people.
It must be noted that most, if not all, of the participants who took part in the study identified as non-smokers and abstained from alcohol consumption.
The NHS warned that eating a non-vegetarian diet, consisting of lots of red and processed meat, can increase your risk of bowel cancer.
Examples of red meat:
Examples of processed meat:
- Corned beef
- Luncheon meats, including those made from chicken and turkey.
How to follow a vegetarian diet
A vegetarian diet is abstaining from meat or fish, so how can you get all the nutrients that you need?
Sources of protein can include beans, peas, and lentils, as well as nuts and seeds.
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“Pulses are particularly important for people who don’t get protein by eating meat, fish or dairy products,” said the NHS.
Other sources of protein can include eggs, tofu, and tempeh – and it is helpful to eat a variety of protein sources to “get the right mix of amino acids”.
Amino acids gained from different sources of protein are used to build and repair the body’s cells.
“Contrary to popular belief, most vegetarians usually have enough protein and calcium (found in dairy products) in their diet,” the NHS added.
As for iron, good food sources include:
- Dried fruit
- Dark green vegetables, such as watercress, broccoli and spring greens
- Wholemeal bread
- Fortified cereals (with added iron).
Vitamin B12 is also important for growth, repair, and general health, with the nutrient found in:
- Fortified yeast extracts, such as Marmite
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Fortified soya products.
When it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, known to be abundant in fish, suitable vegetarian options include:
- Flaxseed (linseed) oil
- Rapeseed oil
- Soya oil and soya-based foods, such as tofu
- Egg enriched with omega-3.
The Loma Linda University research project also identified other factors that promote longevity.
In addition to eating a plant-based diet, eating a handful of nuts – around five times per week – could help add years onto your life.
Furthermore, being active, not smoking, and being a healthy weight can extend your longevity.
The more factors you check off, the more likely you will lead a long and healthy life.
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