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The Secrets of Eating Right and Living Longer

12 Super Foods to add to your Diet


Yes, it's possible to eat certain foods and boost your longevity. Often labeled "super foods," these foods have the ability to not only strengthen the immune system, but to also fight disease, and lower body fat and cholesterol.

All of these health benefits can help you live a longer, healthier, and happier life.

Some super foods contain substances called antioxidants and phytochemicals, which work together to fight disease and promote a long life.

A majority of these foods work best when they're combined with a well-balanced diet.

Common Super Foods For Boosting Longevity

Certain types of fish, particularly fatty cuts of fish, contain healthy fats that help lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks. These foods may also reduce depression. Salmon, trout, and mackerel are among the top choices. These fish contain valuable omega-3 fatty acids.

Tomatoes are valuable because they contain lycopene, which helps fight free radicals. Free radicals can damage the skin and vital organs. Lycopene also helps stimulate the immune system; some studies show it might prevent the progression of certain degenerative diseases, and protect against prostate cancer.

When it comes to broccoli, your mother had it right. Broccoli could be considered the number one super food; many experts agree that if you can eat just one vegetable, these green guys are your best bet. Broccoli contains large amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and fiber, and can help prevent bone loss, fight disease, reduce your risk of heart disease, and even boost your immune system.

Garlic is a wonderful supplement that acts as a powerful anti-viral which can reduce your chances for catching colds and common infections. Garlic also has many natural anti-oxidant properties. Fresh garlic contains the most nutrients, although it's also available in capsule form. Spice up your favorite dish with some dried garlic for an extra boost.

Oats, like many other types of grain, are high in soluble and insoluble fiber, which help protect the body from colon cancer. This high-fiber cereal keeps you fuller longer, aiding in your weight loss efforts. Oats also help build strong bones.

Green tea helps stimulate your metabolism (a bonus for anyone trying to lose weight) but also helps prevent the oxidation of cells in the body. Green tea is also thought to be an immune system booster. It's rich in antioxidants and certain vitamins, including A, C and E. Replace your after-dinner coffee with this brew, and your body will thank you.

Yogurt contains "friendly" bacteria, which help maintain the intestines and keep the bowels regulated. It can also suppress yeast overgrowth in both men and women. High in calcium, yogurt is also believed to act as a natural appetite suppressant. Soy yogurts contain these same live cultures, so don’t let a dairy-free diet stop you from getting these essential nutrients.

Nuts scare most people away because of their high fat content, but they're actually very good for you. They contain healthy fats, part of a well balanced diet. Some nuts, particularly brazil nuts, contain selenium, which helps prevent certain types of cancer.

Beans (kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, and more) are rich in folate, an important nutrient— particularly for women. Eating an adequate amount of folate helps prevent birth defects in newborns. Beans are also a cholesterol-free protein source, and high in fiber.

Popeye has it right when it comes to spinach. This super food is rich in vitamins A and C, folic acid and magnesium. All of these work together to help reduce the likelihood of cancer and even help decrease the risk for heart disease.

Most mushrooms contain a substance that stimulates the immune system. Mushrooms are often used in natural therapy to help fight off illness. Some mushrooms (shitake, enoki and reishi varieties) also have anti-cancer effects.

Bananas are a great super food for athletes. They're rich in two essential nutrients (potassium and magnesium) that aid in proper hydration, and they help reduce the likelihood of muscle cramps. They also provide a good source of soluble fiber.

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Member Comments

  • I can not eat tomatoes unless I slightly boil them, take out the seeds, then do what I want with them. I can not eat high acid fruits & vegetables, this makes them good for people with stomach problems. I can not eat garlic, mushrooms,for green tea it is a lot healthier to have real Matcha green tea, it is sold cheap made in China through Amazon. It can be used in cooking, baking, in your bath, to make face masks, it is the only real powdered tea you can buy. You use 1/2 teaspoon & drink 1 cup a day for your health, a lot higher concentration then regular green tea. It is very green in your cup. I use olive oil when not cooking and sesame & nut oil for cooking as well as butter. I like to buy canned coconut milk & make whipped cream & ice cream with it, it tends to thicken up in the fridge after 2 days, you can make chocolate mouse with it, you must buy the real high fat kind, I pay $1.50 a can.
  • Spinach salad every day and blueberries in the oatmeal.
  • we some super food everyday..
    Watercress has more nutrients than that horrible kale, which is being pushed hard by ad agencies hired by kale farmers because it's really only useful to scrub your sink with!
  • I eat all these several times a week, except mushrooms and green tea.
    But I never ate broccoli or yoghurt or oats before I joined SP, added them to my meal plan after reading The Spark.
    Now I eat broccoli almost every day in the winter. Just cut into flowerets and pop into microwave oven for 3.5 minutes - they are beautiful emerald green, tasty, crispy and hot.
    Don't forget kale!
  • My two most favorite things are one here... Tomatoes and Garlic.

    I can go through 8-10 tomatoes in a week, and I have several recipes that I use almost an entire head of garlic for.
    There are other things on the list I like, but the Tomatoes and Garlic are constant in my diet no matter what.
    I also read (from another article years ago, forget where) that chemicals from tomatoes leech out of skin, and can help protect from UV rays. Thus, it helps prevent skin cancer (and tanning). Also, if you eat a whole lot in one sitting, the oils that come out of your fingertips can start the rusting process on metals (I know someone who has kind of put finger prints on metal parts for helicopters because of this).
    Oh, and I thought I read that Lycopene can also help your heart muscles (again an article years ago).
  • Great article. I try to make sure I eat all of them. I know that they are health for me.
  • Yumm! Most of these are among my favorite foods and I like all of them!
  • Most of these are regulars in my diet!! WOO HOO!!
  • As far as I can tell it involves very simple things: choose foods that are in the produce department, some healthy dairy (if you can eat it.) you want the unsweetened dairy products, the sugar will kill your probiotics. Don't forget to eat plenty of healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil (not the hydrogenated!! Get the good, organic, one.) Get some healthy movement: cardio, some strength training, some flexibility training. Get a little sunlight. Cook your own eats, carry a cooler, and drink some green tea. Now really, is that so hard? You can still have some real ice cream, some dark chocolate, and even some grain (which ever kind you can tolerate.) Just don't go nuts with it.

    The point is to pay attention to how you feel in comparison to what you are putting in your body.
  • I have printed this off.
    I feel pretty good when I eat these types of foods. Going to show article to my husband.......try
    ing to make him understand it all in the hopes that he'll make 'better' choices also. We have this one shot in life and I'd like both of us to enjoy it in a thinner, healthier manner. Thank you!
    There is absolutely no scientific proof for any of these claims, certainly they are all part of a good diet, but at best it is a 'may'.

About The Author

Antigone Arthur Antigone Arthur
Antigone is a freelance writer and proud mother. She has been researching and writing about pregnancy, breastfeeding, infertility and alternative health solutions for more than 10 years.