How to live longer is a question many people want to know the answer to as they get older. And over the last few decades, evidence has proven eating a healthy diet can help add years onto your life. Experts recommend people eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, eat plenty of fibre, eat some dairy or dairy alternatives and protein, and to choose saturated oils and spreads and eat them in small amounts. But when it comes to specific foods to eat to achieve longevity, medical consultant Dr Sarah Brewer and dietician Juliette Kellow recommend eating avocados.
In their book titled ‘Eat Better Live longer’ the pair write: “Creamy and delicious, avocados are loaded with good fats that lower cholesterol and protect against wrinkles.
“They are also packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals that help with everything from keeping eyes healthy to regulating blood pressure.”
What gives avocados their health benefits is their high monounsaturated fat content, their rich lutein and zeaxanthin content, and their potassium content.
The duo recommend eating half an avocado three to four times a week.
They warn: “Although avocados have many health benefits, remember that they are high in calories.”
So what are avocados good for? Among their benefits are reducing cholesterol and keeping prostate health in check.
When it comes to avocados reducing cholesterol, the women write: “Adding avocado to diets has been shown to reduce total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides, while also boosting HDL (good) cholesterol.
“These heart-healthy benefits are most likely thanks to avocados being high in monounsaturated fat.
“Avocados also contain heart-friendly phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol, which help to lower blood cholesterol levels.”
And when it comes to avocados helping prostate health, they recommend: “Enjoy a salad of lycopene-rich tomatoes and lutein-containing avocado to protect against prostate cancer.
“In lab-based tests lutein reduced the growth of prostate cancer cells by 25 per cent, while lycopene reduced cell growth by 20 per cent.
“Combining the two resulted in an even larger reduction in cell growth.”
A healthy, balanced diet isn’t the only way to boost longevity.
Regularly exercise is also deemed important, with guidelines suggesting adults aged 19 to 64 should try to be active daily.
The NHS states you should do “at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)”.
But as a general rule, one minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as two minutes of moderate activity.
The health body adds: “One way to do your recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes on five days every week.
“All adults should also break up long periods of sitting with light activity.”
Another food which could help increase your life expectancy is tomatoes.