How to live longer: The longevity diet – five diet tips to increase life expectancy

Long life expectancy can be achieved through eating the right food and drink. Some foods have been found to have a positive impact on blood pressure, inflammation, blood sugar and heart health, while others have been found to increase the risk of serious health conditions developing.

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While genes play a role in life expectancy, environmental factors like diet are key.

Here are five diet changes recommended by experts to help keep health in check and achieve longevity.

Drink tea or coffee

Both drinks have been found to decrease the risk of chronic disease.

The polyphenols and catechins found in green tea may decrease a person’s risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

And coffee has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and brain ailments like Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies have also suggested both coffee and tea drinkers benefits from a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of early disease compared to non-drinkers.

But the NHS does advises: “It’s fine to drink tea and coffee as part of a balanced diet.

“If you drink tea or coffee with sugar or you have flavoured syrups in your coffee-shop drinks, you could be unwittingly damaging your teeth and adding unhelpful calories to your diet.”

Eat more nuts

A number of studies have shown nuts have beneficial effects on heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes and belly fat levels.

One study found participants who consumed at least three servings of nuts per week had a 39 percent lower risk of premature death. 

Include some turmeric in your diet

Turmeric is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Curcumin, found in turmeric, is believed to give the yellow spice its health properties, and studies have linked it to improved brain function, lower risk of heart disease and even cancer prevention.

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Curcumin has also been linked to an increased lifespan in both insects and mice. 

Eat lots of plant foods

Many studies have linked a plat-rich diet to a lower risk of premature death, as well as a reduced risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, depression and brain deterioration.

Plant foods are believed to hold such properties because of their nutrients, antioxidants, polyphenols carotenoids, folate and vitamin C. 

Several studies have linked vegetarian and vegan diets, which involve higher plant food consumption, with a 12 to 15 percent lower risk of premature death. 

Research has also suggested the risk of premature death and certain diseases increases with greater meat consumption. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19307518

Drink alcohol moderately

Heavy alcohol consumption has been linked to liver, heart and pancreatic disease, as well as an overall increased risk of early death.

But moderate consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of developing several diseases, as well as a 17 to 18 percent decreased risk of premature death.

The results of a 29-year study showed men who preferred wine were 34 percent less likely to die early than those who preferred beer or spirits. 

Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week on a regular basis.

Drinking should also be spread over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week.

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