Connect with us

Health

5 Simple Eating Habits to Live a Longer Life, Says Doctor

Published

on

Most people define health as the absence of disease. Many assume, “If I’m not feeling sick, I’m healthy.” But that kind of thinking suggests that our health is waiting passively for something to go wrong; it’s not. Our health is an active state 24/7 “protected by a series of hard-wired defense systems in the body that are firing on all cylinders, keeping our cells and organs functioning smoothly,” says William W. Li, MD, a scientist-physician and author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Heal Itself.

These defense systems support and interact with one another to intercept diseases before they set in. They form a fortress surrounding your health and mobilize the cells that heal you from within.

Each of these defense systems is influenced by diet, which means you are in charge. “When you know what to eat to support each health defense, you know how to use your diet to maintain health and beat disease,” says Li, who is president of The Angiogenesis Foundation, a non-profit organization focusing on fighting disease through angiogenesis, the process the body uses to grow new blood vessels.

Dr. Li identifies the five defense systems as angiogenesis, regeneration, microbiome, DNA production, and immunity. Read on to learn about how to eat to strengthen each one so your body can do a better job of preventing disease and living a longer, healthier life, and for more on how to eat healthy check out how Walking This Many Steps Every Day Can Help You Live Longer.

shutterstock

To live a longer, disease-free life, your body needs to maintain a balance between being able to form new blood vessels (which is critical for wound healing and restoring blood supply for treating cardiovascular diseases) and keeping that cellular growth in check—otherwise, you increase your risk of cancer and other diseases.

While the process of splitting and sprouting new blood vessels, known as angiogenesis, is completely natural, it can have a negative effect by feeding the growth of diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and diabetes-related vision loss. Dr. Li’s mentor, the Harvard scientist Judah Folkman, came up with the idea that you could starve tumors by targeting the abnormal blood vessels that feed them. “The goal of an angio-preventive diet is to keep the body’s angiogenesis defense system in a healthy state of balance,” says Dr. Li.

In his book, Li says some of the most effective foods for enhancing your body’s ability to starve cancer and maintain an angiogenesis balance are soy, black raspberries, tomatoes, tea, pomegranate, and even licorice, beer, and cheese. There’s mounting evidence for the power of these foods, Li says. “People in Asia who consume lots of soy, vegetables, and tea have a significantly lower risk for developing breast and other cancers.”

RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!

fish and flavonoids
shutterstock

Stem cells reside throughout our bodies, in our organs, bone marrow, lungs, liver, and gut. Their job is to maintain, repair, and regenerate our tissues, and what we eat can affect their performance.

One of the most powerful regenerative foods is fatty fish, writes Li. He cites research from the University of Montreal demonstrating that a diet rich in fish oil increases the production of stem cells that are linked to better circulation in oxygen-deprived muscles. Other foods that spur regeneration include flavonoid-rich dark chocolate, black tea, beer, red wine, mangoes, and olive oil.

RELATED: Surprising Side Effects of Taking Fish Oil Supplements After 50

berries broccoli almonds
shutterstock

The genetic code of our DNA may be set in stone, but that doesn’t mean it’s immutable. Throughout our lifespans, our DNA may become damaged by environmental factors such as free radicals or by the natural aging process, which shortens the end caps of our chromosomes known as “telomeres.” The good news is that “certain foods can prompt DNA to fix itself while some foods turn on helpful genes and turn off harmful ones,” says Li.

To live a longer, healthier life, you’re going to want to load up on the foods that repair and maintain the health of your DNA.

The foods that support robust DNA repair and slow cellular aging are those rich in nutrients with antioxidant properties like vitamins A, C, D, E, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and selenium. To stock up, fill up on spinach, kale, and other leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, oranges, berries, red peppers, lentils, navy beans, eggs, sardines, almonds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, coffee, tea, soy, and spices like turmeric.

olive oil walnuts and chile peppers
shutterstock

Every disease is somehow linked to your immune system in one way or another. In some cases, the immune response is weak, and it can’t fight infections effectively. In other cases, the immune system kicks into chronic overdrive, causing inflammation and, often, damaging healthy tissue.

Eating the right foods regularly can both reduce inflammation and strengthen a compromised immune system, helping you stay healthier for longer. To boost your immune defense, eat anti-inflammatory foods like olive oil, cranberry juice, broccoli sprouts, concord grape juice, black raspberries, walnuts, licorice root, blueberries, and black raspberries, and chile peppers.

RELATED: The #1 Best Supplement to Improve Your Immunity, Say Dietitians

fermented foods
shutterstock

Another surprising way to support the body’s disease-fighting immune system is by paying attention to the gut.

The health-supporting bacteria in our gut, known as our microbiome, play a significant role in controlling our immune system. To improve our inner ecosystem, it’s important to both add microbiome-supporting foods to our diet as well as remove foods that disrupt the balance of a healthy microbiome, like refined sugars and artificial sweeteners.

Among the best beverages for a healthy balance are black, oolong, and green tea, which “can increase good bacteria and decrease bad bacteria.” Other foods that benefit your gut: kiwifruit, sourdough, and pumpernickel bread, dark chocolate, fiber-rich beans, and fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir.

Read this next:

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News15 mins ago

Gunmen demand N35m ransom to free Ondo principal, VP, teachers

Local29 mins ago

UNILAG to host 10,000 students, 136 universities

News39 mins ago

Greed factor: Why Nigerians are losing billions to get-rich-quick investment frauds

Local51 mins ago

Nigerian Army gathers influencers for “modern warfare” on social media

News1 hour ago

How N17bn Paris Club refund landed Obiano on EFCC’s watch list

Local1 hour ago

Why snakes enter toilets and natural remedies to scare them away from homes

News1 hour ago

Copyright infringement, defamation major problems in showbiz —Candy Mamalouk

Local2 hours ago

Why Nigerian founders attracted $900 million investment: Emefiele

Politics2 hours ago

Bianca Ojukwu sends ‘important’ message to Buhari over Nnamdi Kanu

News2 hours ago

Economic plan saved 1.3 million jobs, says FG

Local2 hours ago

IPOB agitation fuelled by marginalisation; Nnamdi Kanu should be released: Bianca Ojukwu

Politics2 hours ago

CONFIRMED: Tinubu contesting for president in 2023 – elder statesman

News2 hours ago

Railway police command CP moves to eject 200 families from Lagos barracks Monday

Local2 hours ago

Kwara United beat Oluyole Spikers; Kada Kings down ABM

News3 hours ago

I feel like committing suicide whenever I see photos of my two daughters kidnapped since 2009 – 64-year-old Rivers retiree

Local3 hours ago

NMA seeks establishment of Health Bank

News3 hours ago

Fuel hike: Nigerian students threaten nationwide shutdown

News3 hours ago

Weekly diaspora remittances rise to $100m, says Emefiele

Local3 hours ago

FG to begin mass demolition in FESTAC

News3 hours ago

Obaseki, stakeholders seek policies to attract gas investment

Local21 hours ago

Netflix invites Nigerians to scriptwriting programme

News22 hours ago

Rema faults DJ Neptune for releasing his song without permission

Health21 hours ago

The #1 Best Holiday Food to Eat for a Flat Belly, Says Dietitian

News13 hours ago

Uganda risks losing only international airport over Chinese loan

News21 hours ago

Accountability will remain PDP’s watchword, promises Ayu

World14 hours ago

India: Islamic scholar says Muslims should stay away from malls, Allah dislikes them, women look at men

Entertainment18 hours ago

“Does Google read minds too?” – Reality TV star, Erica left shocked by an experience in Dubai

Entertainment21 hours ago

Naira Marley’s sister, Subomi buys herself a Mercedes Benz GLK

World21 hours ago

California County Mandates Masks for Private Thanksgiving Celebrations at Home

Business News21 hours ago

Reminiscing on the Loss of a Friend, Dreams Deferred, and Bold New Beginnings

Local10 hours ago

NDLEA arraigns two men for dealing in 789kg cannabis

Business News22 hours ago

Malawi, Mozambican Agree to Strengthen Economic Relations

Local11 hours ago

Police arrest female for supplying arms to Zamfara bandits

Business News22 hours ago

Poor Leadership: Principal or Instrumental Explanation for Nigeria’s Underdevelopment?

Entertainment17 hours ago

“My dad cut me off all financial support after I got pregnant in college” – Actress, Adunni Ade reveals

Business News22 hours ago

Stanbic IBTC Capital Assures Clients More Innovative Solutions

Metro16 hours ago

Kim Jong Un bans leather coats to stop citizen copying his look

Politics16 hours ago

JUST IN: ‘Buhari’s controversial tweet on Biafra wasn’t a threat’ – Presidency

News23 hours ago

Amotekun rescues Fulani abducted by kinsmen, arrests one in Ondo

News22 hours ago

Court sentences four-year-old’s kidnapper to death in Akwa Ibom

Trending