Mackie's Top 5 Food Groups to Enhance Longevity

According to CDC.gov, “Between 1975 and 2015, life expectancy at birth increased from 72.6 to 78.8 years for the total U.S. population. For males, life expectancy increased from 68.8 years in 1975 to 76.3 years in 2015, and for females, life expectancy increased from 76.6 years in 1975 to 81.2 years in 2015

 In March of 2010, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “In collaboration with researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimates that smoking, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and overweight and obesity currently reduce life expectancy in the U.S. by 4.9 years in men and 4.1 years in women.

Here Are My Top 5 Food Groups to Enhance Longevity:

Cold Water Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines) – According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function.”

Berries – In December of 2016 the journal Antioxidants reported that, “Mounting evidence reports a variety of health benefits of berry fruits that are usually attributed to their non-nutritive bioactive compounds, mainly phenolic substances such as flavonoids or anthocyanins. With regards to cancer, studies have reported beneficial effects of berries or their constituents including attenuation of inflammation, inhibition of angiogenesis, protection from DNA damage, as well as effects on apoptosis or proliferation rates of malignant cells. Berries extend effects on the proliferation rates of both premalignant and malignant cells.”

Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, bok choy) – According to Cancer.gov, “Cruciferous vegetables are rich in nutrients, including several carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin); vitamins C, E, and K; folate; and minerals. They also are a good fiber source.” 

During food preparation, chewing, and digestion, the glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables are broken down to form biologically active compounds such as indoles, nitriles, thiocyanates, and isothiocyanates.. Indole-3-carbinol (an indole) and sulforaphane (an isothiocyanate) have been most frequently examined for their anticancer effects.”

Nuts – Mayoclinic.org says that, “One way nuts may help your heart health is by lowering the low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol levels. LDL plays a major role in the development of plaque that builds up on the blood vessels. Eating more nuts has also been linked to lower levels of inflammation linked to heart disease.

Eating nuts may also reduce your risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack. Nuts also appear to improve the health of the lining of your arteries.”

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – Researchers reporting in BMC Medicine in 2014 concluded that, “We found that greater consumption of total olive oil, especially EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), was associated with reduced cardiovascular disease and mortality risk in an elderly Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. Our findings underscore olive oil consumption as one of the key components of the MedDiet for cardiovascular disease prevention.”

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