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Eat for a Long, Healthy Life

Does a longevity diet exist?  Continued studies suggests that it does. Robert P Heaney, MD, professor of medicine, Creighton University, Omaha, Neb. suggests that chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer and stroke have vital dietary links1.
Staying healthy and physically active is important at any stage of life.  As you grow older, you may experience a growing number of life changes such as retirement, children leaving the nest as well as physical changes.  The following is a guide to maintaining your physical, emotional and mental health and living your life to the fullest.

Foods for a Healthy Heart

Good Fat
To maintain heart health, it is important to steer away from the hydrogenated and trans fats.  These fats are found in chips, cookies, cakes and most processed foods.   It is equally important to increase your intake of the good fats such as olive oil, avocado, and coconut oil.  These fats are shown to be heart healthy.
If you have raised cholesterol levels, it is a good idea to take it easy on the saturated fats such as meat and high fat dairy products.  Although it is important to still consume, always be aware of your quantity.

Fruits and Vegetables
These delicious and nutritious foods are packed with key nutrients in warding off disease and keeping you healthy.  Research consistently finds that fruits and vegetables maintain a healthy heart and support a healthy weight.

Whole grains
Whole grains are packed with nutrients including fibre.  Research shows that, by eating whole grains the risk of developing heart disease is dramatically decreased.2
Whole grains are also great for keeping blood cholesterol levels at a healthy reading, due to their high fibre content.

Nuts and Seeds
The fat found in nuts and seeds is unsaturated fat which is healthy for the heart.

Dark Chocolate
Studies suggest that due to the polyphenol found in dark chocolate, higher intake of dark chocolate can be associated with lower incidence of hypertension.3

Brain Foods

Antioxidant rich foods
Foods such as blueberries, grapes and walnuts are especially high in antioxidants.  It is suggested that these foods may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The fatty acids found in fish, particularly the DHA omega 3 fatty acids, are shown to be brain protective.

Stronger Bones
You are of a greater risk of developing bone loss and osteoporosis as you age. Therefore eating foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium can help prevent this condition.
Eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, almonds, sardines, broccoli, and tofu are excellent sources of calcium.

If your vitamin D levels are low, it is a good idea to take a good quality vitamin D supplement.

1.  Bendich. A; R. J. Deckelbaum. Preventative Nutrition:  The Comprehensive Guide for Health Professionals.  Third Edition.

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