A healthy dietary pattern is known to promote health and longevity.
Typically this type of diet is characterized by eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and some fish, and minimizing added sugar, refined grains, and processed meat. The Mediterranean Diet is a good example.
But there are also specific foods that have been proven to help you live longer. There are three in particular that are worthy of including in your daily diet:
Drinking up to 3 cups of coffee per day is associated with a 12% lower risk of dying from any cause, a 17% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 21% lower risk of stroke.
Research also shows that the structure and function of the hearts of regular coffee drinkers is healthier than non-coffee drinkers.
Just a handful of nuts per day is associated with a significantly lower chance of dying. Consuming just 28g of nuts per day (equivalent to about 23 almonds) is linked to a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality, 15% lower risk of cancer, 21% decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, and a 29% lower risk of coronary heart disease.
Nuts are chock full of nutrition, including healthy fats, antioxidants, and fiber. Walnuts and almonds are two of the healthiest nuts, but all nuts have health benefits. Choose the ones you like best.
Consuming just 7 grams of olive oil per day (about 1/2 a tablespoon) is associated with a 19% reduced risk of death by any cause, 17% reduced risk of cancer mortality, 19% reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, 29% reduced risk of neurodegenerative mortality, and 18% reduced risk of respiratory mortality compared with people who don’t eat olive oil.
Olive oil is especially beneficial when replacing other less healthy fats. Researchers determined that replacing 10 grams per day of margarine, butter, or mayonnaise with the equivalent amount of olive oil is associated with a 8–34% lower risk of total and cause-specific mortality.
Coffee, nuts, and olive oil are staples of an everyday diet that taste great (according to many people) and produce powerful health benefits. If you are already consuming these foods, you can feel good knowing you’re likely adding years to your life.
If these foods aren’t yet a part of your diet, start with the one(s) you like and tolerate best. Caffeine isn’t for everyone, but it’s pretty easy to incorporate nuts and/or olive oil into your daily routine. Your future self will thank you.