The Longevity Diet: Boosting Health and Lifespan with Every Bite (2024)

ByGinger Cochran, MS,RDN, CDCES, EP-ACSM


DesignerWellness is on the quest to help you live a longer and healthier life. One major piece of this puzzle is our diet. While no diet can guarantee perfect health or longevity, research indicates that certain foods can significantly enhance one's chances of living a longer, healthier life.

The Science Behind Longevity and Diet

Persistent inflammation is a significant factor in aging and the development of chronic diseases. Since chronic diseases cause the majority of early deaths, minimizing inflammation through diet is essential for increasing both lifespan and quality of life.

Even older adults in their 70s and 80s can benefit from dietary changes, with studies showing improved markers for disease risk, particularly heart disease, following diet modifications.

9 Tips for a Longevity Diet

  1. Balanced and Nutrient-Dense Eating: As we age, we often eat less and choose less varied foods due to factors like loss of appetite and budget constraints. It is crucial to maximize nutrient-dense foods. The key is to focus on a rainbow of brightly colored vegetables, deep-colored fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This approach ensures a nutrient-rich diet that lowers chronic disease risk while providing essential health-protective nutrients.

    1. Pro Tip:Create a smoothie with cacao-richDesigner Whey, berry mix, mango, spinach, milk, and flaxseeds for a rainbow of delicious flavors loaded with lean protein. For running around town, throw a Designer Smoothiein your bag or car in any of our amazing flavors, likeRaspberry PassionfruitorPeach Mango.

  2. Incorporating Produce Local Fresh or Frozen: Contrary to popular belief, frozen fruits and vegetables (without added salt or sugar) can be as healthy as fresh produce. These options are flash frozen soon after harvesting, preserving their nutrient content and providing a convenient, cost-effective alternative that minimizes waste and has a longer shelf life.

    1. Pro Tip:Add frozen veggies to soups, stir-fries, Designer Wellness Smoothies, and casseroles. Frozen fruit tastes great in chia pudding made withDesigner Whey strawberryor a smoothie! Try thisPeanut Butter Strawberry Protein Shakemade withDesigner Plantfor a delicious way to incorporate frozen strawberries.

  3. Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Studies, such as the New England Centenarian Study, show that maintaining a lean body, particularly in men, is associated with longer life. Obesity is a significant risk factor for early death, so focusing on a balanced diet that helps maintain a healthy weight is critical.

    1. Pro Tip:Check out our blog onWeight Loss After 40to read more about maintaining a healthy weight lifelong.

  4. Hydration: Drinking plenty of fluids is vital for cleansing the body, maintaining healthy skin, and ensuring overall hydration.

    1. Pro Tip:Add one smoothie a day to your routine to boost hydration and nutrient intake. Try this deliciousMango Lassi Protein ShakewithDesigner Soy.

  5. Nuts for Longevity: Regular consumption of nuts has been linked to a longer life expectancy due to their protective fatty acids, minerals, and phytonutrients.

    1. Pro Tip:Have nuts or seeds as a snack through out the day or through them in your favoriteDesigner Wellnesssmoothie. For example, cashews add a delicious creaminess when blended into soups or smoothie.

  6. Green Tea: Known for its broad health benefits, green tea can help prevent and treat various conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis, due to its bioactive chemicals that protect against oxidative damage.

    1. Pro Tip:For a fun twist on adding green tea to your diet, try mixing matcha into ourProtein Pancakerecipe for a delicious pick-me-up!

  7. Fish and Omega-3s: Regular fish consumption provides essential omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and protect against various age-related diseases. Flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts, and leafy greens are good alternatives for non-fish eaters.

    1. Pro Tip:Try to have fish two times a week, whether it's a tuna fish wrap, salmon, salads, or fish taco. Add nuts and seeds to your snacks, salads, andDesigner Wellnesssmoothies between fish meals.

  8. Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Berries, such as açai, strawberries, blueberries, and others, are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, promoting brain health and reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

    1. Pro Tip:Try adding berries to your diet daily. If they are out of season buy frozen or enjoy them in ourDesigner Smoothieslikemixed berry,strawberry, and banana.

  9. Herbs and Spices: Incorporating herbs and spices like ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon can provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

    1. Pro Tip: Add spices and herbs to all your meals. Add cinnamon to your next smoothie in your plain Greek yogurt for an extra anti-inflammatory boost!

Learning from Longevity Hotspots

The Okinawan Diet

Okinawans, known for their remarkable longevity, consume an average of seven servings of vegetables and fruits daily, along with grains, soy products, and omega-3-rich fish, while minimizing dairy and meat intake. Their diet includes specific healing foods and herbs that enhance health. Adopting similar dietary habits can be beneficial, even for older adults.

An easy way to boost your fruits, veggies, soy, and omega-3s is to make a smoothie withDesigner Plant, spinach, fruits, chia seeds, flaxseed, and soy milk.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is one of the most well-supported for its health benefits. It is rich in vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and fish while low in meat and alcohol. This diet has been shown to lower the risk of death from all causes by 20%. Its high monounsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio is particularly beneficial.

Read more about how to follow the Mediterranean diet in your everyday life in ourblog here!

Conclusion

Adopting a longevity diet rich in nutrient-dense foods and balanced eating patterns can significantly enhance health and lifespan. Try the above tips to easily expand your diet to promote a longer, healthier life by focusing on plant-based foods, healthy fats, hydration, and lessons from long-living populations. Read more ways to enhance your diet and life in our Designer Wellnessblog here!

The Longevity Diet: Boosting Health and Lifespan with Every Bite (2024)
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