Living longer and healthier is a big topic particularly after we have all experienced a year like no other. Much emphasis is often put on what not to eat to help reduce risks of serious health outcomes but what about foods one should eat which promote longevity? A recent study delves into a particular snack coming up top when it comes to boosting longevity.
This study, which was published in Nutrients, found five or more servings of walnuts per week may provide the greatest benefit for mortality risk and life expectancy.
Eating five or more servings per week was associated with a 14 percent lower risk of death, 25 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases, and a gain in about 1.3 years of life expectancy, compared to those who didn’t consume walnuts.
Consuming walnuts two to four times per week could have its benefits, too, with the study finding a 13 percent lower risk of death overall, 14 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases, and a gain in about one year of life, compared to non-walnut consumers.
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Researchers examined data from 67,014 women of the Nurses’ Health Study who were on average aged 63.6 years and 26,326 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study aged 63.3 years in 1986.
Participants were relatively healthy when they joined the studies (e.g., free of cancer, heart disease, and stroke) and were followed for about 20 years (1998-2018).
Dietary intake was assessed every four years in which participants reported on their overall dietary intake – including how often they consumed walnuts, other tree nuts, and peanuts – as well as lifestyle factors like exercise and smoking status.
Based on this data, the researchers were able to identify associations between walnut consumption at varying levels and different health indicators related to longevity.
Eat to boost your longevity
The Eatwell Guide shows to have a healthy, balanced diet, people should try to:
Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
Base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
Drink plenty of fluids (at least six to eight glasses a day).
“If you’re having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar, have these less often and in small amounts,” advises the NHS.
It adds: “Try to choose a variety of different foods from the five main food groups to get a wide range of nutrients.”