In my last post we followed up on 7 heart healthy foods that promote longevity, which will be further discussed below.
#5 Dark Chocolate (But ONLY in moderation!!)
Research has shown that the indulgent of dark chocolate leads to more than 40 distinct nutrition benefits which includes longevity. Dark chocolate, which is an excellent source of antioxidants, is made from the seed of the cocoa tree. It is most effective when cocoa or chocolate is eaten when it is raw (cacao) because when your cocoa is close to or in its natural raw state, they contain the highest nutritional value. In fact, Cacao is one of the most beneficial foods that helps to facilitate a healthy heart and brain. Moreover, cacao aids in lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, and its healthy fats are actually beneficial for your body compared to animal-based saturated fats.
In a 2007 paper found in Journal of Nutrition, dark chocolate is loaded with a group of antioxidants called flavonoids which have been proven to help avoid higher risks of cardiovascular disease. It also added that eating quality dark chocolate containing a high cocoa content is more beneficial, especially when there is 70% cocoa or more. Both raw cacao and cocoa are wonderful heart-healthy foods which enhance hormones, circulation and even your digestion.
Basically, if you want to reward yourself with a sweet snack and maintain your health at the same time, dark chocolate may in fact be the best choice due to the various health benefits it offers. But, bear in mind that it is also rich in fat. Apart from keeping track of your fat intake, you may also opt for raw cacao powder or organic cocoa powder. Regular consumption of dark chocolate helps to break down bacteria and ferment its components into anti-inflammatory compounds which will benefit your overall health in the long run. Dark chocolate also helps to prevent blood clots from forming and can improve blood circulation. Dark chocolate also acts as a mood booster as it contains some chemical compounds which exert a positive effect on your mind. It contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which allows your brain to release endorphins. So, consuming dark chocolate will help to brighten up your mood and makes you feel happier! A 1999 Harvard survey which consists of 8000 men has revealed that those who ate dark chocolate at least 3 times per month were able to live an extra year compared to those who didn’t.
# 6 Salmon
Salmon happens to be one of my personal favorites and something I enjoy several times per week!
There are several beneficial health reasons to indulge in salmon other than its delicious taste. Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Omega-3s have been proven to be able to lower the risk of inflammation and decrease triglyceride levels, both of which are linked to higher risk of heart disease. Evidence has shown that omega-3s helps to lower dementia risk as well as cognitive decline, keeping the brain healthy.
Not only that, but feeding preschool children with salmon helps to prevent the risk of ADHD symptoms and can enhance their academic performance as the nutrition in salmon causes children to remember and focus better. Researchers mentioned that the omega3-fats in salmon may stimulate reduction in weight and significantly decrease belly fat in obese individuals. While most fatty fish are packed with omega-3s, salmon is a specifically nutritious dietary choice as it contains minimal mercury which is a potentially toxic contaminant compared to other fish such as tuna, swordfish and mackerel.
With so much emphasis on the omega-3 advantages in salmon, other health benefits of salmon may have been overlooked. Another benefit of salmon is linked to the amino acids and protein present in salmon. A few researchers have discovered that there are protein molecules called bioactive peptides found in salmon which can control inflammation in the digestive system, improve insulin efficiency, and provide treatment for better joint and cartilage recovery. Bioactive peptides generated from food proteins have great potential as functional foods and nutraceuticals. Bioactive peptides possess several significant functions, such as antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antimicrobial, immuno modulatory, and antihypertensive effects in the living body. Last but not least…
Yes, it’s true…an apple a day actually Can Keep the doctor away! A group of research studies indicates that apples may be one of the world’s healthiest fruits for you to include in your longevity diet plan. As they are the most commonly consumed fruit, people tend to overlook their impressive health benefits. In fact, in a featured article regarding the top 10 healthy foods in Medical News Today, apples were ranked first among the others. The old saying which we are all familiar with still stands true as an apple a day may be the ultimate food to promote longevity due to several health benefits it offers.
Firstly, apples are rich in vitamin C, fiber, various antioxidants and folate to fight against Alzheimer’s. Moreover, they contain polyphenols which function as oxidants and are mainly concentrated in the peel. So, to achieve the greatest benefits, it is best to eat the apple’s skin.These polyphenols contain flavonoids known as quercetin which also helps to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that high flavonoid intake have led to a 20% reduction in risk of stroke. Researchers agreed that consuming apples that are rich in flavonols could also decrease the risk of getting pancreatic cancer by 23 percent.
According to research by the Flores Group, regular apple consumption has been proven to provide cardiovascular benefits due to the fiber which they contain as well as the high contents of polyphenols found in apples. Flores also mentioned that the antioxidant level in apples has the highest rank compared to other fruits which help to prevent the risk of developing cancer, specifically lung cancer. Another study analyzes the comparison between the impacts of consuming an apple a day and statins which are a group of drugs taken to lower cholesterol level. It is estimated that apples are almost as effective as statins in minimizing death.
Good dietary choices play an essential role in determining how different our lives will be throughout the years. While no single food is a cure-all, consuming a combination of various healthy foods are capable of fending off diseases and enhance your overall health. Incorporating those heart healthy foods discussed above in your dietary plan will definitely benefit you in the long run. You are just a decision away from an absolutely better life, longevity and greater health awaits you!