Eat Better, Live Longer: Top Foods for Longevity

8 min read

Jan 12, 2024 - by JENNIFER MAPLES
LONGEVITY, HEALTH

Eat Better, Live Longer: Top Foods for Longevity

8 min read

Jan 12, 2024 - by JENNIFER MAPLES
LONGEVITY, HEALTH
Talking about nutrition? No doubt you’ll have a debate on your hands since everyone seems to have thoughts about the best foods to eat for longevity. Carnivore or plant-based? High carb or low carb? Fruit or no fruit? The problem is, with so many differing viewpoints, it’s hard to separate opinion from science. As a company founded by four PhDs dedicated to longevity science, we’re all about data. So despite someone having an affinity for blueberries or disliking kale, we’ll be focusing on the facts here. If you want to live healthier for longer, stay tuned. We’ll be diving into the best (and worst) foods for longevity, backed by science.
Talking about nutrition? No doubt you’ll have a debate on your hands since everyone seems to have thoughts about the best foods to eat for longevity. Carnivore or plant-based? High carb or low carb? Fruit or no fruit? The problem is, with so many differing viewpoints, it’s hard to separate opinion from science. As a company founded by four PhDs dedicated to longevity science, we’re all about data. So despite someone having an affinity for blueberries or disliking kale, we’ll be focusing on the facts here. If you want to live healthier for longer, stay tuned. We’ll be diving into the best (and worst) foods for longevity, backed by science.
01

What are Longevity Foods?

This isn’t a conversation about superfoods. It’s not an exhaustive list either. It will, however, give you insights into specific foods for longevity and the properties proven to help prevent chronic diseases like type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. From antioxidants to sulforaphane (a compound that supports healthy cellular pathways), each property plays a crucial role in helping you live a longer, healthier life. Here’s a breakdown of what to look for:
01

What are Longevity Foods?

This isn’t a conversation about superfoods. It’s not an exhaustive list either. It will, however, give you insights into specific foods for longevity and the properties proven to help prevent chronic diseases like type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. From antioxidants to sulforaphane (a compound that supports healthy cellular pathways), each property plays a crucial role in helping you live a longer, healthier life. Here’s a breakdown of what to look for:
02

Properties of Longevity Foods

Antioxidants to Neutralize Free Radicals Free radicals can wreak havoc on your cells, leading to premature aging and chronic diseases. The good news? Antioxidants, found naturally in certain foods and in OneSkin’s topical supplements, are like your cellular bodyguards, disarming these radicals and protecting your cells [01]. Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Support Brain and Heart HealthKnown for their role in cell membrane function throughout the body, including the brain and heart, these fatty acids are essential for cognitive function and cardiovascular health. Studies show that higher Omega-3 levels can add an average of 4.7 years to your life [02]. Fiber/Fermented Foods for Gut Health Your gut is your second brain, and keeping it happy with fiber and fermented foods is key. These dietary heroes are linked to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers [03]. Polyphenols for Anti-InflammationPolyphenols are nature’s anti-inflammatory agents. They're touted for reducing the risk of chronic illnesses like certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases [04]. Vitamin C for Immune Support and Skin HealthRenowned for its immune-boosting properties, Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize and remove oxidants including those found in environmental pollutants [05] – one of the reasons we include this powerhouse ingredient in OS-01 SHIELD. Sulforaphane for Cellular DefenseSulforaphane switches on the body's defense system, triggering a pathway in your cells called NRF-2. This pathway acts like a control center, telling your cells to ramp up their protective mechanisms, boosting your body's natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory responses [06].
02

Properties of Longevity Foods

Antioxidants to Neutralize Free Radicals Free radicals can wreak havoc on your cells, leading to premature aging and chronic diseases. The good news? Antioxidants, found naturally in certain foods and in OneSkin’s topical supplements, are like your cellular bodyguards, disarming these radicals and protecting your cells [01]. Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Support Brain and Heart HealthKnown for their role in cell membrane function throughout the body, including the brain and heart, these fatty acids are essential for cognitive function and cardiovascular health. Studies show that higher Omega-3 levels can add an average of 4.7 years to your life [02]. Fiber/Fermented Foods for Gut Health Your gut is your second brain, and keeping it happy with fiber and fermented foods is key. These dietary heroes are linked to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers [03]. Polyphenols for Anti-InflammationPolyphenols are nature’s anti-inflammatory agents. They're touted for reducing the risk of chronic illnesses like certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases [04]. Vitamin C for Immune Support and Skin HealthRenowned for its immune-boosting properties, Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize and remove oxidants including those found in environmental pollutants [05] – one of the reasons we include this powerhouse ingredient in OS-01 SHIELD. Sulforaphane for Cellular DefenseSulforaphane switches on the body's defense system, triggering a pathway in your cells called NRF-2. This pathway acts like a control center, telling your cells to ramp up their protective mechanisms, boosting your body's natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory responses [06].
03

Foods to Eat for Longevity

Now that you’re familiar with what properties to look for, here’s what to put on your plate. These foods aren’t just nourishing (and delicious), they have the potential to add more years to your life.
  • Berries. Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are also low in sugar.
  • Fish. Choose fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines for a healthy dose of Omega-3s.
  • Flax and chia seeds. These seeds are a solid plant-based source of Omega-3s.
  • Green tea. Rich in polyphenols, green tea, especially matcha are great for brain health.
  • Fermented and Cultured foods. Regular consumption of foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt is linked to improved digestion and a strengthened immune system.
  • Beans. A staple in the blue zones, beans and lentils are an excellent source of fiber, which is known to improve heart health and keep blood sugar levels stable.
  • Mushrooms. These fungi play a crucial role in mitochondrial health, which is important for energy production in cells.
  • Citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are excellent sources of Vitamin C. Avoid added sugars by choosing whole fruits over store-bought juices.
  • Cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale are rich in sulforaphane.
  • Garlic. Known for its allicin content, garlic acts as a hormetic stressor and has been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
03

Foods to Eat for Longevity

Now that you’re familiar with what properties to look for, here’s what to put on your plate. These foods aren’t just nourishing (and delicious), they have the potential to add more years to your life.
  • Berries. Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are also low in sugar.
  • Fish. Choose fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines for a healthy dose of Omega-3s.
  • Flax and chia seeds. These seeds are a solid plant-based source of Omega-3s.
  • Green tea. Rich in polyphenols, green tea, especially matcha are great for brain health.
  • Fermented and Cultured foods. Regular consumption of foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt is linked to improved digestion and a strengthened immune system.
  • Beans. A staple in the blue zones, beans and lentils are an excellent source of fiber, which is known to improve heart health and keep blood sugar levels stable.
  • Mushrooms. These fungi play a crucial role in mitochondrial health, which is important for energy production in cells.
  • Citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are excellent sources of Vitamin C. Avoid added sugars by choosing whole fruits over store-bought juices.
  • Cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale are rich in sulforaphane.
  • Garlic. Known for its allicin content, garlic acts as a hormetic stressor and has been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
04

Foods to Avoid for Longevity

Contrary to what many will say, no foods are “good” or “bad,” they simply have consequences. For instance, eating a broccoli salad with dinner can contribute to lower inflammation. But following it up with a few cookies (and all of the added sugar) would likely contribute to weight gain and the risk of developing type II diabetes if consumed regularly.Tip: eating one bowl of berries or one bowl of ice cream won’t make or break your longevity journey. #balanceThat being said, in general, the following types of foods are smart to avoid if you want to add more disease-free years to your life:
  • Sugary foods and beverages. These include cookies, cakes, sodas, and sugary coffee drinks. Excessive consumption of these high-sugar items can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of developing insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes). A good rule of thumb is to avoid drinking your calories, as sugary drinks add up without providing any nutritional benefits.
  • Highly processed foods. Pre-packaged items like certain breads, snacks, and salad dressings often lack nutritional value. They can contain added sugars, unhealthy fats, and preservatives that may contribute to metabolic issues.
  • Industrialized oils. Oils such as vegetable, corn, canola, sunflower, safflower, and rapeseed aren’t suitable for high-temperature cooking due to their polyunsaturated nature. When heated excessively, they can become unstable and produce harmful compounds [07]. Opt for oils with higher smoke points like avocado, olive, or coconut oil for cooking, and use the less stable oils for dressings or low-heat cooking.
  • Nitrates. Often found in deli meats and processed foods, nitrates are preservatives that can have health implications. Some studies suggest a link between high nitrate consumption and increased risk of cancer [08].
  • Alcohol. While some studies have suggested moderate red wine consumption can have health benefits, more recent research indicates that no level of alcohol is beneficial for health. Observations from Blue Zones show moderate drinking in social settings, but the overall health impact remains a subject of ongoing research [09].
04

Foods to Avoid for Longevity

Contrary to what many will say, no foods are “good” or “bad,” they simply have consequences. For instance, eating a broccoli salad with dinner can contribute to lower inflammation. But following it up with a few cookies (and all of the added sugar) would likely contribute to weight gain and the risk of developing type II diabetes if consumed regularly.Tip: eating one bowl of berries or one bowl of ice cream won’t make or break your longevity journey. #balanceThat being said, in general, the following types of foods are smart to avoid if you want to add more disease-free years to your life:
  • Sugary foods and beverages. These include cookies, cakes, sodas, and sugary coffee drinks. Excessive consumption of these high-sugar items can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of developing insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes). A good rule of thumb is to avoid drinking your calories, as sugary drinks add up without providing any nutritional benefits.
  • Highly processed foods. Pre-packaged items like certain breads, snacks, and salad dressings often lack nutritional value. They can contain added sugars, unhealthy fats, and preservatives that may contribute to metabolic issues.
  • Industrialized oils. Oils such as vegetable, corn, canola, sunflower, safflower, and rapeseed aren’t suitable for high-temperature cooking due to their polyunsaturated nature. When heated excessively, they can become unstable and produce harmful compounds [07]. Opt for oils with higher smoke points like avocado, olive, or coconut oil for cooking, and use the less stable oils for dressings or low-heat cooking.
  • Nitrates. Often found in deli meats and processed foods, nitrates are preservatives that can have health implications. Some studies suggest a link between high nitrate consumption and increased risk of cancer [08].
  • Alcohol. While some studies have suggested moderate red wine consumption can have health benefits, more recent research indicates that no level of alcohol is beneficial for health. Observations from Blue Zones show moderate drinking in social settings, but the overall health impact remains a subject of ongoing research [09].
05

How to Shift Your Eating Habits for Long-Term Health

Eating for longevity doesn’t require an overnight overhaul of your diet. In fact, the key to lasting change lies in starting small. Author of Atomic Habits, James Clear says, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the levels of your systems.” This philosophy applies perfectly to dietary changes. It’s about creating a system of small, manageable shifts in your eating habits that collectively lead to significant, sustainable improvements over time. That could look like adding berries to your breakfast (on top of yogurt is a great option). Or swapping out rice for cauliflower rice in your next stir fry. This gradual approach helps acclimatize your palate and routine to the new changes, making it more likely that these new foods – and new habits will stick. Science supports this methodology too. Research in behavioral science suggests that small, consistent changes are more sustainable than drastic alterations, which can lead to burnout or relapse into old, less healthy habits [10]. Remember, this isn’t about eating “perfectly” or seeing an immediate transformation. It’s about making incremental changes that fit your lifestyle. Over time, these small steps will accumulate. And as you age, your longevity-focused diet will put you in the position to prevent chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and certain cancers down the road.
05

How to Shift Your Eating Habits for Long-Term Health

Eating for longevity doesn’t require an overnight overhaul of your diet. In fact, the key to lasting change lies in starting small. Author of Atomic Habits, James Clear says, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the levels of your systems.” This philosophy applies perfectly to dietary changes. It’s about creating a system of small, manageable shifts in your eating habits that collectively lead to significant, sustainable improvements over time. That could look like adding berries to your breakfast (on top of yogurt is a great option). Or swapping out rice for cauliflower rice in your next stir fry. This gradual approach helps acclimatize your palate and routine to the new changes, making it more likely that these new foods – and new habits will stick. Science supports this methodology too. Research in behavioral science suggests that small, consistent changes are more sustainable than drastic alterations, which can lead to burnout or relapse into old, less healthy habits [10]. Remember, this isn’t about eating “perfectly” or seeing an immediate transformation. It’s about making incremental changes that fit your lifestyle. Over time, these small steps will accumulate. And as you age, your longevity-focused diet will put you in the position to prevent chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and certain cancers down the road.

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06

Closing Thoughts on Longevity Foods

By incorporating longevity foods into your diet, understanding the properties that make these foods beneficial, and being mindful of those that might detract from your health goals, you can make significant strides towards a healthier, longer life. Remember, the journey to longevity isn’t about drastic changes or rigid restrictions, but rather about making informed, balanced choices and building sustainable habits. Just like the foods you consume, the skincare products you use can influence your longevity. OneSkin's topical supplements are created with antioxidants, antimicrobials, and other healing ingredients, plus our proprietary OS-01 peptide, scientifically proven to target aging at the cellular level. By integrating OneSkin into your routine, you can take a comprehensive approach to maintaining your skin health and your overall well-being.
06

Closing Thoughts on Longevity Foods

By incorporating longevity foods into your diet, understanding the properties that make these foods beneficial, and being mindful of those that might detract from your health goals, you can make significant strides towards a healthier, longer life. Remember, the journey to longevity isn’t about drastic changes or rigid restrictions, but rather about making informed, balanced choices and building sustainable habits. Just like the foods you consume, the skincare products you use can influence your longevity. OneSkin's topical supplements are created with antioxidants, antimicrobials, and other healing ingredients, plus our proprietary OS-01 peptide, scientifically proven to target aging at the cellular level. By integrating OneSkin into your routine, you can take a comprehensive approach to maintaining your skin health and your overall well-being.
Key Takeaways:
  • Certain foods have beneficial properties like antioxidants, Omega-3s, polyphenols, and sulforaphane to help prevent chronic disease.
  • Eat berries, wild-caught fish, fermented foods, citrus fruits, garlic, cruciferous veggies, and other longevity foods to add healthy years to your life.
  • While no foods are “bad,” limit or avoid added sugar, highly processed foods, industrialized oils, nitrates, and potentially alcohol.
  • Start with small changes. Gradual shifts in eating habits are a more effective way to achieve longevity.
  • Add OneSkin to your routine to target aging on the cellular level and improve your skin and overall health.
Key Takeaways:
  • Certain foods have beneficial properties like antioxidants, Omega-3s, polyphenols, and sulforaphane to help prevent chronic disease.
  • Eat berries, wild-caught fish, fermented foods, citrus fruits, garlic, cruciferous veggies, and other longevity foods to add healthy years to your life.
  • While no foods are “bad,” limit or avoid added sugar, highly processed foods, industrialized oils, nitrates, and potentially alcohol.
  • Start with small changes. Gradual shifts in eating habits are a more effective way to achieve longevity.
  • Add OneSkin to your routine to target aging on the cellular level and improve your skin and overall health.

Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

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