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The One Sweet Food To Eat for a Longer Life

It’s likely your favorite oatmeal topping!

Eating healthy and working out isn't just meant for losing weight. In fact, these are important aspects of keeping your body healthy and happy for a longer life, and who wouldn't want to add a few years onto their life? While a generic nutritious diet and workout regime will help with adding those years, there are a few foods you can focus on that will actually help boost your chances of living a longer life. One of the most popular—and one of the sweetest—foods you can eat include berries! Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are full of antioxidants that have anti-aging properties that have been scientifically proven to give you a few more years.

Here's why you should be adding berries regularly to your meal plan for a longer life, and for even more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Why eating berries lead to a longer life

First, let's look at why antioxidants are important. According to a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Antioxidants help to protect your cells against free radicals, which is where the development of chronic diseases can develop such as cancer or heart disease. Typically these free radicals cause oxidative stress in your body, which can damage those important cells and cause some of these diseases, as well as Alzheimer's, asthma, hypertension, arthritis, and more. Including antioxidant-rich foods in your diet is an important way to continue to neutralize those free radicals and lower your risk. Fruits and vegetables are certainly on the list, as well as other dark chocolate, mushrooms, and walnuts.

So does this mean any of these antioxidant-rich foods can lead to a longer life? They certainly do help! However, in a study published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, berries and pomegranates were specifically chosen over 25 antioxidant-rich foods as one of the best sources of antioxidant intake for your body. Berries are an easy source of antioxidants to get into your meal plan, especially because they are tasty toppings in some of your favorite breakfast foods—like oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothies.

Is there one type of berry that's considered the best?

If you had to compare the antioxidant levels of berries, you would be shocked to know that blueberries would be considered the best berry to eat in terms of antioxidant levels and longevity. A study published by the Journal of Nutrition showed how blueberries were able to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels for obese people by 27% in an 8-week span! This is due to the polyphenols in blueberries which are particularly helpful for cardiovascular health. These polyphenols have also been proven in the journal Nutrients to limit the effects of the aging of your cells.

Regardless of the type of berries you love to eat, berries include a high amount of fiber compared to other fruits and they are a great source of vitamin C for your day. Eating a cup of mixed berries is a great way to ensure your body is getting the vitamins and nutrients it needs to live a longer life.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten
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