The One Smoothie To Drink For A Longer Life
Talk about starting your day off on the right foot! At this point, you should know that there are factors beyond genetics and your environment that can affect your lifespan. Your daily habits and, more importantly, your diet play a significant role in determining how long you'll live.
Eating too many unhealthy foods (especially processed foods) can put you at a higher risk of numerous nutrition- and obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. In fact, having an unhealthy diet contributes to approximately 678,000 deaths each year in the U.S., making it one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. alongside physical inactivity. Worldwide, 11 million deaths are attributable to dietary risk factors, according to a 2019 study published in The Lancet.
But with all this bad news, there's good news, because the inverse of this is true: following a healthy diet can extend your lifespan. By eating a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, nut, and fish, an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that you can decrease your risk of all-cause mortality by 56%!
On top of eating a balanced diet, there are also some specific life-lengthening superfoods that are rich in nutrients that are particularly powerful when it comes to helping you live longer.
And it just so happens that a good number of these foods that lengthen your lifespan are the perfect ingredients for a breakfast smoothie: yogurt, spinach, blueberries, almonds, and chia seeds. (For more, see What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Smoothie Every Day.)
Yogurt: This fermented dairy product is rich in probiotics: living bacteria that promote better gut health, which is linked to healthier digestion, lower inflammation, a clearer mind, and better mental clarity. Probiotics also happen to be linked to a longer life. Researchers discovered that people who eat large amounts of probiotic-rich yogurt have an unusually long lifespan. They believe that probiotics can influence longevity by decreasing the harmful effects of stress and modulating your insulin response.
Spinach: One of the most popular leafy greens, spinach is rich in antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful health benefits. Studies show that eating leafy greens regularly can decrease your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Blueberries: These tiny berries are some of the healthiest foods you can eat—especially when it comes to lengthening your life. Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, a group of bioactive compounds in blueberries that has been linked to longer lifespans by a British Journal of Nutrition study. The researchers found a close link between eating flavonoid-rich foods—including blueberries—and a reduced risk of all-cause mortality compared to those who did not consume these foods in significant quantities.
Almonds: Nuts are rich in fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fats, which means they deliver a one-two-three punch of health benefits. They can also help you live longer. People who eat the most nuts have a lower risk of dying of any disease, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Chia seeds: One secret to living a longer life is eating more fiber. An Archives of Internal Medicine study found that people who increased their dietary fiber intake by just 10 grams significantly lowered their risk of death. Good news for you? A two-tablespoon serving of chia seeds delivers 10 grams.
Ready to blend? Here's our go-to recipe for a life-lengthening smoothie:
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 handful spinach
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup ice
Who knew that the secret to a longer life could be found in a blender?!
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