6 Foods and Drinks That Can Lengthen Your Life

Woman eating healthful food
Photo by Aaron Amat / Shutterstock.com

Make a few simple changes to your diet, and you might add several valuable years to your time on this planet. It sounds too good to be true, but scientific studies back up the claim.

Research has shown that consuming certain foods can reduce your risk of being diagnosed with illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Get out your pen and notepad — or note-taking app — because it’s time to make a grocery list. The following foods can lengthen your life.

1. Berries

Not only are berries naturally sweet and delicious, they’re rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E.

Berries that are especially high in antioxidants include blueberries, strawberries and raspberries., according to the Kettering Health Network, a nonprofit hospital system in Ohio.

Antioxidants offer several health benefits. They help:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Prevent cell damage due to aging, environmental factors and genetics
  • Help prevent some types of cancer
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes and stroke

Berries are also rich in flavonoids, which prevent plaque buildup in your arteries and reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. Nuts

Eating a handful of nuts every day can save your life, according to researchers at Maastricht University in Holland.

Their study, released in 2015, found that people who eat at least 10 grams of nuts or peanuts per day have a lower risk of dying from the following conditions:

  • Respiratory disease
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease

But peanut butter is not associated with a lower risk of dying. The researchers speculated that the negative health effects of salt and trans fatty acids found in peanut butter might inhibit peanuts from doing their good work.

3. Tea

Chinese legend says that nearly 5,000 years ago, leaves from a Camellia sinensis plant tumbled into the emperor’s cup of boiling water, and humanity’s love affair with tea was born.

Studies have shown a strong link between tea’s antioxidant properties and a reduced risk of heart disease. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, black tea appears to reduce the risk of heart attack, while green tea is associated with:

  • Lower total cholesterol levels
  • Lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels
  • Lower triglyceride levels
  • Higher good cholesterol (HDL) levels

Tea also has been associated with other health benefits, including improving dental health and aiding weight loss efforts.

4. Coffee

Like tea, coffee is loaded with antioxidants and can help prevent heart disease and other illnesses. A study published in 2016 found that women who drink coffee have a significantly reduced risk of dementia.

Older people who drink coffee also appear to have lower odds of dying from certain causes than those who shun java, according to a 2012 study by the National Institutes of Health. Those causes of death include:

  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Stroke, injuries and accidents
  • Diabetes
  • Infections

5. Flaxseed

Flaxseed is pretty popular these days. Many people are convinced of its widespread health benefits, but researchers are still separating the facts from the wishful thinking, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

What’s clear is that flaxseed is high in dietary fiber, and eating foods containing dietary fiber is linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. The AICR explains:

“Dietary fiber seems to play a role in lowering cancer risk through its ability to provide a feeling of satiation, which could help with weight control. (Excess body fat is a cause of eleven cancers.) Healthful bacteria in the colon may also use dietary fiber to produce substances that protect colon cells.”

Flaxseed also is known to be a good source of other nutrients, including:

  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Thiamin
  • Selenium

6. Legumes

Legumes include beans, peas and lentils. They are rich in several nutrients, including:

  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Good fats
  • Fiber
  • Protein

The nonprofit Mayo Clinic notes that the amount of protein in legumes makes them a healthy alternative to meat, which is higher in fat and cholesterol.

A 2012 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that eating a diet rich in legumes helped people with Type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar and also reduced their risk of heart disease.

Do you know of other foods that can lengthen your life? Share them by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Grow Your Savings in 2020 With These 5 Tricks
Grow Your Savings in 2020 With These 5 Tricks

Saving money doesn’t have to be painful. Here are some ways to game yourself into stashing more cash.

This Is the Best Time of Day to Take Blood Pressure Meds
This Is the Best Time of Day to Take Blood Pressure Meds

The right timing can help you prevent a big — and possibly fatal — mistake.

15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home
15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home

These free movie streaming sites offer thousands of movies and TV shows, including recent releases and beloved classics. If you love free movies, online sites are where you need to look for the best list of features that are just one easy click away.

5 Renovations That Can Impact Your Home Insurance
5 Renovations That Can Impact Your Home Insurance

Home improvements can affect your home insurance policy for the better, the worse or both.

8 Common and Costly Homebuying Myths
8 Common and Costly Homebuying Myths

Think you’re ready to buy a house? Don’t fall victim to these rookie mistakes.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.