How to live longer: The best food to reduce disease risk and to boost longevity – expert

Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer

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Longevity is determined by your genes, claim health experts. But alongside this, the food you consume is important. In fact, it’s been said that it could determine up to 80 percent of how long you live. With that in mind, what is one of the healthiest food items when it comes to reducing the risk of disease and to boost your longevity?

Dr Sarah Brewer, Healthspan Medical Director and author of ‘Live Longer, Look Younger’ spoke exclusively with to discuss foods and longevity and said: “According the Office for National Statistics, over half a million people in the UK are at least 90 years old, and the number of centenarians has risen by 72 percent over the last ten years.

“So, what can you do to help ensure you will live a long and healthy lifespan?

“While everyone knows the usual advice about not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, there are some lesser-known approaches that will also help you age gracefully.”

READ MORE: How to live longer: Blue Zone areas reveal surprising secret to longevity – what to eat

In recent years, there has been a lot of attention on what’s referred to as the Blue Zones – or the five regions of the world with some of the healthiest people who consistently live to over 100 years old.

In these regions there is an emphasis on eating mostly a Mediterranean type of diet.

This type of diet is a pattern of eating which is commonly linked to living longer.

One of the staples of the Mediterranean diet is oily fish including salmon.

Omega-3 fish oils reduce inflammation and have anti-ageing benefits on virtually all parts of the body, including your eyes, joints, circulation, heart and brain, said Dr Brewer.

She added: “Populations with a high intake of oily fish have less heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and inflammatory illnesses than those with low intakes and therefore tend to live longer.

“Oily fish are an important component of the Mediterranean, Japanese and Inuit Diets – three ways of eating that are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

“Scientists writing in the British Medical Journal predicted that regularly eating seven super foods can increase life expectancy by six and a half years for men, and five years for women which included eating a portion of fish (114g) four times a week.

“If you don’t like fish, omega-3 fish oil supplements are a good alternative.”

Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats, lower triglycerides levels, slow the growth of artery-clogging fat deposits, and reduce blood pressure.

There is also evidence that omega-3s could be a “brain food,” since they may reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline.

Most fatty fish are rich in omega-3s, but salmon is a particularly nutritious healthy food choice because it is low in the potentially toxic contaminant, mercury.

Dr Brewer lists her other tips to reduce disease risk and to boost longevity:

  • Eat more beans
  • Switch to olive Oil
  • Drink more tea
  • Eat an apple a day
  • Eat less over all
  • Snack on nuts
  • Follow a more plant-based diet
  • Eat more garlic
  • Enjoy a glass of wine
  • Take glucosamine
  • Select dark chocolate
  • Cut back on Salt
  • Get enough magnesium
  • Eat more reishi mushrooms.

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