More and more research confirms that longevity isn't all about genes. Indeed, lifestyle is even more important than our genetic makeup when it comes to determining health and life span. Thanks to previous research, we have understood the importance of a diet that follows the guidelines of the Mediterranean Diet, including whole grains, legumes, fruit, vegetables, nuts and dried fruit, fish and a low consumption of red meats and sweets. Not only that, we know the validity of moderate physical exercise to preserve our health and the choice of unrefined foods. But every day, science adds new pieces to this fascinating puzzle that represents the link between diet, lifestyle, health and longevity. Today we are talking about the most recent scientific research that shows how we can protect the health of our brain and our body with small dietary choices, starting right now.
The importance of berries
An effective longevity diet must also take into account the health of our brain. Well, here is that recent studies show the validity of the consumption of some types of berries, such as blueberries and cranberries, to protect cognitive function. The cognitive impairment that can occur in the elderly actually begins to develop several years earlier, in middle age. This is why it is important not to postpone but to start implementing as soon as possible all those small changes to diet and lifestyle that allow us to keep the brain healthy, such as integrating berries into our diet. In fact, it has been observed that the daily intake of blueberries in middle-aged people with insulin resistance and obesity, all conditions that can increase the risk of developing dementia in the years to come, has brought important neurocognitive benefits, with an improvement in memory and the ability to speak, choosing the most appropriate words (Krikorian et al, Nutrients, 2022). Not only that, blueberries have also contributed to improving blood sugar levels and the use of insulin, thus acting on these important risk factors for premature aging (Krikorian et al, Nutrients, 2022). Similarly, the intake of cranberry, in people between 50 and 80 years of age, has also made it possible to improve memory and blood flow to the brain (Flanagan et al, Frontiers, May 2022). All the interventions showed long-term results, after 2-3 months of taking the berries, and referred to doses corresponding to about 70-100 grams of fresh berries.
Even when eating matters
Eating very late in the evening has been shown to increase the risk of metabolic disturbances, heart attack and stroke. Suffice it to say that, according to a Japanese study, it was enough to anticipate dinner by three hours, from 9 to 6 in the evening, in people with high blood sugar, to see it reduce (Imai et al, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 2020). But the time at which the evening meal is consumed also has its say when it comes to longevity. In fact, a study on the centenarians of Abruzzo, a region in Italy, has shown that a healthy habit is precisely to dine early, shortly after 7 pm, and to ensure several hours of fasting between dinner and the next meal. This habit, in fact, reduces postprandial nocturnal stress, since the night is the time when there is the greatest resistance to insulin, and optimizes the metabolic response (Angelino et al, Front Nutr, 2022).
Tea for the health of the whole organism
Several studies have shown that drinking tea protects health, is antidiabetic, antiobesity and useful in fighting cancer. Recent research has shown that drinking tea every day, especially green and oolong tea, allows, in the long term, thanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of this drink, to reduce the condition of frailty, which is a real syndrome that affects older people. Frailty is characterized by muscle weakness, unwanted weight loss, tiredness, fatigue, an increased risk of falls and hospitalization and generalized organ decline (Gao et al, Front Nutr, 2022 - Duangjan et al, Geroscience, 2022).