Foods That Increase Your Shelf Life
There seems to be a recipe for living longer, and physician and chef Ralph Felder, MD, author of The Bonus Years Diet, has the stats to back it up. "By enjoying the right foods, women can live 4.6 years longer, three and a half of those without heart disease," he says. "Men, because they’re more prone to cardiovascular disease, gain even more time." He based his recommendations on the results of the Framingham Heart Study, but he thinks the longevity claims may vastly underestimate the diet’s benefits, since only cardiovascular risk reductions were included. What’s on the menu?
Wine, because it boosts HDL cholesterol and makes blood cells less sticky. It cuts cardiovascular disease risk by a third. Daily dose: one 5-ounce glass, preferably red.
Dark chocolate, because it lowers blood pressure, relaxes artery walls, and reduces the risk of heart disease by 11 percent. Daily dose: 2 ounces with at least 60 percent cocoa content (1 ounce if you need to lose weight).
Fruits and vegetables, because they lower blood pressure and protect blood vessel linings, cutting cardiovascular disease risk by 21 percent. Daily dose: 4 or more cups (variety counts; potatoes don’t).
Fish, because it cuts heart disease risk by 14 percent by lowering triglycerides and preventing blood clots, arrhythmias, and inflammation. Dose: at least three 5- to 6-ounce servings a week.
Garlic, because some studies say that it helps to reduce cholesterol production by the liver and lowers LDL, lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease 25 percent. Daily dose: one clove, cooked or raw.
Nuts, because they lower LDL and triglycerides, cutting heart disease risk by more than 12 percent. Daily dose: 2 ounces (1 if you need to lose weight).
Originally published in MORE magazine, May 2007.