Top 10 Fruits and Vegetables for a Longer Life

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But first, how exactly can fruit and vegetables impact the way you age? These foods contain various nutrients, antioxidants, and bioactive compounds that can help your body fend off age-related diseases and complications like heart disease, cognitive decline, inflammation, or oxidative stress damage, or they can help lower your risk for things like blood pressure and cholesterol, which directly impact your risk of cardiovascular disease. But which specific fruits and vegetables are the richest in these anti-aging nutrients?

Red/Purple Cabbage

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According to Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as The Nutrition Twins, red and purple cabbage is one of the best vegetables to eat for longevity.

“Adding to its heart-protective benefits, cabbage is also a good source of phytosterols and fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol,” they add. “Phytosterols and fiber are not only good for the heart but are key players in digestive health, helping to keep you regular, while also fueling the good bacteria in the microbiome. And given that digestive health is central for every aspect of health and longevity, it’s just one more reason cabbage promotes healthy aging.”

Mushrooms

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Not everyone likes the taste of mushrooms, but if you’re a fan of cooking with funghi, you’ll be happy to know that it comes with aging benefits.

The Nutrition Twins agree, saying that “Mushrooms are longevity powerhouses.” They note, “Many studies have found mushrooms protect against mild cognitive impairment (MCI), while additional studies have found the polyphenols and antioxidants in mushrooms protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

Need a reminder to eat some mushrooms during your meals? Manaker suggests making Mondays a “Mushroom Monday to make a habit of eating mushrooms in your longevity-supporting diet.”

Blueberries

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“Often hailed as a superfood, blueberries are rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which may contribute to longevity,” says Manaker. “These powerful compounds combat oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions linked to chronic diseases and aging. Incorporating blueberries into your diet can enhance your health in the short term and may also promote a longer, healthier life.”

 25 Best Antioxidant-Rich Fruits & Vegetables

Broccoli

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According to Manaker, “Broccoli is loaded with fiber, vitamins C and K, iron, and a host of other antioxidants that have been shown to decrease the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.”

Beets

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Beets often get overlooked, but don’t let that fool you. According to Manaker, these “are another powerhouse when it comes to foods that bolster longevity.”

And if that wasn’t enough, Manaker notes that the color pigments in beets carry benefits, too. “These pigments, known as betalains, give beets their rich color and have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, offering protection against oxidative stress and chronic diseases.”

Mangoes

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“Mangoes, with their sweet, tropical flavor, are not just a delight to the taste buds but also a boon for longevity,” says Manaker. But what makes these summertime fruits so beneficial to your aging process?

She also notes that the fiber in mango can “support digestive health and help in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, an essential component for overall health and longevity.”

Avocado

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For instance, avocados are rich in fiber, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve gut health. Research has also shown that avocados can help reduce LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind), which can directly help reduce your risk of heart disease, as well as reduce chronic inflammation. And lastly, avocados are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can help lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.

Spinach

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For starters, leafy greens in general have been linked to slower cognitive decline because of their nutrients and bioactive compounds like lutein, beta-carotene, nitrate, and folate. But spinach, specifically, has also been found to possibly help lower blood pressure because of its higher potassium levels. In addition to that, one study also found that eating spinach daily helped increase lutein levels, which can directly help reduce the risk of macular degeneration—an age-related condition of the eyes.

Kale

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Speaking of leafy greens, kale is another excellent choice for a vegetable that can help with healthy aging. As we mentioned with spinach, leafy greens (which includes kale) have been found to help reduce and slow down age-related cognitive decline because of their powerful nutrient content.

Strawberries

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We’ve already discussed blueberries and their ability to help with healthy aging, but you can also throw strawberries into the mix of longevity fruits. According to research from the British Journal of Nutrition, adding strawberries to your diet may be able to help with areas of age-related cognitive decline, like memory.

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