10 Foods Linked To Longevity & 10 That Definitely Aren't

10 Foods Linked To Longevity & 10 That Definitely Aren't

We're all looking to live as long and healthy of a life as possible, and step one to making that happen is fixing our diets. There are plenty of foods out there that have been linked to longevity because of their numerous health benefits. But the opposite exists too - there are tons of unhealthy junk foods to avoid because they can be very damaging to your body. To give you a better idea of what to eat and avoid, here are 10 foods associated with longevity and 10 that definitely aren't.

1. Berries

Turns out the key to healthy living might just be a bowlful of berries away! Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries have been studied to be linked to longer lifespans, reduced risk of certain diseases, and improved brain health. People who regularly eat these berries can enjoy their numerous health benefits thanks to how packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they are. 

StrawberriesCaju Gomes on Unsplash

2. Nuts

As great sources of healthy fats, proteins, and fiber, nuts are the hidden superstar foods that need to be added to everyone's daily diet. Many studies have been done to show that regularly eating nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios can contribute to healthy living. They can lower your cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, leading to longevity. In fact, just a handful a day can reduce your risk of mortality!

Towfiqu-Barbhuiya-4N0Dlumdlay-UnsplashPhoto by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

3. Green Tea

Turns out your soothing cup of tea does more than just warm you up; green tea in particular has been highly regarded for its antioxidant properties which can protect you from many health risks. It's even been suggested that drinking green tea regularly can protect you from cancer, demonstrating why many believe it's associated with a longer life.

Tea-6568547 1280 (2)Image by Mirko Stödter from Pixabay

4. Whole Grains

Sometimes the road to a longer life means making simple changes to your everyday diet. Here's one change you definitely won't regret: incorporating more whole grains! From oats to quinoa and brown rice, eating whole grains can help lower the risk of numerous diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular-related ones, and even certain cancers. It's one easy way to make your breakfast, lunch, and dinner so much better for your body.

Towfiqu-Barbhuiya-Iolfz8Yaf5C-Unsplash (1)Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash


5. Fatty Fish

Big seafood lovers are really going to enjoy this point; fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids which has been associated with longer life expectancy. To put it simply, omega-3 fatty acids work magic on our bodies. Not only do they keep our hearts nice and healthy, they help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and decrease the risk of certain cancers. 

Jeff-Ahmadi-Iq0Rbpbxj8Y-UnsplashPhoto by jeff ahmadi on Unsplash

6. Legumes

For all of our plant-based friends, you'll be happy to hear that your favourite legumes, like beans, lentils, and chickpeas, are all impactful foods that can benefit life expectancy. As excellent sources of protein, fiber, and minerals, eating legumes on a regular basis has only positive effects for you. Lowering your risk of heart disease, improving blood sugar control, and so much more, why wouldn't you add them to your diet?

Suheyl-Burak-Bjxisrrcva8-UnsplashPhoto by Süheyl Burak on Unsplash

7. Garlic

Not only will it help keep the vampires away, but garlic might be able to help you live longer too! Known for its plethora of health benefits, garlic is the key to making your food taste better and your body feel stronger. While studies are still being done to solidify the link between garlic and longevity, the fact that it enhances immune functions, helps manage blood pressure, and reduces inflammation is already a very good sign.

Ji-Jiali-R8Ysjfxvesq-Unsplash (1)Photo by ji jiali on Unsplash

8. Olive Oil

Although the word "oil" might lead you to think the opposite, extra virgin olive oil is actually very, very good for your body. In fact, consuming a little per day might even increase your life span! It's rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants which help protect your body. And with it reducing your risk of stroke and heart attacks, it might interest you in cooking with it more often. 

Kukuvaja-Feinkost-Hjski0Akv1G-UnsplashPhoto by Kukuvaja Feinkost on Unsplash

9. Leafy Greens

Very commonly listed as a food linked to longevity, eating just one serving of leafy greens a day can make a huge difference on your body. Anything from spinach and kale to Swiss chard are so rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And given how green they are, they must be healthy right? But all jokes aside, these vegetables are incredibly beneficial in helping to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases while also promoting healthy digestion.

Pille-R-Priske-Yk5Kab L6Ho-UnsplashPhoto by Pille R. Priske on Unsplash

10. Yogurt

Your favourite healthy snack might've just got even better. Eating yogurt, especially the unsweetened, plain kind, has such a positive effect on gut health that it may just increase your life span too. Having a healthy gut and good digestive health is so important for the body; it's what helps support the immune system, improving your overall health and contributing to a longer life expectancy.

Yogurt-1442033 1280Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay


1. Energy Drinks

While energy drinks definitely might help you feel pumped up in the moment, it's not the healthiest way to do it. Loaded in caffeine, sugars, and other stimulants, drinking energy drinks regularly can lead to plenty of health complications like increased heart rate, high blood pressure, sleep issues, and anxiety. If drinking something leads to plenty of cardiovascular problems, it's probably a good idea not to have it too often.

Kenny-Eliason-Oglhekamot0-UnsplashPhoto by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

2. Red Meat

No matter how much you love that sizzling of a good steak in a pan, or a delicious juicy burger in the summer, excessive consumption of red meat can be dangerous. Although it may be high in protein, don't be swayed - eating red meat too frequently can lead to dangerously increased risks of colorectal cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. We're not saying you can't enjoy a good pork chop every now and then, but always watch your intake!

Usman-Yousaf-R91Gam9Be1S-UnsplashPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

3. Margarine

Just because margarines sold within the United States aren't allowed to contain any added trans fats, doesn't mean that it's healthy for you. Besides, if you're ever traveling outside the country, all that goes out the window! Because as we all know, trans fat is incredibly bad for the body and harmful to heart health. Besides, margarine can still be very high in saturated fats, which brings forth a whole other set of risks. 

Margarine BmkBMK on Wikimedia Commons

4. Palm Oil

When it comes to oils to cook and prepare food with, palm oil definitely isn't the healthiest choice. Not when you've got extra virgin olive oil around! High in saturated fats which can lead to plenty of cardiovascular diseases, you definitely want to keep an eye out for palm oil. Especially given how frequently used it is in processed foods, snacks, and even personal care products!

Palm Kernel OilT.K. Naliaka on Wikimedia Commons

5. Potato Chips

We all know potato chips are delicious and so tasty to snack on, but we also know just how unhealthy it is for you. Which means you should always be eating in moderation so you can look out for your body. Typically high in calories, fats, and sodium (while simultaneously being incredibly low in good nutrients), it definitely doesn't help that these chips are typically deep-fried too.

Olga-Kozachenko-Gitjpq74Er0-Unsplash (1)Photo by Olga Kozachenko on Unsplash

6. High-Mercury Fish

While this isn't as much as a health risk as the others on this list, it is still very important to be mindful of how much high-mercury fish you're eating. Certain fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tuna all contain high levels of mercury which can be incredibly dangerous and toxic when eaten in large amounts. While of course, this is likely rare for the everyday person, it's still something to note down and be wary of.

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7. Bacon

We've finally reached it, the one food everyone is dreading to see on this list. Bacon. No matter how much you love the taste, the smell, or the texture, bacon is one processed meat you simply have to be careful eating too much of. It's just not good for you! It's awfully high in sodium, contains plenty of preservatives, and has high amounts of saturated fats. There are just so many potential health risks to look out for, like heart disease, stomach cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Ham-926278 1280 (1)Image by Jörg Husemann from Pixabay

8. Soda

While it might taste good alongside to your burger, feel refreshing on a hot summer day, or satisfy your bubbly cravings, sugary drinks like soda have to be had in moderation. It's just all sugar! And we're all aware of the dangers eating too much sugar can have. From weight gain to type 2 diabetes to dental problems, it's just not worth the health risks. It's definitely a good idea to turn your head to healthier drink options.

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9. White Sugar

And that leads us to our next point: white sugar. While it's not like we expect you to be eating spoonfuls of white sugar every day, we do think it's necessary to highlight the negative effects sugar can have on your body. Because like we mentioned in our point on soda, it's in a lot of things! Foods that are high in sugar just simply aren't good for you; they lead to a range of health issues like obesity, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, and risk factors for heart disease. While a sweet treat won't hurt every now and then, eating too much everyday is detrimental for your body and health.

Jason-Fbft0Pyhbp4-Unsplash (1)Photo by Jason on Unsplash

10. Refined Grains

What would you do if we told you that you couldn't have your favourite white breads, pastas, or rice anymore? While of course that's not what we're saying, we do find it important for you to know that the refined grains in these food products can lead to increased blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes risks. That's because they've been stripped of all the good stuff that should be going into your body, like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You can still enjoy your favourite pasta, sandwiches, and rice dishes, but we suggest you switch to whole grain alternatives that won't damage your body.

Stephanie-Sarlos- Apgylrfq2I-UnsplashPhoto by Stephanie Sarlos on Unsplash