6 Best Drinking Habits for a Longer Life, Say Dietitians — Eat This Not That

Between getting regular physical activity, cutting out processed foods, and increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, there are many steps you can take to increase your chances of living a longer life. But did you know that certain drinking habits can also add a few years to your lifespan?

In fact, scientists have long been examining why people in certain regions of the world known as “Blue Zones” tend to live longer, and it’s seems to have a lot to do with your diet. Some of these regions include Sardinia in Italy, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Icaria in Greece, and Okinawa in Japan. While the average longevity of a person in the US is 78 years, it is not uncommon for people in the US blue zones live well over 100 years.

“Your lifestyle habits, including what you eat and drink, get credit for your longevity and health,” says Wendy Lord, RD and consultant to sensible digs.

Clearly, these people are onto something. Fortunately, now that we know more about what these people put into their bodies, we can make efforts to emulate their diets and hopefully extend our lifespans.

Here are some expert-approved drinking habits you’ll want to adopt for a longer life. Then, for more healthy tips, be sure to read up on The #1 Best Juice to Drink Every Day, Science Says.

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People in the Blue Zones usually eat a 95% plant-based diet. So the more diverse fruits and vegetables you can include in your daily smoothies, the better.

Research suggests that eating ten servings of fruits and vegetables every day could prevent more than 7 million premature deaths from heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases,” says Kim Dalzell, PhD, RD, founder of Cancer Nutrition IQ.

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“Regardless of how young or old you are, finding ways to eat a plant-rich diet could potentially increase your life expectancyDalzell continues. “When you eat a plant-based diet, your cells are flooded with health-promoting phytonutrients that can increase your potential for longevity and vitality by protecting against toxins, strengthening immunity and repairing tissues and blood vessels. Drinking a plant-rich beverage might be the easiest way to achieve those anti-aging Benefits”.

While all fruits and vegetables offer different beneficial vitamins, you may want to add blueberries to your daily mix.

“Lowering inflammation is crucial for healthy aging, and anthocyanins found in blueberries increase blood flow to the brain to support better memory and soothe painful joints,” adds Dalzell.

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Do you want to look younger as you age? Who does not? It turns out that there is one juice in particular that can do the trick.

“The polyphenols found in pomegranates offer three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea and protect against sun damage for healthier and smoother skinDalzell says.

Always be sure to look for 100% pomegranate juice with no added sugars to ensure you get the maximum health benefits.

Vegan pea protein powder in white ramekin next to a whole pea podVegan pea protein powder in white ramekin next to a whole pea pod
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“Refuel after a workout with a plant based smoothie is a great way to include quality protein in your diet,” says Dalzell. “For example, soy protein preserves muscle mass and promotes lean body mass gainshelping to prevent age-related muscle wasting, known as sarcopenia.”

If you are trying to avoid soy products, pea protein is another high-quality option: One tablespoon can provide a whopping 15 to 20 grams of protein for just 100 calories. Pea protein is also very high in fiber, which has a number of anti-aging benefits, including reducing inflammation, protecting joints, preventing diabetes, improving gut health, and lowering cholesterol.

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Both coffee and tea are packed with antioxidants that help minimize disease-causing inflammation, says Heidi MorettiClinical RD and Resident Nutritional Advisor at Sovereign Laboratories. That said, if you load them up with cream and/or sugar, these drinks can do more harm than good.

“Adding sugar and any type of sweetener counteracts the benefits that both beverages have in their original forms,” says Moretti.

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“TO healthy gut it prevents pathogen colonization, detoxifies the body, and generates key metabolites important for a healthy immune response,” says Moretti.fermented Beverages like kefir and kombucha increase healthy gut bacteria in the digestive tract and help support healthy inflammation and immune response.”

Moretti advises always checking the label to make sure the sugar content isn’t high. He’ll also want to look for a label confirming that there are “live and active cultures” in the drink; that way, he’ll know that he’s actually reaping all the benefits of those gut-friendly bacteria.

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“In moderation, alcohol has been shown to have longevity benefits,” says Lord.

The key word here is moderation: that means no more than one drink a day for women, and no more than two a day for men, according to the Lord. Studies have shown that drinking alcohol in excess can have the opposite effecttaking years off your life.

Also, not all alcoholic beverages are created equal. Your best bet is to do what many in the Blue Zones do and sip on a glass of polyphenol-rich red wine.

“Resveratrol, a specific type of polyphenol in red wine, protects the lining of blood vessels and the heart, and has been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels”, adds Sir.

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