How to live longer: The surprising fruit that could help increase your life expectancy

‘How to live longer’ is a question many people want to know the answer to, and many studies have proven what you eat can have a positive effect. Experts recommend eating five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, eating plenty of fibre, some dairy or dairy alternatives, some protein, and choosing unsaturated oils and spreads. But when it comes to specific foods to eat, which ones deem best? According to medical consultant Dr Sarah Brewer and dietician Juliette Kellow, tomatoes should be an essential in everyone’s diet.

An integral part of the Mediterranean diet, tomatoes are a great source of health-promoting vitamins A and C

In their book titled ‘Eat Better Live Longer’, the pair write: “An integral part of the Mediterranean diet, tomatoes are a great source of health-promoting vitamins A and C.

“They also contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which may improve heart health and protect against a number of cancers.

“Better still, cooking seems to boost the lycopene-related benefits of tomatoes, as does serving them with a little fat, for example olive oil.”

They say a daily serving of tomatoes or tomato products is ideal, but consuming tomatoes only a few times a week can still offer many health benefits.

Among tomatoes’ health benefits are boosting heart health and fighting cancer.

A number of studies have suggested tomatoes – particularly the lycopene they contain – help keep the heart healthy.

The duo write: “Research shows higher intakes of tomatoes and tomato products reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and may lower blood pressure.

“One review of studies also found lycopene decreased the risk of stroke by 19 per cent.”

And lycopene may also protect against many cancers.

The experts say: “The most compelling evidence is its effect on prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in men.”

They cite: “A review of 26 studies found higher lycopene intakes are generally linked to lower incidence of this disease.”

A healthy, balanced diet isn’t the only way to boost longevity.

Regularly exercise is also deemed important, with guidelines suggesting adults aged 19 to 64 should try to be active daily.

The NHS states you should do “at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)”.

But as a general rule, one minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as two minutes of moderate activity.

The health body adds: “One way to do your recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes on five days every week.

“All adults should also break up long periods of sitting with light activity.”

Another food which could help increase your life expectancy is whole wheat pasta. 

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