If you watched the recent BBC programme "How to Stay Young" hosted by Angela Rippon, you would have seen a couple of amazingly simple facts about foods that studies suggest help people live longer.
Studies of the longer living people of Okinawa, Japan, and the residents of Loma Linda, California, provide a couple of easy ways to improve our health.
The people of Okinawa eat a lot of purple sweet potato. Some scientist believe the anthocyanins in this food type keep the arteries clean, proffering longer, healthier lives on those who eat them. Residents of Loma Linda, who eat a handful of nuts five times per week, can expect to live several years longer than average. It is the fats in the nuts that provide the particular health benefit.
These are so simple to fit into your daily life.
Purple sweet potato is not something I'd fancy for breakfast. Fortunately, anthocyanins come in many fruits, such as blackberry and blueberry.
In Scotland, we have one of the healthiest breakfasts known: porridge oats. I'm not going to list all the benefits that foodstuff confers on us, but you can follow the link below.
So, bringing the three things together can provide a fabulous, and delicious start to the day.
1. Porridge (your own portion size), with water or 50/50 milk, or all milk, or soya milk - it's up to you. Salt, if you desire.
2. A handful of nuts. (My handful is about 20 grams.)Almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts. I often add sunflower seeds. All provide quality fats and proteins.
3. A handful of berries. Blueberry, blackberry, etc. (The anthocyanins)
That's the essentials. If you need to sweeten, add a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup, but aim for just the essentials.
"Eating nuts several times a week reduces the risk of heart attack by up to 50%."
"Several studies have found an association between the consumption of anthocyanin-rich foods and CVD protection. As part of the Iowa Women’s Health Study, 34,489 postmenopausal women without CVD had their diets assessed and were followed for 16 years. The researchers found that consuming anthocyanin-rich strawberries and blueberries once per week was associated with a significant reduction in death from CVD and coronary artery disease"
Anthocyanin in mg per 100 g food
black currant 130-400
red currant 80-420
red grape 30-750
(aubergine (egg plant) 750)