Want To Add 13 Years To Your Life? Experts Say Eat More Of These Foods

If you're looking for some direction on the best things to eat to prolong your life, a new study pinpoints key foods, that when added to your everyday diet, could increase your lifespan by an extra decade or more.

Within the study, which was recently published in the journal PLOS Medicine, Norwegian researchers set out to determine the effects of replacing a traditional "Western diet" centered around meat and processed foods, with a diet focussed on less-processed, whole foods. The study revealed that those who started this healthier diet in their 20s could add between ten and 13 years to their lifespan. Interestingly, the findings also concluded that those who start improving their diet later in life also saw benefits. Those who improved their diet in their 60s could see an eight-year increase in lifespan and those in their 80s could add 3.5 years to their life (per CNN).

The researchers modeled how dietary changes could impact the extension of an individual's life by using existing data which tracks different types of diseases, risk factors, and causes of death in over 200 countries and territories across the globe. They found that certain foods stood out amongst the rest when it came to impacting longevity.

The foods that could extend your life

Harvard Health Publishing suggests foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein, with a heavy emphasis on a plant-based diet, had the greatest impacts on longevity. And nuts and seeds ranked high on the list of longevity-promoting foods due to the fact that they are a significant source of healthy mono and polyunsaturated plant oils. As far as the best nuts to choose from, walnuts, almonds, pecans, and pistachios could help add years to your life. In addition to vitamins, minerals, and protein, nuts also contain phytochemicals, which are antioxidants that have been linked to reducing the risk of chronic diseases, per CNN.

Legumes are another high-impact food when it comes to longevity. They include a wide variety of beans you may already enjoy, such as black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, peas, and lentils. One of the greatest benefits of these foods is their protein content, which, along with fruits and vegetables, are the foundation of a balanced, plant-based diet (via Harvard Health Publishing). 

If you want to consume more plant-based foods on a consistent basis, it is best to add them in gradually. Also be mindful of portion control, as nuts, in particular, can be high in calories.