Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Longevity is a hard-won goal because life is full of unexpected pitfalls. However, one of the greatest insights afforded by science is the extent to which it is possible to mitigate many of these threats. Diet is central to this effort and there are specific ingredients linked to a longer lifespan.
According to Dr Deborah Lee, Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, nuts should be included in your protective arsenal.
She cited a literature review published in the British Journal of Nutrition that attests to the longevity benefits of eating nuts.
The review delved into four large studies to evaluate the cardio-protective effect of eating nuts.
“They found the risk of coronary artery disease was 37 percent lower in people who ate nuts four or more times per week, compared to those who rarely ate nuts. The risk reduction was 8.3 percent per portion of nuts, per week,” reported Dr Lee.
The health benefits of eating nuts for heart disease prevention have been well documented.
“Nuts contain large quantities of ‘good’ fats – these are unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that help lower LDL cholesterol,” explains Dr Fox.
LDL cholesterol is a fatty substance that collects on the inside of your artery walls – it is a major precursor to heart disease.
Add some turmeric
Turmeric is one of the main components of Indian and South-East Asian curry dishes.
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According to Dr Fox, the longevity benefits of turmeric are mainly attributed to curcumin – the active compound of turmeric.
“In fruit flies and mice, curcumin supplements have been shown to increase reduce ageing and increase life expectancy,” reported Dr Fox.
As she explained, research suggests this is because curcumin counteracts the effects of oxidative stress and lowers levels of chronic inflammation.
Oxidative stress is an imbalance of unstable atoms called free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage.
Chronic inflammation underlies the development of many common diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, and dementia.
According to Dr Fox, curcumin is also believed to activate SIRT genes.
“These genes produce sirtuins – specific proteins that are thought to delay ageing,” she explained.
“For example, in laboratory experiments, when rats and mice were given curcumin, they displayed a longer time to exhaustion when exercising, and exhibited fewer signs of fatigue.”
Increase your raspberry intake
Dr Fox cited a study conducted last year that studied the effects of raspberry extract on the lifespan and health of the roundworm, C.elegans.
They found that taking raspberry extract lengthened the lifespan of the worms in a dose-dependent fashion.
What’s more, red raspberries have a high polyphenol content, noted Dr Fox.
Polyphenols are micronutrients thought to provide a buffer against neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular diseases.
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