I posted a few weeks ago about a recent survey that showed there are are more people in their forties and fifties going vegetarian, so I’m willing to bet that I’m not the only one here who is at the age where the phrase ‘anti-aging’ means something. One of my favorite people, Dr. Mehmet Oz, just posted the “Top 5 Anti-Aging Foods from Around the World” and I was thrilled (but not completely surprised) to find that they’re all vegetarian foods!
Do check out the full article on RealAge.com, but here’s a rundown of the top 5 vegetarian anti-aging foods from countries where living into your nineties is common.
If you’re not already making beans a staple in your diet, check out the video link for Dr. Oz’s explanation of why you should eat beans. Dr. Oz recently visited Costa Rica, where he found that,
Residents of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula are four times more likely than most North Americans to live past age 90. One reason may be dishes like gallo pinto, a tasty mix of black beans and rice flavored with onion, red peppers, garlic, olive oil, cilantro, and a salsa lizano — a condiment a little like Worcestershire sauce.”
I don’t know about eating beans for breakfast, but this sounds completely yummy for lunch or a dinner side dish.
Nova Scotia has Canada’s highest percentage of people over 100 years old. According to Dr. Oz,
One reason may be polyphenol-packed wild blueberries produced by the millions of tons on this island.”
Add blueberries to oatmeal, whip them up into smoothies or make a scrumptious dessert.
France and Italy are tied in Western Europe as the countries with the longest life spans among their populations. Moderate wine consumption (1-2 glasses daily of red wine) is given the credit. As Dr. Oz explains,
Wine’s magic seems to come from a few components: ethanol, which boosts levels of healthy HDL cholesterol; resveratrol, which new research suggests can mimic the life-extending effects of cutting calories; and polyphenols, which rev up the body’s own cell-protecting antioxidants.”
On some of the Greek Islands, nearly one-third of the population is over age 90!
When researchers quizzed 23,349 Greek women and men about what’s on their plates, they found that death rates were lowest for those who ate the most fruit, vegetables, beans, and olive oil.”
The veggies provide fiber and anti-oxidants and roasting or sauteeing them in olive oil adds heart-healthy fats.
There are more centenarians (people over 100) in Okinawa than anywhere else in the world and many researchers believe this may be due to the Okinawans’ tofu-heavy diets.
Researchers credit this mild-tasting soy curd’s low fat content and high levels of good-for-you saponins and isoflavones.”
If you’re not already incorporating all of these foods daily, try adding one new one each week. By the way, if you don’t drink alcohol, you can still get the benefits of red wine by drinking red or purple grape juice!