Everyone desires  to live a long life full of improved mental and physical wellness, and the ability to be active and independent, but the goal of longevity is also to live a life of quality rather than just quantity. Although genetics plays a key factor when it comes to longevity, lifestyle and nutrition play a bigger role in determining the lifespan of an individual.

Below are some eating habits to adopt to up your chances of extending your life and enjoying the years with vigour.

Eat your veggies and fruits

Veggies and fruits are your friends when it comes to good health and flawless skin. There are various ways of incorporating fruits and veggies into your diet. One  way is to mix two cups each of  fruits and veggies daily. The size of your cup should be that of  a tennis ball. You can make a habit of whipping a fruit into every  breakfast and a second one as a daily snack. Take one cup of veggies at lunch and two at dinner combination. A smoothie of greens and a cup of frozen berries knocks out two. Additionally,  you can add fresh fruit, like sliced apples or chopped mango, to entrée salads and stir-fry recipes.

Nuts and butter

Nuts provide fats, plant protein, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and key minerals, like potassium and magnesium. You can add nuts to salads, cooked veggies, and stir-fry recipes, or pop them as is. Crushed nuts also make a great alternative to bread crumbs to coat fish or garnish dishes like mashed cauliflower or lentil soup.

An ounce of nuts is about a quarter cup, but two tablespoons of nut butter also count as a serving. You can also whip nut butter into your smoothie, stir it into oatmeal, or use it as a dip for fresh fruit or celery.  Baking with nut flours or using them in pancakes is another great way to up your intake.

Eat more meat-free meals

To live long and healthy, you should incorporate plant-based meals into your meal plan. One trait of people who live longest and healthiest is the consumption of primarily plant-based diets. They primarily eat beans and lentils and take meat on average about five times per month in very small portions.

Instead of meat, opt for pulses; the umbrella term for beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas. Opt for lentil or black bean soup on the side instead of adding chicken to a salad.

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Eat like the Mediterraneans

The Mediterranean diet remains the gold standard for living longer and more healthfully. It involves a high intake of fruits and vegetables; whole grains; pulses; healthful fats from nuts, olive oil, and avocado; and herbs and spices, along with seafood a few times a week; moderate consumption of dairy, eggs, and wine; and a minimal intake of meat and sweets.

Make green tea your friend

Green tea has immense health benefits which include preventing diseases. Several studies have found evidence that people who consume green tea have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and obesity.

You can consume green tea by itself or you can use it in smoothies or to prepare veggies and whole grain rice. You can use it in soups, stews, sauces, and marinades. Remember to avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime so you won’t disrupt your sleep length or quality.

Bonus tip...

Too much sugar, processed foods, meat, or alcohol are not your friends. You can take an apple with almond butter instead of processed cookies and take green tea instead of soda. In other words, a complete change in the foods you consume has to be made for you to achieve the longevity effect that is desired.

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