Foods That Are Guaranteed To Lead To A Longer Life

Tomatoes Even though this is a fruit, some people consider this a vegetable. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may reduce the risk… Monica Gray - April 15, 2024

They always say you are what you eat! There are certain foods we all know we need to limit, like fried food and red meat. But other foods are guaranteed to lead to a longer life. These foods are packed full of vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthier, longer life. If you begin incorporating these foods into your diet, you’re guaranteed to live a longer life. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to live as long as possible while eating as healthily as possible!

If you want to live a long life, try eating the Mediterranean diet, which consists of legumes, olive oil, fish, and whole grains. You could also follow a diet of a Blue Zone, which are parts of the world where people claim to live longer than average. These zones include the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece, Loma Linda, California, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan; and Nuoro Province, Sardinia, Italy.



These have to be the most underrated foods for longevity. Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, promoting satiety and overall health. Legumes are full of protein, fiber, carbohydrates, B vitamins, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, and phosphorous. They’re also low in fat and may help reduce cholesterol.

According to nutritionist Samantha Heller, “As a nutritionist, I eat them every day as part of my vegan diet to keep my body strong and help fight off sickness The most common varieties of legumes are beans, including black beans, lentil beans, soybeans, fava beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, edamame and lima beans.” Consuming legumes may also help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes and have a positive impact on blood pressure and weight management. They’re versatile and go great for any meal, at any time of the day (via CNBC).



Did you know zucchini is a fruit? This squash is full of minerals. It’s also low in calories and rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which support digestive health and may reduce inflammation. According to Healthline, “It may offer several health benefits, ranging from improved digestion to a lower risk of heart disease. Zucchini may aid your bones, thyroid, and prostate.”

Incorporating this versatile food into your diet will improve digestion and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It’s considered a high-fiber food, and diets with a ton of fiber improve heart health (via Healthline).



Full of fiber and low in calories, these tiny vegetables are a great addition to your diet. Radishes are low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support immune function and may reduce inflammation.

These vegetables are also full of antioxidants that alter the way cancer cells reproduce. In turn, this may reduce the risk of cancer. They’re a great source of Vitamin C, which helps fight cellular damage that may lead to cancer and other diseases. They give a ton of flavor for such a small size. You can roast, braise, or pickle them (via Mayo Clinic Health System).



Artichokes are low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support digestive health and may reduce inflammation. Registered dietician Beth Czerwony said, “Artichoke hearts are soft and meaty. But the plant’s petals and stems are equally tasty and nutritious. They’re not as difficult to prepare as people think. Phytochemicals have antioxidant properties, so you get some of the same protections when you eat the plant.”

Phytochemicals help fight against fungi, bacteria, parasites, and viruses. It turns out that artichokes also have the second-highest antioxidant content out of all the vegetables (via Cleveland Health).



Perhaps you have bad memories of eating turnips as a kid, but your mom was doing you a favor by feeding them to you! As we’ve learned, eating a diet high in fiber is a great way to stay fuller for longer and manage your blood sugar levels. The fiber content in turnips may help prevent constipation and promote regularity for digestion.

Turnips are low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support immune function and may reduce inflammation. They’re also a great alternative to potatoes because they have fewer calories and carbs. They’re versatile and can be added to salads, and pastas, or eaten on their own (via Medical News Today).



Watermelon is low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support hydration and may reduce inflammation. Watermelon is a wonderful fruit to eat before you go to the gym since it’s full of antioxidants and water that may help reduce muscle cramps.

According to Professor Christina Meyer-Jax, “Watermelon is a naturally low-calorie package. It contributes key antioxidant nutrients that support disease prevention and overall wellness.” You’ll get vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and vitamin A. It also has a ton of lycopene, which helps reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and age-related eye disorders (via NW Health).


Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, bok choy, and other leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote overall health. They are particularly rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate, calcium, iron, and potassium. Kale, for example, has lutein and beta-carotene, which may help reduce the risk of disease caused by oxidative stress.

Microgreens, which can be grown in your home year-round, may help prevent disease when consumed regularly. These nutrients play crucial roles in various bodily functions, including immune function, bone health, and blood clotting. Folate is a B vitamin that helps promote heart health (via Healthline).



Berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat, so make sure to incorporate them into your daily diet! They’re versatile and go great in smoothies, yogurt, or just on their own. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins that support heart health and brain function. Their phytochemicals are what make them some of the best food on this list.

According to Professor Eric Rimm, “On average, people who eat more berries seem to live a little bit longer.” If you want to strive for longevity, make sure you eat berries daily. Berries provide potassium, magnesium, vitamins C and K, fiber, and prebiotics. They also lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes and may even help keep that extra weight off (via Harvard).



Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is known to reduce inflammation and support heart health and is considered one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Omega-3s also help your body absorb certain nutrients and provide tons of energy.

Consuming unsaturated fats is proven to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of some cancers. Salmon is abundant in unsaturated fats. There’s also a ton of vitamin B12 in salmon, and one serving provides more than 100% of your daily needs. There’s also iodine, selenium, and potassium in salmon (via Eating Well).



As a great source of protein, nuts are some of the most nutritious foods you can eat. A small handful of them pack a huge punch! Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and improve heart health.

According to Harvard, “researchers analyzed data from over 210,000 health professionals followed up to 32 years. They found that, compared with those who never or rarely ate nuts, people who ate one ounce of nuts five or more times per week had a 14% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease during the study period.” The good fats in nuts, which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help lower bad cholesterol (via Harvard).


Olive Oil

The health benefits of olive oil are potent. Extra virgin olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet and is associated with numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. According to NIH, olive oil has, ” antimicrobial, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anti-neurodegenerative, neuroprotective, and other beneficial health effects.”

These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties serve numerous health benefits that are certainly unmatched by many other foods. In certain studies, those who consumed olive oil had a lower risk of some cancers and even dementia (via Harvard).



Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, which support heart health and may reduce inflammation. They’re a great staple for any kitchen and can be consumed at any time of the day, in smoothies, by itself, or topped on soup. It turns out that avocados are considered berries.

They’re great for your gut health, may help reduce heart disease risk, and are full of B-carotene and lutein, which is a rich source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Also, the fat in avocados may help support a healthy body weight (via Healthline).


Sweet Potatoes

Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, sweet potatoes support immune function and may help regulate blood sugar levels. Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants and fiber, which help protect the body from free radical damage. They’re also rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A to support your vision and immunity.

Sweet potatoes are incredibly versatile. You can air-fry them, bake them, fry them, or cook them in a curry or soup. Even though cooking sweet potatoes reduces their beta-carotene content, they still retain about 70% of it. According to some Reddit users, they suggest the best way to grow sweet potatoes is to forget you even planted them! (via Healthline).



Even though this is a fruit, some people consider this a vegetable. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may reduce the risk of certain cancers and promote heart health. It helps protect the brain, heart, and gut and provides a wonderful source of nutrients like vitamin C, antioxidants, and potassium.

The substance lycopene gives them a bright red color, but it also helps lower our risk of developing lung, stomach, or prostate cancer. Lycopene also helps lower levels of LDL, and lutein helps protect your eyes, especially if you’re sitting in front of a computer for long periods (via WebMD).


Garlic and Onions

Garlic isn’t something that keeps vampires away, it also has tons of health benefits that will surely help contribute to longevity. Garlic has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties, including its ability to boost immune function and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Garlic can also help cure a cold, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, and give us a good boost of Vitamins C and B6, selenium, and magnesium. But garlic’s most positive effects come from allicin, an antioxidant. Onion also contains quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant that’s antiinflammatory and may help lower blood pressure (via BHF).



Used for 4,000 years, turmeric is one of the foods that may help fight cancers and infections, and help treat digestive problems. The deep orange color is certainly appealing, and turmeric goes well on a variety of different dishes. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

According to dietitian Mary-Eve Brown, “Curcumin has many biological activities, not all of which are understood,” Brown says. “Like other colorful plant-based foods, turmeric is rich in phytonutrients that may protect the body by neutralizing free radicals (pollution, sunlight) and shielding the cells from damage. Anyone who’s trying to manage inflammation could benefit from adding some turmeric to their foods.” And some people who suffer from osteoporosis report having less pain when they eat more turmeric (via Hopkins Medicine).



If you suffer from inflammation or IBS, ginger might be your savior. Not only that, but it offers tons of health benefits and has anti-inflammatory and digestive properties, making it a beneficial addition to your diet. It works by cutting down on fermentation, constipation, and other causes of bloating.

Ginger also contains more than 400 natural compounds, some of which are anti-inflammatory. It might also help ease nausea that comes with morning sickness or chemotherapy. Ginger goes well in tea, but you can also use it as a paste or a way to add flavor to your soup or curry (via Hopkins Medicine).


Dark Chocolate

They always say a little bit of dark chocolate is good for the soul! But did you know it’s also good for your health? Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that may improve heart health by reducing inflammation and improving blood flow. That’s because it’s rich in flavanols, which are antioxidants linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

Dietician Haley Dockrey says, “I think a key to long-term success with a healthy diet is to indulge on occasion – whether it’s a small dessert or a great piece of dark chocolate.” If you’re deciding between chocolates, always opt for dark chocolate as opposed to milk or white chocolate. And always opt for chocolate with the least amount of sugar (via Health).



There’s a reason they say to eat oranges to prevent a cold! Oranges are high in immune-supporting vitamin C, which supports immune function and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases. They also provide other cancer-fighting compounds and hydration. You’ll get a good dose of potassium and phosphorous that help delay chronic diseases.

One cup of orange juice provides 14% of a person’s daily potassium requirement. Oranges also help with weight control and help lower Type 2 diabetes. Oranges also help maintain skin health since it’s packed with essential minerals (via Medical News Today).



An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Apples are rich in fiber and antioxidants, which support digestive health and may reduce the risk of heart disease. They’re a great source of nutrients, including vitamin C and fiber. It’s said that apples can help protect against cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Dietician Amber Sommer says, “Apples are popular for a reason. They’re easy to eat on the go, and they taste terrific. But what most people don’t know is that eating them regularly over time can provide a big health boost.” To reap the most benefits from apples, make sure you eat them raw, unprocessed, and unpeeled. A regular old apple will do the trick, especially if you’re chowing down on a red delicious apple. They also help keep your glucose levels steady, since they’re high in fiber and low in sugar (via Cleveland Clinic).



Those little seats are packed full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals! Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants and may help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. They protect heart health, support exercise performance, and help promote brain function. They also provide essential nutrients like folate and vitamin C, as well as numerous anti-inflammatory plant compounds.

A recent study in 2017 concluded that “eight clinical trials showed pomegranate juice reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The effect remained even when consuming pomegranate juice in different amounts.” Next time you’re at the grocery store, fill your cart with these delicious berries (via Heart).



Mushrooms are low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support immune function and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Besides, they’re delicious when they’re grilled, fried, and blended in soup. But the best part of mushrooms is that they contain high amounts of vitamin D, vitamin B6, and selenium.

According to UCLA Health, “A review of 17 cancer studies from 1966 to 2020 shows that eating just 18 grams of mushrooms (equal to about a 1/8-cup or two medium mushrooms) a day may lower your risk of cancer by as much as 45%. Mushrooms are a powerful source of ergothioneine, an amino acid and antioxidant that prevents or slows cellular damage.” Selenium is something that helps prevent cell damage in our bodies. Vitamin B6 is important for forming red blood cells. Many of the good parts about mushrooms is that they help us maintain a healthy immune system, which is important for fighting disease (via UCLA Health).


Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which support immune function and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases. They also provide a wonderful source of vitamin A, fiber, and antioxidants, which may help protect against cardiovascular disease and other cancers.

Bell peppers come in several different, vibrant colors, such as yellow, red, and green. If you want to reap the most nutrients, you should opt for the red pepper. The red pepper has nearly 11 times more beta-carotene and twice as much vitamin C than green peppers. All bell peppers have more vitamin C than oranges (via WebMD).



Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body and supports eye health and immune function. They may also lower your diabetes risk, strengthen your bones, and help you lose weight. There’s nothing more delicious than eating raw carrots and hummus!

Best of all, they’re a rich source of dietary carotenoids, which, according to BBC Good Food, “The majority of these carotenoids are in the flesh or outer section of the root, rather than the core. Carotenoids play an important role in eyesight – the old wives’ tale of eating carrots to help see in the dark has more than an element of truth in it.” Cooking carrots also helps improve their carotenoid content even more than eating them raw (via BBC Good Food).



Beets are high in nitrates, which may help lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance. They’re also versatile food that’s full of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. They may help protect your heart, reduce high blood pressure, and support endurance workouts.

According to registered dietitian Sarah Thomsen Ferreira, “Beets are unique for their cardiovascular and heart health benefits. Due to a combination of compounds found in beets, they can enhance blood flow, improve the health of arteries, support lower homocysteine levels, and reduce LDL cholesterol.” Incorporate some beets into your diet and you have a nutritious meal (via Cleveland Clinic).


Cruciferous Vegetables

Cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli are all rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support immune function and digestive health. They’re also packed with phytosterols (plant sterols) and fiber. This helps keep your digestive tract healthy and helps regulate your bowel movements. It also fuels the good bacteria in your gut, which helps protect your immune system and provides essential nutrients. Many think of cruciferous vegetables as the overlooked superfoods.

Cruciferous vegetables’ only downside is that they might cause bloating and gas. It’s great if you’re living with diabetes, as it doesn’t cause a blood sugar spike and is high in fiber. RDN Megan Holdaway states, “Broccoli is also a good source of folate, beta-carotene, B vitamins, iron, magnesium and zinc. In addition to these nutrients, researchers are studying several chemical compounds in broccoli for their impact on overall health and disease risk. Specifically, the link between sulforaphane and a reduced risk of heart attack and cancer development is being explored, though more research is needed.” Broccoli has as much vitamin C content as an orange, plus tons of other delicious vitamins that will help protect your cells from damage (via Healthy Eating).



Seaweed is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support thyroid function and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Make sure you’re buying real seaweed and not an impersonation of seaweed. They contain a large amount of quercetin, which is a flavonoid antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that might help lower high blood pressure.

This food also contains ample amounts of iodine and tyrosine, which will help with thyroid function. This helps control growth, and energy production and helps repair the damaged cells in your body. Your gut will also love seaweed (via Healthline).


Soy and Soybeans

Soy products like tofu and tempeh are rich in protein and phytoestrogens, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They may also reduce stroke, and coronary heart disease (CHD), and help improve bone health. It’s also a great protein to add to your diet. Throw in that tofu or tempeh into your dinner and you’re all set! You can also eat food like edamame, which is soybeans. They’re low in calories and high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants to support heart health.

According to Better Health, “An analysis of clinical trials suggests 14g to 50g of soy protein can significantly reduce total blood cholesterol levels, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and triglycerides, while moderately increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.” It’s a wonderful red meat replacement, especially if you’re struggling to reduce your cholesterol levels (via Better Health).


Sauerkraut and Kimchi

Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that’s rich in probiotics, which support digestive health and may reduce inflammation. Another food similar to sauerkraut is kimchi, which is a Korean fermented vegetable dish that’s rich in probiotics and antioxidants, which support digestive health and may reduce inflammation.

Dietician Reema Patel says, “All of these are great for our health and provide a range of nutrients, such as Vitamins A, B, C, and K, as well as being a good source of fiber.” Fermented foods in particular provide a range of healthy probiotics that are great for our gut (via Patient).



Load up on all sorts of seeds to reap the benefits this food has to offer. Hemp seeds are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals, sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium, pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants, flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans, which support heart health and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. And finally, chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants.

Just like nuts, seeds have good fats that may help maintain body weight. Their unsaturated fats protect against diabetes and heart disease (via Better Health).



Even though your urine might smell after munching down on asparagus, it doesn’t mean it’s bad for you! Asparagus is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support digestive health and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Its vitamin K properties help prevent blood clotting. And if you’re looking for some serious punch, try going for the purple asparagus. They have anthocyanins, which have stellar antioxidant effects on the body (via Healthline).


Brussel Sprouts

Throw some brussels sprouts in the oven and you have yourself a delicious, crispy snack! Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support immune function and may reduce inflammation.

According to the USDA, “The fiber in Brussels sprouts—over 3 grams per cup, according to the USDA—helps regulate blood sugar levels, support digestive health, and feed the beneficial gut bacteria. Gut bacteria are tied to positive mood, immunity, and anti-inflammation.” Even if Brussels sprouts aren’t your first choice, just remember they lead to longevity (via Health).



You’ll get a lot of heart health by incorporating eggplant into your diet. Eggplant is low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support heart health and may reduce inflammation.

According to Medical News Today, “A serving of eggplant can provide at least 5% of a person’s daily requirement of fiber, copper, manganese, B-6, and thiamine. It also contains other vitamins and minerals,” like flavonoids. “A review published in 2019 suggested that eating foods containing certain flavonoids, including anthocyanins, helps reduce inflammatory markers that increase the risk of heart disease.” Eggplants go well in a variety of dishes, so they’re versatile and easy to munch on (via Medical News Today).