Unlock a Healthier and Longer Life with These 12 Essential Foods

by | Jun 16, 2023 | Nutrition

Heart attacks, cancer and obesity can put your life at risk. By making sure you follow a healthy diet you can decrease your chances of contracting either of the diseases. Include foods that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants in your diet to ensure that you stay at optimum health and can tap into a longer life.

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If you want to save your life, losing weight should be among your top priorities. These foods will save your life by filling you up for longer on smaller portions. In case you didn’t know, being too heavy increases the chances of cancer and strokes, and is a major cause of liver disease, impotence and infertility, not to mention snoring.

1. Parmesan

Grate hard, strong cheeses, like Parmesan, on your salad for added protein. “The key here is to add protein to all of your meals, which fills you up faster and helps you burn more kilojoules throughout the day,” says registered dietician Milton Stokes.

2. Buttermilk

The University of Surrey confirmed that if food looks good it tastes good, too. Dietician Ellie Krieger, author of The Food You Crave suggests “making mashed potatoes with buttermilk, which is comparable in kilojoules to low-fat milk,” but then putting a small knob of butter on top as food for the eyes.

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3. Soba noodles

Substitute in Japanese soba noodles for traditional pasta. Made from buckwheat, soba noodles take more time to digest, so it will keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Plus, one serving of soba will give you twice as much fibre, protein and iron as normal spaghetti.

4. Sweet potatoes

man holding newly harvested sweet potatoes
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Bake sweet potatoes next time you braai and you’ll feel fuller for longer. Sweet potatoes have a lower glycaemic index than normal potatoes. They are also the richest low-fat source of vitamin E.

5. Cornflour

Stir a small handful of cornflour into your soups and the starch will instantly thicken watery affairs into hearty, healthy broths. As a bonus, cornflour contains an antioxidant called zeaxanthin, which helps preserve good vision.

6. Capers

When scientists at the University of Palermo, Italy, added capers to meat and simulated digestion they helped prevent compounds forming that damage DNA.

7. Avocado

man preparing avocado toast
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Replace mayo with a spread of ripe avocado to moisten dry sandwiches. Not only do avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats but researchers discovered that their phytochemicals help prevent mouth cancer.

8. Breadcrumbs

Cut the fat from the topping on your macaroni cheese by replacing half the cheese with wholemeal breadcrumbs,” suggests nutritionist Carina Norris. “This mimics the crispy texture of baked cheese, and adds fibre, which reduces your risk of a variety of cancers.”

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9. Tofu

Use tofu to make mousse. Studies in Japan found its plant hormones can guard men against prostate cancer. “Purée the silken variety until it’s smooth, and add melted chocolate,” says Krieger.

10. Lemon

Its zest contains D-limonene, which can guard against skin tumours. Researchers from Arizona University says a weekly tablespoon of the stuff can reduce your risk of skin cancer by up to 30 percent.

11. Garlic

The smelly stuff is also an enemy of cancer. But don’t throw it straight in the pan. “The cancer-fighting enzyme— alliinase—develops more fully if it’s allowed to sit for 10 minutes after chopping,” says nutritionist Rita Fonseca Silva.

12. Extra virgin olive oil

“Light olive oils have less flavour and fewer cancer-fighting antioxidants,” says Elena Paravantes of the Hellenic Dietetic Association. “Extra virgin has a peppery, slightly bitter taste.”

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