How to live longer: The surprising food you could eat every day for a longer life

The secret to long life is making the right lifestyle choices, such as eating the right foods. The NHS recommends eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, eating high fibre foods, some dairy or dairy alternatives, some protein, and unsaturated oils and spreads. When it comes to specific foods you should eat that fall into these categories, one that may surprise you is wholewheat pasta. Medical consultant Dr Sarah Brewer and dietician Juliette Kellow outline exactly why wholewheat pasta could help increase your life expectancy.

Eating wholewheat pasta can make for a longer life because its a good source of wholegrain

Eating wholewheat pasta can make for a longer life because its a good source of whole grain.

In their book titled ‘Eat Better Live Longer’, Dr Brewer and Ms Kellow write: “Whole grains are true all-rounders when it comes to their health benefits, having a positive effect on the circulatory, digestive and immune systems and reducing age-related diseases.

“Switching from refined grains to wholegrain is a simple but powerful step to better health and a longer life.”

To reap the health benefits of wholewheat pasta it’s recommended you eat a portion which is three heaped tablespoons, cooked.

Other examples of wholegrain include whole grain bread, oats, brown rice and quinoa.

Three servings of wholegrain should be enjoyed daily for the best health and longevity benefits, say the pair.

Whole grains have proven important for health for a number of reasons.

One is they can help cut the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The women cite: “A review of 16 studies found that eating three daily servings of whole grain reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 32 per cent.”

They add: “Interestingly, a small number of studies confirm that while brown rice is protective against the disease, high intakes of white rice seem to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

Whole grains have also been shown to reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

The duo reveal: “Good intakes of fibre are proven to help protect against colorectal (bowel) cancer, and whole grains play an important role in boosting our intakes of fibre.

“A review of 25 studies found three servings of wholegrain a day reduced the risk of bowel cancer by 17 per cent.”

Regular exercise is also key to living a longer life.

Guidelines recommend adults aged 19 to 64 should be active daily, doing at leat 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscle groups.

Alternatively you could do 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles.

The NHS states: “A good rule is that one minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as two minutes of moderate activity.

“One way to do your recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes on five days every week.

“All adults should also break up long periods of sitting with light activity.”

When it comes to the first meal of the day, what foods should you be eating to boost life expectancy?

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