Let’s face it, there are many things about the way we eat food in the U.S. that can be a lot healthier. In fact, the typical American Diet, which contains many added sugars, processed foods and saturated fats, has contributed to numerous health complications within our country.
Here are four foods that some of the longest-living people in the world consume on a regular basis.
1 — Avocados
Loma Linda is located in California is one out of five Blue Zones and is a community that is mostly made up of Seventh-Day Adventists.
Along with normal religious practice and one day each week with 24 hours of quiet contemplation, those in this community also consume mostly a vegetarian diet that is full of healthy foods.
Avocados, which have many health benefits, are popular for the Loma Linda people. Avocados are helpful in reducing cholesterol and are high in potassium.
Avocados have also been shown to help manage weight and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity.
2 — Beans
Beans are also a staple in many Blue Zones and provide significant amounts of nutrients and fiber that help to fight diseases. For example, black-eyed peas are a typical part of a daily diet in Ikaria, Greece, and those beans have been shown to have heart-healthy, anti-diabetes and anti-cancer properties.
The Nicoya community located Costa Rica consumes black beans every day, often times with corn tortillas and rice. Black beans have a high amount of antioxidants and fiber and have been shown to help prevent cancer, manage diabetes and lower your chances of developing heart disease.
3 — Garlic
The community in Okinawa, Japan, consumes garlic on a regular basis. National Geographic says that garlic is one of “nature’s best medicines” and has been connected to reducing the chances of developing certain diseases that are common as you age.
Garlic has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and has been shown to help prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
4 — Potatoes
White potatoes are consumed daily by people who live in Ikaria, Greece, and people who live in Okinawa, Japan will eat purple sweet potatoes most days.
Purple sweet potatoes have a phytochemical called anthocyanins, which are known to help prevent diseases. Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of vitamin B6, A, C, fiber and potassium.
While some people think that white potatoes are not healthy because of their high carbohydrate contents, they actually do help the Ikarians prevent and manage diabetes, while helping to lower blood pressure levels as well.