The best documented benefits of foods in terms of health benefits are related to cardiovascular accidents and cancers, which are also the most common diseases in our modern societies. Focus on the foods to be preferred to increase life expectancy.

Anti-ageing:, foods, that, reduce, the, risk, of, disease

Three Vegetables and Five Fruits for a Longer Life

Five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is the formula that everyone knows about healthy eating. What is less known is the ideal distribution for maximum benefit: is it the same to eat four fruits and one vegetable, or on the contrary, four portions of vegetables and only one fruit per day?

According to a new scientific study published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, the correct formula is two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables. At least this five-serving distribution would be optimal for a longer life and to reduce the risk of death. 

Here, researchers analyzed data from two studies involving more than 100,000 healthcare professionals, followed over an average of 30 years. Information about participants' eating habits was collected every two to four years. Researchers also analyzed data from 26 studies on mortality and fruit and vegetable consumption, including a total of more than 1.9 million participants from various continents.

The meta-analysis confirmed that eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day was associated with a lower risk of death, while eating two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables per day was the combination associated with the greatest longevity. Compared to individuals eating only two servings of fruits and vegetables per day, eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day was associated with a 13% lower risk of death from all causes, a 12% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a 10% lower risk of death from cancer and a 35% lower risk of death from respiratory disease.

The study also showed that not all fruits and vegetables are the same when it comes to health:

    Green leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce, kale...) and fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C (citrus fruits, berries, carrots...) seem to be the most beneficial.
    Conversely, vegetables that are classified as starchy (potatoes, sweet potatoes) are less interesting, as are fruit juices, which should be preferred to fresh, whole fruits.

Dark chocolate at 70% and more keeps strokes at bay

Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which are favourable to blood vessel motility. A small consumption (15 g/day, one to two squares) would be associated with a decrease in platelet aggregation, lipid oxidation and insulin resistance. It also has a beneficial impact on blood pressure.

Fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil and anti-Alzheimer coffee

    What's good for the heart is good for the brain," says neurologist Dr. Bernard Croisile. Thus, the Mediterranean diet also seems to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. By its components, but also by its user-friendliness which plays an essential role in the stimulation of neurons. »

The French study of the Three Cities (Bordeaux, Dijon, Montpellier) showed that the consumption of these foods (fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil) reduced the risk of Alzheimer's disease. This effect would be due to their triple beneficial action on blood vessels, neurons and inflammatory states, probably thanks to the natural antioxidants they contain (vitamins A, E and C, carotenoids and selenium).

Studies conducted on mice show that caffeine protects neurons and acts on different brain mechanisms responsible for the development of Alzheimer's disease. The right dose: two to four cups per day. Theine could have a similar effect.

A "green chemo" against cancer

    The arsenal of plant defenses is impressive," says Richard Béliveau, PhD in biochemistry at the Université du Québec à Montréal and author of La méthode anticancer (Flammarion). More than 10,000 molecules - polyphenols, sulfur compounds, terpenes - are capable of interfering with phenomena that promote the appearance and progression of cancer cells in humans. »

Some molecules accelerate the elimination of tumor cells, others stop their growth". They are anti-inflammatory, which deprives precancerous lesions of an environment favorable to the evolution towards cancer".

Garlic, green tea and citrus fruits for the digestive system

Regular consumption of garlic (2 to 5 g per day, or one clove of garlic) reduces the risk of stomach, colon and esophageal cancers. This effect is mainly due to its sulphur compounds.

As for green tea, it is the plant that contains the most anti-cancerous molecules. The ideal: three to four cups per day, infused for 8 to 10 minutes.

Grapefruit, orange and lemon are interesting for the digestive sphere, boosting the elimination of toxins.

Cabbage for the lung

Cruciferae, consumed regularly (approx. 100 g per day), are associated with a decrease in many cancers, especially lung cancer, even in smokers.

They contain glucosinalates capable of eliminating carcinogens, blocking and destroying cancer cells.

Tomato for the prostate

Regular consumption reduces this risk by about 25%. This is thanks to lycopene, a pigment that is more available when the tomato is cooked.

Red fruits, soy and flaxseed for the breast

Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries contain compounds that inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells. Eating 100 g of blueberries per day reduces the risk of hormone-independent breast cancer after menopause by 31%.

Soya also reduces this risk thanks to its high content of phyto-oestrogens (isoflavones). Daily consumption of soy is associated with a 25% reduction in recurrence, which led the experts of the American Cancer Society to qualify their conclusions. For the time being, France remains cautious in discouraging postmenopausal women with a history of breast cancer from consuming it.

Rich in phytoestrogens, flaxseed consumed regularly would also reduce the risk of breast cancer by about 20%.