3. Omega-3-Rich Fish
Fatty acids in seafood help quench the flames of chronic inflammation. In addition, "there's verygood new data suggesting that omega-3 fats from fish act on an area of the brain that leads toimproved mood and attitude among healthy people," says Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D., author of
The Omega Diet.
These improvements in outlook lead to feeling healthier and more vigorous,she explains. The omega-3s in fatty fish like salmon and tuna have the most potent anti-inflammatory effects. But it's smart to consume omega-3s from plant sources, like walnuts andflaxseed, too — especially if you're not fond of fish.
4. Whole Grains
A 2008 review of these diet-friendly foods — which include whole wheat, oats, and brown rice,and the bread, cereal, and other edibles made from them — concluded that a meal plan loadedwith whole grains helps you stay slim, thanks, in part, to fiber's role in appetite control. Their low rankings on the glycemic index (a system that rates the effect of different carbohydrates on blood sugar levels) may also play a role.A raft of research has also shown that whole grains offer protection against diabetes, heartdisease, stroke, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and gum disease. These benefits are tied to thearray of vitamins, minerals, plant chemicals, and again, fiber that work together to promotehealth. (That's why refined grains, which filter out these nutrients during manufacturing, and addsome back later in the process, don't offer the same advantages.)
It's an anti-aging bonanza: Being active maintains muscle mass, boosts metabolism, and keepsyour heart and lungs primed, among other benefits. Now, a recent study has found that running,in particular, promotes a long, independent life. Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine followed a group of runners and non-runners for 21 years and found that elderlyrunners put off age-related disabilities for
beyond their non-running counterparts.Runners also lived longer: 19 years into the study, only 15 percent of them had died comparedwith 34 percent of the non-runners. And the active ones were less likely to die from heartdisease, stroke, cancer, and neurological conditions. While this study examined running, 30minutes of more moderate aerobic activity, five days a week, will keep you healthy, according torecently released guidelines from the American Heart Association and American College of Sports Medicine. What should also be on your fitness agenda: strength training twice a week tomaintain muscle and keep your metabolism humming.
6. Red Wine and Other Drinks
What other diet recommends red wine? Ours does because the ruby beverage's resveratrol is a potent antioxidant, inflammation damper, and artery protector. Plus, animal research suggeststhat high amounts of resveratrol may counteract cell death in the heart and brain, which couldmean this compound has even greater potential to prolong your life. Limit yourself to one five-ounce glass a day; more could be harmful.