The power to live longer is in your hands. Although one-third of longevity is based on your genes, the other two-thirds is dependent on your lifestyle – which means making smart, healthy choices matters. Make these five changes to your everyday habits and eat the best foods to nourish your vital organs.
Dr. Oz designed his longevity prescription based on the latest medical studies on the three biggest killers of women: heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Staving off these deadly diseases is the key to living longer. Discover how with the steps below:
1. Only Eat Meat on Weekends
Research has linked plant-based diets to disease prevention. Red meat has been connected to increased risk of heart disease and cancer. A new Harvard study that found people who ate less red meat lowered their risk of early death by nearly 20%! Additionally, research has found that vegetarians live longer than their meat-eating counterparts. This is likely because a diet that foregoes meat in lieu of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains generally contains less calories and lower levels of fat and cholesterol.
You don’t have to give up burgers for life to fight disease. In fact, limiting your meat consumption to the weekend can help you reap similar benefits as documented in the Harvard study. Focus your meals around vegetarian options like breakfast burritos, veggie chili, veggie burgers or veggie lasagnas. Then indulge on the weekends by enjoying a steak or a lean hamburger.
Try these Oz-approved vegetarian recipes:
- Vegetarian Breakfast (or Anytime) Burritos
- Fat-Melting Vegetarian Chili
- Mexican Vegetable Lasagna
- Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Sweet Potato Topping
2. Drink 1 Glass of Light Beer Daily
Beer lovers, rejoice! A new study from Italy shows that a little beer each day can lower overall risk to your heart by 33% – the same amount as wine! Additionally, the beer’s vitamin B6 could contribute to heart benefits. Beer consumption has also been linked to increased bone density. Be sure to limit your intake to one 12-ounce glass a day to get the most benefits.
3. Take 2 Low-Dose Aspirin a Day
Aspirin has been long recognized for preventing heart attacks, but new research has found this pill offers additional benefits. A brand new study from the American Cancer Society showed that taking aspirin could help prevent the risk of dying of certain cancers by a whopping 40%! The pill can actually help prevent healthy cells from turning into cancer. Learn more about the health benefits of a daily dose of aspirin.
4. Move for 15 Minutes Before 7 a.m.
Exercise is critical to any healthy lifestyle; one study found that just 15 minutes of exercise a day could add 3 years to your life expectancy. New research from Appalachian State University showed that people who exercised first thing in the morning were able to get a better night’s sleep. Sleeping six hours or less a night makes you 12% more likely to die prematurely. Try to get your workout in first thing in the morning; it could be walking or any kind of any physical activity – the important thing is to get your body moving!
5. Stand at Least 5 Minutes Every Hour
A ground-breaking study from Kansas State University found that people who sat for more than four hours a day are at higher risk for chronic disease like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. To reduce your risk, stand 5 minutes every hour.
Foods for Life
The second component of Dr. Oz’s Longevity Prescription is food. Eating the right foods can extend the life of your vital organs. See the best things to eat for your body’s longevity below.
For Your Heart: Eat 4 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste a Day
Longevity begins in the heart. If the organ isn’t working properly, your other organs have to work harder to compensate. Support this organ by eating tomato paste, which is full the lycopene – a powerful antioxidant that keeps arteries open and flexible to help to keep blood vessels disease-free. Tomato paste has more lycopene than fresh tomatoes from the heating and canning process. Tomato paste has also been shown to help lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Try tomato paste as your new ketchup. It has a similar taste but less sodium and sugar. Dr. Oz recommends 4 tablespoons daily. Look for brands that are labeled “no salt added.”
For Your Kidneys: 1200mg of Calcium Per Day
The kidneys are your body’s waste management system. To help keep them in optimal health, Dr. Oz prescribes getting 1200mg a day of calcium, which can help prevent kidney stones. Get calcium from your diet; dairy products like yogurt or low-fat milk along with leafy greens like kale and spinach are great sources. Learn more about the benefits of calcium.
For Your Lungs: 1 Cup of Frozen Pomegranate Seeds a Day
Your lungs are responsible for 20,000 breaths a day. Their function peaks in your 20s and then slowly declines as you age. By age 70, you’ve lost 50% of your lung function. The good news is that you can protect your lungs by eating pomegranate. In animal studies, the fruit has been shown to slow the growth of lung cancer and reduce lung inflammation. Dr. Oz recommends 1 cup of frozen pomegranate seeds a day.
For Your Liver: Eat 2 Avocados a Week
Your liver handles over 500 functions at once. Its most important role is detoxifying your body and blood. The good news is your liver can grow itself more than any other organ. Avocados contain the ingredient glutathione, which protects you from damage caused by toxins. Serve yourself avocados twice a week.