Want To Live A Long, Happy Life? Add These Nutrients, Phytonutrients & Fatty Acids To Your Routine
There's no quick fix when it comes to aging gracefully. No, longevity is the result of numerous factors—including physical activity, emotional and social well-being, and, of course, nutrition.
What longevity researchers looked for
Researchers studied over 5,000 participants from a number of clinical studies conducted in eight different countries and territories to determine which dietary patterns impeded (or sped up) biological aging.
The review successfully identified a number of key nutrients, phytonutrients, nutrition biomarkers, and dietary patterns that promote longevity and cognitive function alike.
In addition to nutrition results, brain health findings prove to be both relevant and expounding, considering cognitive health is not only a major factor in overall longevity but also a pressing health issue of our generation.
How nutrition impacts longevity
So, what did over 5,000 people and their diet outcomes have in common? And how can we optimize our own food and supplementation choices to live a long, healthy life?
It turns out these five key nutrition biomarkers can make a profound impact on health outcomes later in life:
- Consuming branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), calcium, vitamin D, and foods with fewer pro-inflammatory properties is associated with longer telomeres.* (Note: Telomeres are the protective "caps"" on the ends of our DNA, and longer telomeres are associated with positive longevity outcomes.)
- Processed foods, arachidonic acid (ARA), and other pro-inflammatory compounds are associated with shorter telomeres (i.e., they're suboptimal for longevity outcomes).
- When it comes to cognitive function, there are quite a few nutrient biomarkers with protective association with cognition and brain longevity: HDL ("good") cholesterol, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, omega-3s, omega-6s, carotenoids (e.g., like lycopene) all promote a healthy aging brain.*
- On the other hand, trans fats (trans-unsaturated fatty acids that come from meat and processed foods) and increased fibrinogen levels negatively affect cognitive function. Fibrinogen is a soluble protein made in the liver that's associated with higher red meat, carb, and sugar consumption. Because heart and brain health are so closely tied, trans fat and fibrinogen can also lead to undesired heart-health concerns down the road.
- Finally, an epigenetic rejuvenation effect was found in individuals who followed a Mediterranean dietary pattern. This is no surprise to us, as mindbodygreen has been covering the Mediterranean diet's longevity benefits for quite some time. (Read why the diet was ranked best overall in 2022 here.)
"This fascinating and massively important research investigates the critical nexus between nutrition, epigenetics, and longevity. Its findings inform key nutritional strategies and targeted supplements that can positively impact epigenetic rejuvenation and longevity precision nutrition," says Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, mbg's vice president of scientific affairs.
"And I'm not talking about upending your lifestyle," Ferira explains, "but simple changes like a dietary pattern that's more laden in plants and omega-3s (i.e., the Mediterranean diet) along with a comprehensive multivitamin that features an array of carotenoids, plus a daily D3 supplement that's actually effective in raising and maintaining vitamin D sufficiency."*
In addition to tailored diet choices, you can ensure you're getting enough longevity-supporting bioactives by adding supplementation to your daily routine.
mindbodygreen's lineup of premium supplements features key micronutrients, fatty acids, and phytonutrients shown to support a long, healthy life, including:*
- ultimate multivitamin+ features all eight B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, and carotenoids (i.e., lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene), plus 18 other whole-body vitamins, minerals, and longevity botanicals.*
- vitamin C potency+ delivers 1,000 milligrams of bioavailable vitamin C daily in a scientifically advanced trio formula.
- vitamin D3 potency+ offers 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per serving, plus an organic trio of avocado, flaxseed, and olive oils for optimal absorption.*
- omega-3 potency+ delivers 1,500 milligrams of marine omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., EPA plus DHA) from wild-caught, cold-water anchovies sourced sustainably from the South Pacific.
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.