Sweet potatoes shouldn’t be relegated to Thanksgiving-side-dish status; they deserve a starring role in meals thanks to their life-lengthening properties, according to Kansas State University researchers. They reported that the colorful tubers (the eye-popping purple variety in particular) contain high levels of anthocyanin, a compound found to reduce cancer risk and increase life span. But don’t even think about topping sweet potatoes with gooey marshmallows—sugar is one food known to shorten your life. Try this absolute best anti-aging workout.
Wine and chocolate
Next Valentine’s Day, you can feel doubly good about surprising your honey with his or her favorite treats. Good chocolate and fine wine are two of life’s greatest pleasures, and now scientists are saying that these indulgences can actually help that life last longer. (Nothing says “I love you” like helping your partner live longer!) The pair are a great source of resveratrol, a powerful compound found to reverse signs of cellular aging, according to a paper published in Cell Metabolism.
To get the full benefits of these anti-aging foods, be sure to pick red wine and dark chocolate. The main ingredient in dark chocolate—cocoa, or cacao—is loaded with flavonoids, which contain powerful antioxidant properties. “Studies show that cocoa can decrease inflammation, protect the skin against oxidative damage, and improve cognitive function,” says Josh Axe, DNM, CNS, DC, founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com. “To maximize the beneficial effects of dark chocolate, however, it’s important to opt for a variety with a high percentage of cacao and keep your intake in moderation.” This, he explains, ensures that you’re taking full advantage of the anti-aging benefits without going overboard on the extra calories and added sugar.
From sending athletes to the Olympics to sending Persephone to hell, throughout time pomegranates have been accorded some extraordinary powers. But is all the hype true? The tart, red seeds may indeed hold the secret to, if not immortality, at least to a longer life, according to a Swiss study. Scientists say they have discovered that urolithin A, a molecule found in pomegranates, is transformed by microbes in the gut to enable muscle cells to protect themselves against one of the major causes of aging. At best, they’re one of the tastiest ways to boost longevity; at worst, they probably won’t send you to hell.