By Olivia Giacomo
Incorporating nutrient-dense foods into the diet remains an effective method to support both lifespan and healthspan. So when we got the chance to speak with longevity expert and Harvard geneticist David Sinclair, Ph.D., on the mindbodygreen podcast, we were eager to jot down his favorite picks. Below, find the six items at the top of his longevity-minded grocery list:
Experts love this fruit for its healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber content, which help keep you full. Avocados are full of other nutrients like minerals, protein, soluble fiber, phytosterols, polyphenols, carotenoids, omega-3s, and vitamins B-complex, C, E, and K. These benefits work together to support brain, eye, and heart health by balancing cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Another source of healthy fats is high-quality olive oil. Olive oil contains high amounts of antioxidants, phytosterols, and vitamins and has been shown to support skin and brain health, as well as optimize cholesterol levels and blood pressure. A recent study found a correlation between olive oil intake and increased longevity.
This cruciferous vegetable is a great source of vitamins A, C, K, and folate among others; minerals, including potassium; and fiber to keep you feeling satisfied. Brussels sprouts can even support cell and immune health due to antioxidants like kaempferol and quercetin, respectively.
As a fruit, that’s the most nutritious you can get. Its orange color comes from the carotenoid beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A provides a host of benefits, including immune, eye, skin, and reproductive health.
Antioxidants found in blueberries promote healthy skin aging and collagen production, which is also aided by their vitamin C content. They’re also a good source of fiber, which helps maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Blueberries are chock-full of anthocyanins – that’s what gives them their blue-purple pigment, which plays an important role in brain and overall health, and research has even associated a link between anthocyanins and healthy aging.
Nuts, specifically cashews and Brazil nuts, contain protein contents – cashews boast 5.1 grams per ounce, while Brazil nuts contain 4 grams per ounce. In addition to protein, cashews provide copper and magnesium, while Brazil nuts are a top source of selenium but make sure you stick to one to three to avoid consuming too much of the mineral.