Can Healthy Eating Affect How Long You Live? Can you add 14 years to your life expectancy by choosing to eat a nutritious diet?

A 2008 study in the “Public Library of Science Medicine” revealed that the foods you eat on a regular basis play a role in not only helping your body to function, but also in promoting longevity by preventing disease. Your risk for health problems declines when you fill your plate with nutritious foods.

In January 2008, the “Public Library of Science Medicine” published a study revealing that people had a greater life expectancy who:

  • ate five servings of fruits and vegetables (based on blood levels of vitamin C)
  • drank moderately (between one and 14 alcoholic drinks per week)
  • did not smoke
  • did regular physical activity for at least half an hour.

The study followed 20,200 men and women between the ages of 45 and 79, monitoring their lifestyle from 1993 to 1997. Then when the 11-year study began, participants reported their health history, drinking, smoking and physical activity. They also got their height, weight and blood level of vitamin C checked.

The researchers used blood levels of vitamin C as sign of which people ate five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamin C.

During the study, nearly 2,000 participants died. The death rate was four times lower for people with the following four health habits compared to those without any of those health habits:

Having all four of those health habits “was equivalent to being 14 years younger,” writes the University of Cambridge’s Kay-Tee Khaw, PhD and colleagues.

And having one, two, or three of those healthy behaviors was better than nothing.

Social class didn’t explain the results. But keep in mind that doctors don’t advise teetotalers to start drinking, and that it’s wise to get a doctor’s approval before starting a new fitness program, especially if you’ve been inactive for a while.

 

Ref: Study completed by Dr. Kay-Tee Khaw of Cambridge’s Institute of Public Health,