Increase Your Longevity
by Scott Baptie
Fitness & Sports Nutrition Expert
How can you increase your longevity and lead a more healthy, energetic and active life?
The theme of this article is "longevity" so let's take a look at how increased consumption of fruit and vegetables can provide you with an abundance of vitamins to specifically promote longevity and keep you fit and healthy as you age.
Vitamin A helps encourage bone growth and helps maintain healthy skin and hair. It is found in most fruits but it is especially high in grapefruit, mango, passion fruit and tomatoes. Vitamin A is in many vegetables but especially high in leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and bok choi.
The B vitamins enhance immune function, promote cell growth and support a healthy metabolism to name but a few key functions. Vitamin B rich fruits are avocado, grapes and dates.
Probably the most well known vitamin - Vitamin C - is crucial in protecting the immune system and preventing damage from free radicals. Ensuring you consume plenty of Vitamin C from sources like pineapple, strawberries, oranges and grapefruit will help encourage a healthy immune system which is essential for facilitating longevity. This is especially important at this time of year as we pack away our beach shorts and don our autumn gear.
The sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D isn't found in any fruit but your body produces it naturally when exposed to sunshine. Try and enjoy 15mins of natural sunlight every day. This doesn't have to be semi-naked, shorts and swimming costume sun-bathing, but a mere 15 minutes sitting outside with just your face exposed to the sun will result in Vitamin D production. It isn't found in any fruits but it can be found in mushrooms.
Vitamin E is similar to Vitamin C in that it acts as an antioxidant. One especially beneficial feature of Vitamin E for longevity is that it helps maintain youthful aesthetics in that it can lend a hand in minimising wrinkles in women. Tomatoes, papaya and mangos are great sources of Vitamin E.
Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and it also helps regulate bone calcium levels. It is found predominantly in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and some fruits such as avocado, kiwifruit and grapes.
Research has shown that people who consume lots of fruit and vegetables have a considerably lower risk of chronic disease, such as heart disease and cancers. One of my favourite ways to start the day is with a fruity breakfast smoothie. Just add the following ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth:
300ml water or oat milk
50g raw cut oats
100g frozen berries
Pinch of cinnamon
1 scoop of protein powder
Give it a try and if you like it, tell me about it!
Scott BaptieScott Baptie (MA Hons) is a fitness and sports nutrition advisor and owner of www.FoodForFitness.co.uk. Scott offers nutritional consultations both online and in person from his base in Aberdeen.
Read his biography