There are numerous aspects to longevity of life that studies have shown help keep you living longer. In fact, one study, conducted by Harvard University over a 75 year period concluded that one of the most important aspects of a long life is the quality of relationships that we have. In short, if we have and feel love, our ability to deal with stresses and the way we deal with negative events, can be better managed, thus putting less strain on our bodies and our minds over time.

This rather lovely study got us thinking about health as a whole and how looking after our entire being could have benefits for the future, so we looked around for some inspiration in the shape of healthy foods and what they might be able to do to your heart, your mind and your body.

The Heart

“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”

Charles Dickens

Hard to say if this is fact but how about loving our hearts with some decent nutrition?

The heart is a vital organ and without it we would not be alive. Therefore, eating foods that may be beneficial to the heart is worth considering. There are numerous studies every year regarding foods that have positive and negative effects. However, there are some foods which do seem to have some benefits.

For example, potatoes that are not fried are rich in potassium, which has been linked to lowering of blood pressure. They are also high in fibre, which some studies have shown can reduce the risk for heart disease.

Tomatoes have also had various claims made about them in relation to the heart and could be a good source of something called lycopene. A Cambridge study a few years ago did a very small sample test with subjects who had cardiovascular disease and an amount of subjects that did not. What they discovered was that of those who had cardiovascular issues who had taken a lycopene supplement each day found that their blood vessels widened to a certain extent. While not conclusive it has lead to further studies in the field.

What we can say is that many studies have shown the heart health benefits of a diet high in fruit and vegetables & supplemented with a daily dose of Cod Liver Oil. Cod Liver Oil provides a source of EPA & DHA which contribute to heart function.

The Body

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Jim Rohn

A wise quote for sure and seeing as we do have to live in our bodies, it seems sensible to ensure we look after them as best we can.

There are a wealth of vegetables and foods that can assist in all aspects of bodily functions and health.

For example, the NHS notes Thiamine (vitamin B1) being helpful in keeping the nervous system healthy and it helps us to release energy from food. But where can you find it?

Luckily it’s found in an abundance of foods including peas, fresh and dried fruit, eggs, wholegrain breads and liver. So it seems a varied and balanced diet with some straight-forward foods is going to make a difference. Obviously, with the speed at which we all run around each day it can be useful to look for supplements like a Vitamin B Complex, which contains thiamine.

The Mind

“A healthy body, within a healthy mind.”

Alexia Penteleon de aRcturi

So now we take a look at the mind and what foods are going to help you maintain better mind health.

It was Steven Pratt, MD who said that Blueberries are ‘Brainberries’ and considered a superfood and many studies have suggested the same. In fact, many berries are considered good for the mind including Raspberries and Strawberries.

Wild Salmon is also a food that many studies have highlighted to be good for the brain. It is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can help with brain function, so if you are looking to improve your mental agility it’s a good food to opt for.

For vitamin E, you can also look at eating nuts and seeds which have been linked to less cognitive decline over time in some studies.

Finally, avocados! Yes it’s a fatty fruit but it’s monounsaturated fat, which can contribute to healthier blood flow, lowering blood pressure which in turn can help to maintain stress levels.

Supplements for those who don’t get time to get the nutrition they need, can opt for fish oil capsules. These are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acid DHA which aids brain function.

Take a look at our healthy food chart for more inspiring food ideas and how they can help you maintain better levels of health for your heart, mind and body!