How to live longer: Five foods to reduce diabetes risk boosting immunity and longevity

How to live longer: Five foods to reduce diabetes risk boosting immunity and longevity


Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer

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The inner workings of a person’s body can be a scientific matter and as such most give it little thought. By being more aware, however, of how your body works and what foods impact this system positively it will help you to have a stronger immunity, reduction in diseases and a longer and healthier life.

Growing research suggests gut microbes are involved not only in all aspects of body function, but also in healthy ageing.

An imbalance of unhealthy and healthy microbes in the intestines may contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and other disorders.

New findings show that the gut microbiome could help restore aging-related immune and cognitive impairments.

Having a healthy microbiome is known to do wonders to a person’s overall health and longevity.

Millions of bacteria which call our bodies home is known to impact a person’s immune system and reduce the risk of age-related diseases.

Imbalances in gut bacteria, however, have been linked to an array of problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and even mood disorders.

Eating a balanced diet rich in fibre and foods that naturally contain probiotics and prebiotics, such as fermented vegetables, yoghurts with live cultures, legumes, bananas and flax, should provide your gut with the nutrition it needs impacting your lifespan.

In a study published in the National Institute of Ageing, unique gut microbiome patterns and its link to healthy ageing and increased longevity was investigated.

In the study researchers analysed gut microbiome genetic sequences and a wealth of other health and survival outcomes data from more than 9,000 people between the ages of 18 and 101.

They paid particular attention to a longitudinal study of a community of over 900 older adults to get a clearer picture of the makeup of the mature GI microbiome.

“Throughout the human lifespan, gut microbiome follows some predictable patterns, with rapid change from infancy to age three, stability up until middle age, and then accelerated change starting in late adulthood,” noted the study.

It added: “People whose gut microbiomes had grown more unique with age were able to walk faster and had better overall mobility than peers who showed less gastrointestinal microbe changes with age.

“Plus, those with less diverse gut environments used more medications and were nearly twice as likely to die during the study period.”

The investigators found that older adults who had a more unique pattern of changes to their GI microbe profile also tended to be healthier and live longer than peers with less microbiome divergence.

The healthier participants’ blood tests showed lower levels of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of vitamin D, but also more beneficial blood metabolites produced by gut microbes. 

Researchers also found that modern diets rich in salty, sugary, or fatty processed foods may damage the ageing gut, while higher fibre nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, beans, and nuts could be combined with exercise to help protect a healthy gut microbiome balance as we age.

The microbiome community is a complex ecosystem whose activity regulates a number of functions in the gut and interacts with the immune system and energy metabolism.

The beneficial bacteria in our gut also help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, protect us from invasive microorganisms, and help to maintain the integrity of the intestinal barrier.

Your biome actively helps your body to fight viruses and infections.

A healthy gut biome is more effective at keeping your body immune from outside infections which in turn boosts your longevity.

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