If you want to live a long, comfortable life, you'll want to eat a diet that promotes longevity. In other words, you'd often choose foods full of nutrients that support your body's many functions and lower your risk for chronic diseases, like arthritis, heart disease and Alzheimer's.
But even though we tend to focus on eating a diet that supports longevity, physicians and nutrition experts say there are a few beverage options you may want to sip more often.
Video of the Day
Below, we share six drinks for longevity with health benefits that will support your for years to come.
1. Green Tea
Antioxidants in food and beverages like tea may offer some protection against chronic health conditions, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They neutralize free radicals, which can cause cellular and DNA damage that may lead to chronic inflammation and disease.
Green tea and its compounds, including epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have been studied for their protective effects against health conditions like heart disease and cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Eric Ascher, a family medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital says sipping green tea may support your longevity. "Green tea contains a compound known as EGCG which has been linked to lowering inflammation and cancer prevention thanks to its antioxidant activity," Dr. Ascher says.
"I love drinking herbal teas like chamomile, mint, green, black and hibiscus tea — teas contain antioxidants that are linked to fighting free radicals that lead to oxidative stress and increase your cancer risk," says Patricia Kolesa, RDN.
Drinking too much coffee can have unpleasant side effects, but there are many health benefits of coffee, especially for longevity. Specifically, coffee is full of polyphenols, antioxidants, and other compounds linked to a healthy brain and heart.
Drinking coffee has shown to have an inverse relationship with all-cause mortality, according to September 2022 research in the European Society of Cardiology. In other words, the more coffee a person drank during the study, the lower their risk of dying from any cause.
Drinking up to 3 cups per day may have heart health benefits, according to a May 2022 study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Compared to those that didn't drink coffee, moderate coffee drinking (that's about 3 cups per day) was associated with a lower risk of dying from heart complications.
Dr. Ascher says you should take caution with coffee flavorings and additives. "Be careful with added sugars, creams and flavored syrups if you're drinking coffee."
3. Prune Juice
Gut health is a key player when it comes to living a long healthy life, according to a December 2020 review in Nutrients.
One beverage known for helping you have regular bathroom trips in prune juice, and Amy Gorin, RDN, a plant-based dietitian and partner with Sunsweet says it may also help support your longevity.
"A glass of prune juice gives you a healthy dose of fiber. Fiber is incredibly important for longevity, as it helps you maintain good gut health by improving the consistency and frequency of bowel movements," Gorin says.
Fiber also supports a longer life by reducing your risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes, per the Mayo Clinic.
Gorin recommends drinking prune juice as it is or adding it to a smoothie.
While there are many wonderful elixirs for healthy aging and longevity, we cannot discount the importance of plain water.
"Water helps us remove wastes and toxins from the body through our urine, bowel movements and sweating. It helps nearly all of our organs function properly," Dr. Ascher says. "If you don't like the taste, consider adding in flavors like lemon juice or fresh fruit."
5. Bone Broth
Bone broth has recently grown in popularity, but this centuries-old healing broth is high in electrolytes, protein and other nutrients that support your health.
Getting enough protein is one important way to maintain muscle mass as you age, which can help prevent falls and injuries, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
"A diverse and healthy gut microbiome has been linked to healthy aging and longevity. Bone broth contains collagen, glutamine, gelatin and glycine, all of which may support gut health and healing. I love adding bone broth into soup recipes or sipping on it before bed," says Julie Balsamo, RDN.
6. Beet Juice
"Beet juice is an excellent source of antioxidants and is full of vitamins and minerals that lower your heart disease risk factors," Dr. Ascher says.
Older adults who exercised and drank beet root juice showed improvements in exercise performance and more blood flow to the brain in a way that made them comparable to younger brains, according to a September 2017 study in The Journal of Gerontology Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.
- National Institutes of Health: Green Tea
- Mayo Clinic: Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet
- Harvard Health Publishing: Preserve your muscle mass
- Harvard Health Publishing:A new way to "beet" high blood pressure?
- The Journal of Gerontology Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences: Beet Root Juice: An Ergogenic Aid for Exercise and the Aging Brain
- Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health: Antioxidants