If you're looking for the fountain of youth, start in your kitchen. Diet is one of the most important parts of living a long, healthy life. In researching the Blue Zones -- or those few parts of the world where people seem to "forget to die" -- we've seen the link between healthy eating and longevity. A healthy diet helps maintain weight, which in turn can stave off a number of diseases, while also providing the body with the fuel to function optimally.
Here are five recipes which may just help you live as long as possible.
1. Bean and tomato casserole
This flavorful and simple recipe is perfect for vegetarians as it's chock full of fresh vegetables straight from the garden. Chef Donal Skehan traveled to Ikaria, Greece, one of the world's longevity zones, and learned this recipe from a local. Ikarians most follow a Mediterranean Diet, which emphasizes fruit and vegetables and which has been touted for its heart-health benefits.
2. Turmeric tea
Neurosurgeon and TV personality, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, says this creamy concoction is his nighttime tipple of choice. The most important ingredient is turmeric. Turmeric is a bright-yellow spice that's commonly used in many Asian dishes. It contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to fight a number of diseases, including diabetes, Alzheimer's and even cancer. Turmeric also fights inflammation, which is linked to many age-related diseases.
3. Anti-inflammatory ginger tea
Ginger, like turmeric, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It's a powerful way to fight age-related conditions like arthritis, and some studies have even shown it can fight inflammation much like an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory painkiller! It's often used in cooking, but for a more potent dose, you can make yourself some of this flavorful ginger tea with a kick. You can add a bit of honey to sweeten.
4. Minestrone soup
The author of "The Blue Zones Solution," Dan Buettner, says minestrone soup is popular in Sardinia, Italy where people live exceptionally long lives. They have a diet rich with beans, grains and herbs. This minestrone recipe, from a Sardinian family, is full of beans, fiber, lots of flavorful herbs and vegetables from the garden, and a bit of pasta to keep things filling.
5. Morning detox tea
This cleansing tea recipe combines the detox powers of lemon, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Lemon water has been said to aid in digestion and a little kick from the cayenne doesn't hurt either. Studies have shown a link between spicy foods and longevity, with one noting that spices can fight inflammation and give your metabolism a boost. Nutritionist Kim Snyder claims this recipe helps keep wrinkles at bay too, as an added bonus.
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