2. Four Beverages That Promote Longevity
Basic of basics: drink plenty of pure water. I believe the single most powerful intervention you can make for your health would be to stop drinking sodas and juices, and replace them with pure water.
Staying well-hydrated can also counteract many common ills, from minimizing wrinkles to reducing your risk for blood clots. Severe dehydration has even been shown to reduce your cognitive function and performance to a similar degree as alcohol, making you more prone to car accidents and other mishaps.
Certain types of tea and coffee can also have health-promoting benefits. Green tea, for example, has been shown to lower your risk of heart disease and cancer3 when consumed at least three times a week.
Drinking four to five cups of green tea daily has also been shown to promote weight loss. Participants who drank this amount of green tea for four months lost an average of two pounds more than those who didn’t drink green tea.
Coffee — while it could do more harm than good if consumed in excess or with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, milk, or creamers — also has an impressive list of redeeming qualities, including longevity.4
Research suggests coffee can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke, and certain cancers. It also helps increase the metabolic activity and/or numbers of beneficial Bifidobacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.
The caveat here is to make sure your coffee is organic, as conventional coffee tends to be heavily sprayed with pesticides. Ideally use whole-bean black coffee — the darker the roast, the better. Roasted coffees are higher in neuroprotective agents than green (unroasted) coffees.
One study5 found that dark roast coffee restored blood levels of the antioxidants vitamin E and glutathione more effectively than light roast coffee. The dark roast also led to a significant body weight reduction in pre-obese volunteers, whereas the lighter roast did not.
Another beverage that can do harm or good depending on the quantity and quality is red wine, which has been linked to health benefits such as reduced blood pressure, cancer prevention, and anti-aging.
Resveratrol is the primary ingredient in red wine that gives it its health promoting qualities, and in my view, there are healthier sources for this potent free radical scavenger than wine, considering all alcoholic beverages also have a neurotoxic influence.
Whole foods, such as muscadine grapes, for example, are a better choice. Muscadine grapes have the highest concentration of resveratrol in nature because of their extra thick skins and numerous seeds where it is concentrated.
Recent research6 shows that resveratrol, taken in concentrated doses, may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. According to these findings, resveratrol appears to reduce the buildup of amyloid-beta in the brain by shuttling the protein to other areas in the body.