Superfoods for longevity

Superfoods for longevity
“It is not enough to predict disease to heal it; we must teach health to preserve it” Hippocrates

Although this sentence was quite innovative and surprising if we consider Hippocrates’s time, we can say that his message is still valid today.

Progress and evolution in the medical field as well as scientific communication in recent years has been somewhat scarce. This means that, despite the increase in the average age and quality of life, we are still struggling with poor education, with the aggravating fact that food arriving on our tables is much more processed, adulterated, and qualitatively lower than in the past.  

The myth of “eternal youth” has always fascinated and still entrances entire generations. It has been a source of inspiration for stories and legends while today is somewhat the new frontier for medicine which, thanks to its progress, has been enthusiastic in improving the expectation but also quality of life.

But talking of longevity is impossible without talking about physical activity, nutrition, and lifestyle. Although education should start in childhood, surely we cannot fail to consider the acquisition of an active lifestyle and proper nutrition important at any age, especially if we are over forty.  

Although conventional medicine has done a lot to extend human lifespan, it is also true that, especially in industrialized countries, this increase does not always correspond to a better quality of life.

A forced prolongation of life in intensive care or with permanent disabilities is certainly not what we aspire to when we are asked to picture ourselves in our old age.

So let’s try to do everything possible to limit the damage of those diseases known to be linked to a wrong lifestyle such as metabolic syndrome - real epidemic in our century - and closely related to other diseases such as obesity, circulatory problems, diabetes, etc.  

Primary prevention is active prevention, and focuses on avoiding chronic degenerative diseases, improving our health and efficiency.

A proper nutrition, nutritional supplements - in a nutshell, nutraceuticals - combined with proper exercise, stress management, and hormonal balance.

Taking into account that the main aspects of aging are connected to loss of muscle, bone, and cartilage mass, progressive dehydration, loss of elasticity, decrease in respiratory capacity and gastrointestinal tract, the reduction of some hormones, skin aging and an increase in body fat, what we can and must do is to improve the environment in which we live and do a lot to change our lifestyle. Even starting from small things will get us results that are immediately visible.

Preventing and dealing with health issues through nutraceuticals allows us to reverse the course of some imbalances and age-related diseases.

A few tips for wellbeing and longevity:

  • Pay attention to the food you choose. (Smoking, alcohol, drugs, stress, environmental and electromagnetic pollution constantly put our balance at risk, contributing to oxidative stress and accumulating toxins)
  • Beware of synthetic food additives, cosmetics, household cleaning products. Many of these substances are toxic and they accumulate in the tissues of the endocrine glands, compromising their functionality in the long run. They are endocrine disruptors.
  • Choose organic, unrefined, and unprocessed foods. Beware of the interference of mycotoxins contained in some moulds.
  • Beware of water contained in plastic bottles and in food containers. Check that there is no bisphenol, which is also an endocrine disruptor (especially if the plastic comes into contact with heat sources)
  • Beware of triclosan and parabens: the triclosan contained in some detergents, deodorants and toothpastes is a thyroid alterator as well as a potential carcinogenic compound.
  • Beware of insulin and prefer complex carbohydrates that have a lower glycemic index.
  • Sleep at least 8 hours a night.
  • Avoid sugary and carbonated drinks.
  • Eat alkalizing foods (such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, which contain magnesium, potassium, and calcium)
  • Learn to dine with just a single dish so as to control the quantity and vary the nutrients (for example, add seeds and nuts to grain cereals, salads, and pasta: the glycemic index will decrease, and you will add fibre, proteins, and unsaturated fatty acids)
  • Exercise in the first part of the day (in the evening the production of hormones stimulated by training could disturb sleep)
  • Do not exceed consumption of animal protein especially in the evening to avoid digestion issues and a decrease in serotonin production.
  • Do not consume alcohol before going to bed. Avoid spirits.
  • Do not consume stimulants in the evening (such as coffee, tea, nicotine).
  • Practice slow and deep breathing.
  • Stretch at least 15 minutes per day.
  • Spend at least 30 minutes per day reading or doing mnemonic activities
  • Spend at least 30 minutes per day outdoors.

Some longevity-promoting foods to keep in your pantry


All berries (blackberry, Goji, Mulberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Currant, etc.) belong to this category. They are high in fibre, potassium, manganese, vitamin A, C, E and folic acid, helping to keep blood homocysteine levels low. Furthermore, the presence of polyphenols helps in modulating the protein synthesis of nerve cells. 


Nuts, also called oily fruit, are characterized by a high index of “good” unsaturated fats. The synergy between polyunsaturated fats is useful in reducing the levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Nuts also contain an important amino acid - arginine - which contributes to the health of the arteries by keeping them flexible. Moreover, the presence of vitamin E in synergy with omega 3 fats and arginine helps to counteract atherosclerotic plaques thanks to its antioxidant power.

Extra virgin olive oil

Thanks to the nutraceutical value of oleoeuropein, oleocanthal, and vitamin E, oil has an antioxidant effect, decreases LDL cholesterol levels, and has both immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. Consumption of olive oil keeps the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines low.


Using cocoa protects from cardiovascular diseases and the ingredient is mildly anti-hypertensive. Among its components are flavonoids that improve sensitivity to insulin, to the reduction of LDL cholesterol and to the increase in HDL cholesterol, and to the reduction of platelet aggregation. Consuming cocoa improves memory.

Green Tea

Highly antioxidant, the main components of green tea belong to the catechin family, which play an excellent role in protecting against cancer as well as against cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and inflammatory diseases. Functional foods on which interesting scientific studies are being carried out and which are already being applied in today’s nutraceuticals.

  • Oil seeds
  • Spirulina
  • Hemp
  • Moringa
  • Guava
  • Avocado
  • Acai
  • Reishi mushroom

The most important thing is, therefore, to improve one’s quality of life and to actively prevent illnesses by remembering that we all eat at least three times a day and that... “we are what we eat”.


Paola Di Giambattista for

Naturopath, Nutritional Cooking Consultant

Our nuts

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