Eating These Things Could Extend Your Life and Brain Power

posted: 08/06/15
by: Courtney Reimer
A bottle of hot sauce on it's side spilling onto a white background.

Mama always said eat your fruits and vegetables, so it's no surprise to hear a fruit leads to a better life -- but there's one more thing moms might want to add to their (and their family's) diets. (Though it's probably not good news for fans of a bland diet.)

Turns out eating spicy food -- and eating it often -- could help you live longer. A pretty extensive study of nearly half a million people showed that twice-weekly consumption of foods like chili peppers lead to a 10 percent decrease in risk for death. Eating that spicy food on a near-daily basis decreased risk of death by 14 percent. Rates for certain kinds of heart disease, cancers and respiratory disease were much lower in spicy food eaters.

And if you want to improve your brain function in those later years, have a side of blueberries with your hot sauce. A new study finds that following something called the MIND diet -- which is heavy on fruits like blueberries -- will slow cognitive decline by 7.5 percent. The diet involves:

  • At least three servings of whole grains, a green leafy vegetable and one other vegetable every day
  • A glass of wine every day or so
  • Snacking most days on nuts
  • Beans every other day or so
  • Poultry and berries at least twice a week
  • Fish at least once a week

So hey, while you're stocking up on hot sauce and berries, might as well swing by the wine store on the way home.