Doctor and longevity expert Dr. Mark Hyman swears by these five foods to age well, live longer and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
The 63-year-old with more than 286,000 TikTok followers says he is biologically 20 years younger due to his daily routine and eating habits. His recent bestseller Young Forever: The Secrets to Living Your Longest, Healthiest Life promote the idea that people have some control over the rate at which they age and thus the quality of their later years.
Exercise, diet, stress management and socialization are all associated with healthy aging and reducing the risk of chronic conditions that lead to early death, although heredity undoubtedly still plays a role.
Here are the five foods Hyman eats every day to “maintain my health and make sure I live a long and healthy life,” he says in a recent TikTok.
Basically, these foods “are medicine,” says the aging expert.
Cruciferous vegetables — broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage — are rich in phytonutrients that are crucial for reducing inflammation and cancer risk. They also contain magnesium, folic acid and fiber to aid in digestion.
“All that stuff contains compounds that activate the cellular detoxification pathways that optimize your mineral status,” Hyman says in the TikTok.
Hyman eats a cup or two of these vegetables every day.
The cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet is cooking with olive oil, and Hyman says he prioritizes extra virgin olive oil every day. The healthy fat contains antioxidants touted to reduce the risk of chronic health conditions and heart disease.
Olive oil can also fight oxidative stress, which impairs brain health and can cause neurodegenerative diseases.
“Good fats are good for you,” says Hyman. “You have to make sure you’re getting lots of good fats, and olive oil is a great way to do that.”
Nuts, including cashews, almonds, and walnuts, have been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes, improving health and longevity, says Hyman. They are rich in fiber, which helps people feel fuller and stay energized for longer.
Dan Buettner, the founder of Blue Zones LLC, also discovered nuts as a key to longevity in his research that focused on the diets of those who live the longest — and says to eat a handful daily.
Berries contain a host of antioxidants and phytochemicals, which can “activate longevity pathways,” says Hyman. They can also keep the gut healthy, fight inflammation and thereby reduce the risk of heart disease and other life-threatening chronic conditions.
Try a handful of blueberries or blackberries in a morning smoothie or as a snack.
While tea isn’t technically a food, it’s still an important part of Hyman’s day. In addition to the calming sensation of a warm cup of tea, the drink can reduce oxidative stress. Green tea contains catechins, antioxidants that may protect the brain from disease and help people age healthily.
While in Icaria, Greece, one of the world’s Blue Zones, Hyman saw the community regularly indulge in wild sage tea, he adds.
This story was originally on Fortune.com
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