Nutrition Basics Foods for Living Longer and Better Eat Your Way to Longevity By Mark Stibich, PhD Mark Stibich, PhD Mark Stibich, Ph.D., FIDSA, is a behavior change expert with experience helping individuals make lasting lifestyle improvements. Learn about our editorial process Updated on August 22, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Fit articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and nutrition and exercise healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Willow Jarosh, MS, RD Medically reviewed by Willow Jarosh, MS, RD Willow Jarosh is a registered dietitian and nutrition coach specializing in intuitive eating. She is the author of Healthy, Happy Pregnancy Cookbook. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print There are a number of factors that contribute to our overall health and wellness. For instance, evidence shows that stress can take a toll on the body, and other factors such as the conditions or circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age can impact health. But there is also evidence that diet can play a role in improving health and longevity. These food and drink options will help your body fight off the damage caused by aging. Just work them into your daily and weekly meal plans and you'll be getting extra vitamins, antioxidants, and other substances that will help your body fight age-related illnesses. While there are several factors that play a role in overall health, you can improve wellness and longevity with a nutritious diet. Foods that provide healthy fats, antioxidants, and plant-based proteins are the best anti-aging resources available to you. 1 Avocados Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Avocados lead this list of anti-aging foods because they are just so delicious. Of course, avocados are loaded with healthy fats to help improve your cholesterol, but the main reason to eat avocados is because they taste so good. 2 Walnuts Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman You probably know you need eat more omega-3s and that fish is a great source of DHA, but possible mercury contamination of fish might get you a bit scared off. That's where walnuts come in. Turns out that walnuts are a great (and mercury-free) source of ALA omega-3 essential fatty acids. Both ALA and DHA omega-3s are essential. Eat a handful or two a day for all your omega-3 needs. Plant Sources of Omega-3s 3 Green Vegetables Johner Images / Getty Images It's pretty boring to talk about the need to eat more vegetables, but here's the thing—we all really need to do it. In fact, if the country could get 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day, we'd see a huge decrease in heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and more. Choose leafy or deeply colored vegetables for the most benefit. 4 Water Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Water is good for you. This seems pretty basic. There is some disagreement in the medical world whether drinking tons of water is really a good idea, but while they sort that out stay focused on water. Work toward making water your primary drink. 5 Berries Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Berries are packed full of antioxidants and other chemicals that your body can use to make repairs and prevent some of the damage caused by aging. Best of all, berries taste really, really good. Nutrition Basics 6 Green Tea Frank Rothe/The Image Bank/Getty Images Green tea has been a longevity supplement in Asia for thousands of years. It is a great thing to work into your daily life. Green tea contains high concentrations of just the chemicals your body needs. Green tea is also inexpensive, delicious and gives a mild (and gentle) energy boost from its caffeine. 7 Red Wine Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Red wine is good for you—it contains a substance called "resveratrol" that help your body fight off age-related illnesses. At the end of your day have a glass or two to relax and unwind. You'll get the benefits of a delicious drink along with the anti-aging properties of resveratrol. 8 Beans Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Beans are a great source of healthy protein and antioxidants. Some researchers (like T. Colin Powell) believe that animal protein may cause many of the illnesses we face as we age. If you don't want to go all the way to vegetarianism, then just start by substituting a few meals a week with bean-based entrees. 9 Melons Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Melons have some of the best nutritional profiles of all the fruits. They are pulpy (so they fill you up) and contain lots of vitamins for your body. Work melons into your daily/weekly diet and you'll be reaping health benefits as you enjoy them. 10 Chocolate Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Chocolate is a delicious indulgence that many of us enjoy. Cocoa—used to make both milk and dark chocolate—is rich in minerals including potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Dark chocolate also provides polyphenols which have been shown to reduce blood pressure by promoting vasodilation and also provides other anti-inflammatory and vasoprotective properties. Nutrition Basics 3 Sources Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Yaribeygi H, Panahi Y, Sahraei H, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI J. 2017;16:1057-1072. Published 2017 Jul 21. doi:10.17179/excli2017-480 Islam MM. Social Determinants of health and related inequalities: Confusion and implications. Front Public Health. 2019;7:11. Published 2019 Feb 8. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2019.00011 Montagna MT, Diella G, Triggiano F, et al. Chocolate, "Food of the Gods": History, Science, and Human Health. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(24):4960. Published 2019 Dec 6. doi:10.3390/ijerph16244960 By Mark Stibich, PhD Mark Stibich, Ph.D., FIDSA, is a behavior change expert with experience helping individuals make lasting lifestyle improvements. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from companies that partner with and compensate Verywell Fit for displaying their offer. These partnerships do not impact our editorial choices or otherwise influence our editorial content.