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How to live longer: The 50p vegetable proven to increase life expectancy

‘How to live longer’ is a question many people want to know the answer to, and preventing serious health conditions can help achieve this. Many serious health conditions can be prevented by eating a healthy diet. Experts recommend eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day, basing meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, having some dairy or dairy alternatives, eating some protein, and choosing unsaturated oils and spreads. These are general rules to follow, but individual foods have also been found to help add years onto a person’s life.

Red peppers could be the secret to long life expectancy

According to medical consultant Dr Sarah Brewer and dietician Juliette Kellow, red peppers could be the secret to long life expectancy.

In their book titled ‘Eat Better Live Longer’ they write: “Peppers boost our intake of health-promoting carotenoids and vitamin C, while chillies have been linked to weight loss and better heart health.”

While all peppers are packed with similar good amounts of vitamin C, red peppers come up trumps, according to the pair.

They explain: “Red peppers contain good levels (double that of green peppers) of the antioxidant beta-carotene and are rich in folate and vitamins A and E.”

So what have peppers shown to be capable of?

Among peppers benefits are protecting against cancer, keeping heart health in check and helping arteries.

When it comes to cancer protecting, the duo cite: “A 2017 study found the risk of lung cancer was 26 per cent lower in adults with the highest intakes of vitamin C compared with the lowest; while for beat-carotene it was 34 per cent lower.

“Men who smoked heavily seemed to benefit most from the carotenoids; while women who smoked seemed to benefit most from vitamin C.”

In terms of heart health, the women say studies reveal capsaicin, the compound present in the flesh and membranes of chillies, has many heart-friendly effects.

They explain: “One of these is that it blocks the action of a gene that makes the arteries constrict. This stops the vessels narrowing, allowing more blood to flow through them.

“It also helps to stop platelets clumping together, a process that’s involved in forming blood clots.

“In addition, capsaicin helps to reduce cholesterol.”

Finally, peppers can prevent narrowing of the arteries.

Dr Brewer and Ms Kellow advise: “Peppers are also very good for the heart as they are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids.

“These nutrients act as powerful antioxidants, helping to mop up free radicals, which can damage called and start the process that leads to atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries.”

Eggs have also been found to increase life expectancy, and experts recommend eating a certain amount to reap the full benefits. 

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