You have no control over how long you’ll live—it’s all genetics, right? Wrong. Turns out, there are a whole bunch of ways to add years to your life (like making these 30 small tweaks to your lifestyle that could help you live to 100.) 

But perhaps one of the easiest ways is changing what you eat. More and more research is showing that diet is a super important indicator of how long you’ll live, and whether or not you develop a number of life-shortening chronic diseases. Lucky for you, it’s also ridiculously easy to change. (Turn time on its head with Prevention’s Younger in 8 Weeks plan—you can lose up to 25 pounds in just 2 months!)

Here are 5 life-lengthening foods to start eating today.

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Good news nut lovers! Your favorite snack could be adding years to your life. Two studies from the Harvard School of Public Health both found that the more often people ate nuts, the lower their risk of dying young. Just make sure not to overdo it—too many nuts can actually be bad for you. The researchers suggest just a handful of nuts of any kind per day. (See what’s healthier: raw nut or roasted nuts?)

whole grain bread
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Whole grains

You already know white bread is pretty much devoid of nutrients, but did you know it’s cheating you out of extra years? Multiple studies have linked whole grain breads, pastas, and other baked goods with greater longevity. According to one study in JAMA Internal Medicine, each additional 1 oz serving of whole grains eaten correlated to a 5% lower overall mortality risk and a 9% lower risk of death from heart problems. So pay attention to your bread’s packaging; it should say 100% whole wheat. 

spicy foods
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Spicy foods

Break out the hot sauce: Research shows that eating spicy foodskeeps you healthy longer. One study of more than 450,000 Chinese men and women showed that those who ate spicy foods 6 or 7 days a week had a 14% lower mortality risk than those who ate spicy food just once or less during a typical week (check out these 25 awesome things you can do with Sriracha sauce).

Want to boost the power of spicy food? Then give up the booze. The researchers also found that the relation between eating spicy food and living longer was stronger in those study participants who did not drink. (Sorry, beer and buffalo wings fans.) 


Here’s a good reason to have sushi tonight—and to order the seaweed salad: More than 1,000 studies have concluded that eating seaweed can suppress inflammation, boost your immune system, and slow the growth of cancer. A review of the studies is published in a report called the Japanese “Longevity” Dietary Constituent, which aims to explain why Japanese life expectancy is one of the highest in the world. 


We’ve always thought of fish as brain food—and for good reason. Research shows that compounds in fish called carotenoids can protect against neurological diseases. (Just make sure to stay away from these 12 fish.) What’s more, the omega-3s in fatty fish like salmon keep your whole body young—a study from Ohio State University found that omega-3 supplementation significantly reduced inflammation, a condition linked to everything from allergies to cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s (you can further fight inflammation by adding these 10 foods to your diet).