One huge step towards obtaining that goal is to eat more beans!
Many of the longest-living populations in the world are lovers of legumes (more commonly known as beans). The people of Okinawa, Japan, who have the highest percentage of centenarians on earth, eat a diet rich in soybean-based products like tofu.
Campodimele, Italy, a hilltop village south of Rome, has so many centenarians that it’s known in Europe as the “Village of Longevity.” Daily, its citizens enjoy a diet full of beans like lentils, chickpeas, and white beans.
Beans May Be The True Fountain of Youth
Researchers have found that legumes were the most important dietary predictor of survival among the elderly, “regardless of their ethnicity,” they wrote.* For every 20-gram increase in daily legume intake (20 grams is about three-quarters of an ounce), “there is a 7 to 8% reduction in mortality hazard ratio.”
Beans are an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates. They’re very low in fat and virtually sodium-free. Plus, they’re filling.
Bean prep these days has gotten so much easier, thanks to the ready availability of cans of already-cooked beans, and you can find many “no salt added” varieties, which is really wonderful for keeping blood pressure under control. If all you can find is salted varieties, get rid of some of the salt by rinsing the beans through a colander.
Scroll down for great recipes to get you started on your way to eating more beans and living longer: