Eating your way to a long and healthy life

April 25, 2019

We’ve all heard the expression “you are what you eat, eat well.” So if the goal of retirement is for it to be a long and happy one, what eating tips are out there that may help us to better health?

Save with SPP had a look around the Internet to seek answers to this question.

At the Very Well Health blog, the top category on the list is “cruciferous vegetables,” which includes broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale or cabbage. These help “activate the body’s natural detoxification system and inhibit the growth of cancerous cells,” the blog advises. They work best if chewed thoroughly, or are “shredded, chopped, juiced or blended,” the blog says.

Other top foods on their list are salad greens (low calorie, so great for weight control) and nuts, “a low-glycemic food” which is good for “an anti-diabetes diet.”

At the Everyday Health blog, salmon is the catch of the day for longevity. “Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats, lower triglyceride levels, slow the growth of artery-clogging fat deposits, and reduce blood pressure,” the blog notes. Other top foods on their list include blueberries, a natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, and yoghurt, “a great source of probiotics,” the blog reports.

An article on the Web MD blog called Aging Well: Eating Right for Longevity cites olive oil as being “rich in heart-healthy monosaturated fats” while being free of risky trans fats found in margarine and other processed foods. Beans, or legumes, are also recommended. Legumes “are packed with complex carbohydrates and fibre to ensure steadier blood glucose and insulin levels, and they provide a cholesterol-free source of protein,” the article notes. Whole grains are also praised for their “age-defying vitamin E, fibre, and B vitamins,” the article reports.

Finally, Prevention magazine recommends eggs (for lowering stroke risk), sweet potatoes (a staple in the diets of the countries with the most people living longer than 100), and fermented foods, like pickles or sauerkraut. This type of food “supplies good bacteria for maintaining a healthy gut.”

Probably most of us eat some of these things some of the time; a healthier approach might be to eat more of them more of the time. As is the case with retirement savings, it’s probably best to start small and gradually increase your efforts over time.

Buying fresh foods and vegetables will require a little moolah, particularly once you have retired, so a good tool to help build retirement income is the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. Even if you become a sweet-potato-loving centarian, your SPP annuity payments will continue to arrive every month for as long as you live.

Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock. He and his wife live with their Shelties, Duncan and Phoebe, and cat, Toobins. You can follow him on Twitter – his handle is @AveryKerr22
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