Aging is inevitable, but oxidative stress and inflammation are believed to accelerate this process. The foods we eat have a big impact on our longevity, and some herbs and spices can be helpful in contributing to a longer lifespan due to their anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting properties.
- Ginger. This root is an immunity superfood and has also been linked to anti-cancer properties. Enjoy it in a stir fry, as a tea, or, if you’re feeling brave, as a juice shot.
- Turmeric. Another immunity powerhouse, turmeric has the powerful antioxidant compound curcumin. A small double-blind study even linked the spice to improved memory and attention. You can take curcumin as a supplement or enjoy turmeric in your favorite curry.
- Spirulina. Don’t let its vibrant color throw you off, these green cyanobacteria are grown in water and contains iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, and B vitamins. It’s a great way to get more vitamins and plant matter into your diet so enjoy it as a capsule or in powdered form in your smoothies.
- Chili peppers. We recently shared how chili peppers can lower your risk of heart disease. Their spicy component, capsaicin, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re a spice lover, you’re in luck. Enjoy it in any and all dishes that need a bit of a kick.
- Ginseng. Often associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine, ginseng is the oldest medicinal herb and helps boost the body’s resistance to stressors. It has been linked to immunomodulatory and anti-cancer effects, but doctors recommend taking it every day to reap the benefits and it can interact with some medicines, so check with your physician before adding it to your diet.
- Wild blueberries. The sweet outlier on our list, wild blueberries help clean up free radicals and are high in gut-boosting fiber and antioxidants. They generally have thicker skin than grocery store varieties, but they are so delicious it’s easy to add them to your smoothies, yogurt, cereal, or even eat them plain!
A whole host of factors, including diet, lifestyle, and genetics, determine one’s longevity, but the natural powers of these herbs and spices make them a great compliment to a healthy and active lifestyle for boosting your lifespan.