A doctor who claims his body is biologically 20 years younger than his actual age has opened up about the five foods he eats every day to promote longevity.
Dr. Mark Hyman, 63, of Massachusetts, is a functional medicine expert and the best-selling author of “Young Forever: The Secrets to Living Your Longest, Healthiest Life.”
The medical expert – head of Strategy and Innovation at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine – has more than 286,000 followers on TikTok, where he shares his tips for living longer, healthier lives. In a recent video, he revealed the foods he recommends eating daily for optimal health.
“These things are medicines,” he said.
The first food that Dr. Hyman recommended were cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.
“All that stuff contains compounds that activate cellular detoxification pathways and optimize your mineral status,” he said.
Cruciferous vegetables are typically rich in vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamin K, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Dr. Hyman noted that folic acid is important for methylation, an important biochemical process.
He explained on his website that methylation helps repair DNA on a daily basis, recycle molecules needed for detoxification, maintain mood and control inflammation.
It also helps control homocysteine, which can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of blood clots if it is too high.
“So it’s important to eat at least a cup or two of these types of vegetables every day,” the longevity expert said in his video.
Dr. Hyman shared that olive is one of his favorite sources of good fat, saying it “has been shown to contain all sorts of anti-inflammatory compounds.”
He cited research that has shown that freshly pressed, extra virgin olive oil acts as a natural anti-inflammatory in a way similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Olive oil is also rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and contains high amounts of antioxidants. Dr. Hyman pointed out that “it tastes good, too.”
“Good fats are good for you,” he said. “You have to make sure you’re getting lots of good fats, and olive oil is a great way to do that.”
“It should be your base fat.”
Dr. Hyman went on to wax poetic about nuts, saying they are “so important.”
They are full of minerals, fat, protein, [and] fiber,” he said. They are one of nature’s superfoods.’
The expert explained that nuts have been shown to increase life expectancy and health span and reduce diabetes.
Dr. Hyman recommends eating nuts and seeds, including almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds.
Dr. Hyman’s five go-to foods for longevity
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Olive oil
- Green tea
Dr. Hyman is also a fan of berries, which are a “great source of antioxidants” and “phytochemicals” (compounds produced by plants).
“These phytochemicals activate life pathways that we all need to activate our healing systems, which is the whole key to staying young forever,” he said.
On his website, he recommends eating cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries for these health benefits.
“These are packed with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are believed to protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots,” he wrote.
‘They can also slow down the aging of cells in the body. There are indications that they can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.’
Speaking to Insider last month, the doctor said he likes to start his mornings with a smoothie packed with antioxidants.
His favorite recipe includes berries, collagen, almond butter or nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and zucchini.
“This kind of smoothie makes you feel good all morning,” he said.
The fifth thing Dr. Hyman consumes daily is green tea, though he admitted it’s not technically a food.
“It has all those phytochemicals in it [and] catechins, which have been shown to activate longevity switches and pathways in our bodies that keep us young [and] keep us healthy,” he explained.
Studies have shown that the compounds in green tea may help protect against cancer and heart disease, possibly extending life.
Dr. Hyman noted that in Ikaria, Greece, a blue zone region of the world where people live the longest, wild sage tea is drunk.
“Green tea helps protect against heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, high cholesterol and inflammation, and it strengthens the immune system,” he wrote on Facebook in 2018.
Drinking green tea is also one of the easiest ways to burn fat. That’s because it contains an abundance of catechins, which increase thermogenesis (calorie burn) and prevent the damaging effects of free radicals on your metabolism.
“Green tea becomes even more beneficial in matcha form: powdered tea leaves that you can mix with water or add to smoothies, which is one of my favorite ways to consume it.”