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Shop healthy. Avoid diseases.

Melanie G. Murphy Richter, MS, RDN
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and MS in Longevity, Director of Communications at Prolon and advisor at Tera. I often write about my expertise here on the Tera blog!

Nutrition for Longevity

Globally, human life expectancy has nearly doubled since the 1900s. However, a 2019 report by the National Health Council stated that nearly a third of the American population is living with multiple chronic health conditions. Some of the most concerning of them include our staggering adult obesity rates, which have risen 166% since 1990, as well as the prevalence of diabetes which is up 148% since 1996.

While our lifespan might be increasing, our healthspan seems to remain stagnant. This means we are living longer lives in unhealthier bodies than we ever have before. In such a wealthy and developed country, why has the state of our health fallen in global ranks for nearly three decades?

Two huge and undeniable reasons: (1) our diets are packed with animal proteins and processed foods and are grossly limited in whole, plant-based options, and (2) our food supply lacks sufficient nutrients because of our depleting soil.

First and foremost, only 1 in 10 adults is eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day. The federal guidelines suggest 1-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables daily for optimal health. This is a huge problem. Our diets are riddled with overly processed foods which are packed with saturated fats and refined sugars that spike our glucose levels (a major contributor to diabetes), and make it easy for us to eat excess calories which then get stored in our bodies as fat (an undeniable reason obesity is on not slowing down).

Secondly, due to mass agriculture and poor extractive farming practices, the soil that grows our food has less and less minerals and nutrients. So even if we were eating more fruits and vegetables (which we clearly aren’t), we would need to eat a lot more in order to receive the same amount of nutrients as we once did. What a mess!

Tack on our busy and hectic lifestyles that make it challenging for us to make time to cook and also contribute to rising stress levels and emotional clutter, it’s no wonder why so many of us are overweight yet still so undernourished!

symbols symbolizing things to extend your longevity

On a more positive note, I have some good news that I’m excited to share. A food delivery service called Nutrition for Longevity, which was founded on the principles of Longevity that my graduate professor Dr. Valter Longo has been studying for over a decade, has set out to deliver delicious, plant-based, nutrient-dense meals that are sustainably and organically grown and sourced, and they are delivered directly to your door. Problem solved! 

This company has harnessed all of the research and information that Dr. Longo has so succinctly compiled about the “Longevity Hot Spots,” which are the areas around the world that have the largest populations of centenarians (those who live past 100 years old), and have created plant-based meal plans that mirror their dietary trends. Each day’s meals provide the recommended 10 servings of fruits and vegetables, a minimum of 25g of fiber (far more than our typical American diets provide), and plenty of heart-healthy fats and phytonutrients, both of which are potentially helpful in reducing the risk of chronic disease. 

foods for longevity

Not to mention, the company owns many acres of organic farmland in the Northeast and grows their own food on nutrient-dense soil using the same organic, agricultural techniques as they do in these “Longevity Hot Spots” too. So the food they provide is also packed with vitamins and minerals and far more protected from environmental toxins from sources like pesticides than food we get from our typical grocery stores.

I tried my first 1,600kcal/day, pescatarian meal plan as my New Year’s jumpstart program, and my personal endorsement is a solid Grade A. It was not only delicious, but it was colorful, filling, and entirely satisfying too! Not to mention, the meals required minimal preparation, but the lunches and dinners that did were easy to follow and only needed typical kitchen equipment.

If you’re interested in adding healthy years to your life, I recommend giving Nutrition for Longevity a shot. Visit their website, choose your preferred meal plan (vegetarian or pescatarian), and enter my promo code MELANIEMURPHY+20 at checkout for 10% off your first meal kit!

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