Source Links for Top 10 Foods To Eat And Avoid For Longevity


Leafy Dark Greens: Contain powerful phytonutrients that can block early cancer development and boost cognitive function.

  • Hardin J, Cheng I, Witte JS. Impact of consumption of vegetable, fruit, grain, and high glycemic index foods on aggressive prostate cancer risk. Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(6):860‐872. doi:10.1080/01635581.2011.582224
  • Aghajanpour M, Nazer MR, Obeidavi Z, Akbari M, Ezati P, Kor NM. Functional foods and their role in cancer prevention and health promotion: a comprehensive review. Am J Cancer Res. 2017;7(4):740‐769. Published 2017 Apr 1. 
  • Donaldson MS. Nutrition and cancer: a review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet. Nutr J. 2004;3:19. Published 2004 Oct 20. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-3-19
  • Morris MC, Wang Y, Barnes LL, Bennett DA, Dawson-Hughes B, Booth SL. Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline: Prospective study. Neurology. 2018;90(3):e214‐e222. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000004815
  • Morris MC. Nutrition and risk of dementia: overview and methodological issues. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016;1367(1):31‐37. doi:10.1111/nyas.13047 

Berries: Contain critical minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients that are good for your brain, heart, and overall health.

  • Olas B. Berry Phenolic Antioxidants – Implications for Human Health?. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:78. Published 2018 Mar 26. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00078 
  • Subash S, Essa MM, Al-Adawi S, Memon MA, Manivasagam T, Akbar M. Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(16):1557‐1566. doi:10.4103/1673-5374.139483
  • Keservani RK, Sharma AK, Kesharwani RK. Medicinal Effect of Nutraceutical Fruits for the Cognition and Brain Health. Scientifica (Cairo). 2016;2016:3109254. doi:10.1155/2016/3109254
  • Huang H, Chen G, Liao D, Zhu Y, Xue X. Effects of Berries Consumption on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Meta-analysis with Trial Sequential Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Sci Rep. 2016;6:23625. Published 2016 Mar 23.  doi:10.1038/srep23625
  • Miller K, Feucht W, Schmid M. Bioactive Compounds of Strawberry and Blueberry and Their Potential Health Effects Based on Human Intervention Studies: A Brief Overview. Nutrients. 2019;11(7):1510. Published 2019 July 2. doi:10.3390/nu11071510

Mushrooms: Bioactive compounds and phytochemicals provide anticancer effects against various types of cancer. Also good for the brain.

  • Ayeka PA. Potential of Mushroom Compounds as Immunomodulators in Cancer Immunotherapy: A Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:7271509. Published 2018 Apr 22. doi:10.1155/2018/7271509
  • Blagodatski A, Yatsunskaya M, Mikhailova V, Tiasto V, Kagansky A, Katanaev VL. Medicinal mushrooms as an attractive new source of natural compounds for future cancer therapy. Oncotarget. 2018;9(49):29259‐29274. Published 2018 Jun 26. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.25660
  • Jayachandran M, Xiao J, Xu B. A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(9):1934. Published 2017 Sep 8. doi:10.3390/ijms18091934
  • Sabaratnam V, Kah-Hui W, Naidu M, Rosie David P. Neuronal health – can culinary and medicinal mushrooms help?. J Tradit Complement Med. 2013;3(1):62‐68. doi:10.4103/2225-4110.106549

Legumes/Beans: Contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber. Correlated with a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

  • Sangaramoorthy M, Koo J, John EM. Intake of bean fiber, beans, and grains and reduced risk of hormone receptor-negative breast cancer: the San Francisco Bay Area Breast Cancer Study. Cancer Med. 2018;7(5):2131‐2144. doi:10.1002/cam4.1423
  • Campos-Vega R, Oomah BD, Loarca-Piña G, Vergara-Castañeda HA. Common Beans and Their Non-Digestible Fraction: Cancer Inhibitory Activity-An Overview. Foods. 2013;2(3):374‐392. Published 2013 Aug 2. doi:10.3390/foods2030374
  • Lanza E, Hartman TJ, Albert PS, et al. High dry bean intake and reduced risk of advanced colorectal adenoma recurrence among participants in the polyp prevention trial. J Nutr. 2006;136(7):1896‐1903. doi:10.1093/jn/136.7.1896
  • Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, et al. Legume consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(21):2573‐2578. doi:10.1001/archinte.161.21.2573
  • Li H, Li J, Shen Y, Wang J, Zhou D. Legume Consumption and All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:8450618. doi:10.1155/2017/8450618
  • Mazza E, Fava A, Ferro Y, et al. Impact of legumes and plant proteins consumption on cognitive performances in the elderly. J Transl Med. 2017;15(1):109. Published 2017 May 22. doi:10.1186/s12967-017-1209-5

Nuts/Seeds: Anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, cancer-protective, and rich in sterols, stanols, fiber, minerals, and other health-promoting nutrients.

  • Yu Z, Malik VS, Keum N, et al. Associations between nut consumption and inflammatory biomarkers. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;104(3):722‐728. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.134205
  • Lee J, Shin A, Oh JH, Kim J. The relationship between nut intake and risk of colorectal cancer: a case-control study. Nutr J. 2018;17(1):37. Published 2018 Mar 7. doi:10.1186/s12937-018-0345-y
  • Melo D, Machado TB, Oliveira MBPP. Chia seeds: an ancient grain trending in modern human diets. Food Funct. 2019;10(6):3068‐3089. doi:10.1039/c9fo00239a
  • Parikh M, Maddaford TG, Austria JA, Aliani M, Netticadan T, Pierce GN. Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health. Nutrients. 2019;11(5):1171. Published 2019 May 25. doi:10.3390/nu11051171

Onions/Garlic: Supply anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory compounds,  including diallyl disulfide, proven to kill leukemia cells in labs.

  • Hsing AW, Chokkalingam AP, Gao YT, et al. Allium vegetables and risk of prostate cancer: a population-based study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2002;94(21):1648‐1651. doi:10.1093/jnci/94.21.1648 
  • Yang JS, Kok LF, Lin YH, et al. Diallyl disulfide inhibits WEHI-3 leukemia cells in vivo. Anticancer Res. 2006;26(1A):219‐225. 
  • Wu X, Shi J, Fang WX, et al. Allium vegetables are associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer: A hospital-based matched case-control study in China. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2019;15(5):e132‐e141. doi:10.1111/ajco.13133
  • Pourzand A, Tajaddini A, Pirouzpanah S, et al. Associations between Dietary Allium Vegetables and Risk of Breast Cancer: A Hospital-Based Matched Case-Control Study [published correction appears in J Breast Cancer. 2018 Jun;21(2):231]. J Breast Cancer. 2016;19(3):292‐300. doi:10.4048/jbc.2016.19.3.292
  • Nicastro HL, Ross SA, Milner JA. Garlic and onions: their cancer prevention properties. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2015;8(3):181‐189. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0172

Tomatoes: High in the carotenoid lycopene. Strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities shown to help protect against cardiovascular disease.

  • Thies F, Mills LM, Moir S, Masson LF. Cardiovascular benefits of lycopene: fantasy or reality?. Proc Nutr Soc. 2017;76(2):122‐129. doi:10.1017/S0029665116000744
  • Biddle M, Moser D, Song EK, et al. Higher dietary lycopene intake is associated with longer cardiac event-free survival in patients with heart failure. Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2013;12(4):377‐384. doi:10.1177/1474515112459601
  • Cheng HM, Koutsidis G, Lodge JK, Ashor AW, Siervo M, Lara J. Lycopene and tomato and risk of cardiovascular diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological evidence. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(1):141‐158. doi:10.1080/10408398.2017.1362630

Cabbage & Other Crucifers: Phytochemicals in cruciferous vegetables have been found to decrease rates and progression of various types of cancer.

  • Royston KJ, Tollefsbol TO. The Epigenetic Impact of Cruciferous Vegetables on Cancer Prevention. Curr Pharmacol Rep. 2015;1(1):46‐51. doi:10.1007/s40495-014-0003-9
  • Wu QJ, Yang Y, Vogtmann E, et al. Cruciferous vegetable intake and the risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Ann Oncol. 2013;24(4):1079‐1087. doi:10.1093/annonc/mds601
  • Soundararajan P, Kim JS. Anti-Carcinogenic Glucosinolates in Cruciferous Vegetables and Their Antagonistic Effects on Prevention of Cancers. Molecules. 2018;23(11):2983. Published 2018 Nov 15. doi:10.3390/molecules23112983

Turmeric: Potent spice may reduce inflammation and blood glucose levels, increase blood flow to the brain, and help prevent Alzheimer’s.

  • Kulkarni SK, Dhir A. An overview of curcumin in neurological disorders. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2010;72(2):149‐154. doi:10.4103/0250-474X.65012
  • Mishra S, Palanivelu K. The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008;11(1):13‐19. doi:10.4103/0972-2327.40220
  • Bhat A, Mahalakshmi AM, Ray B, et al. Benefits of curcumin in brain disorders. Biofactors. 2019;45(5):666‐689. doi:10.1002/biof.1533
  • Pivari F, Mingione A, Brasacchio C, Soldati L. Curcumin and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Prevention and Treatment. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1837. Published 2019 Aug 8. doi:10.3390/nu11081837

Tea: White, green, oolong, and black tea are rich in antioxidants. Has been linked to improved cognitive function and reduced Alzheimer’s risk.

  • Forester SC, Lambert JD. The role of antioxidant versus pro-oxidant effects of green tea polyphenols in cancer prevention. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011;55(6):844‐854. doi:10.1002/mnfr.201000641
  • Rietveld A, Wiseman S. Antioxidant effects of tea: evidence from human clinical trials. J Nutr. 2003;133(10):3285S‐3292S. doi:10.1093/jn/133.10.3285S
  • Mancini E, Beglinger C, Drewe J, Zanchi D, Lang UE, Borgwardt S. Green tea effects on cognition, mood and human brain function: A systematic review. Phytomedicine. 2017;34:26‐37. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2017.07.008
  • Li J, Romero-Garcia R, Suckling J, Feng L. Habitual tea drinking modulates brain efficiency: evidence from brain connectivity evaluation. Aging (Albany NY). 2019;11(11):3876‐3890. doi:10.18632/aging.102023
  • Polito CA, Cai ZY, Shi YL, et al. Association of Tea Consumption with Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Anti-Beta-Amyloid Effects of Tea. Nutrients. 2018;10(5):655. Published 2018 May 22. doi:10.3390/nu10050655
  • Feng L, Chong MS, Lim WS, Lee TS, Kua EH, Ng TP. Tea for Alzheimer Prevention. J Prev Alzheimers Dis. 2015;2(2):136‐141. doi:10.14283/jpad.2015.57
  • Pervin M, Unno K, Ohishi T, Tanabe H, Miyoshi N, Nakamura Y. Beneficial Effects of Green Tea Catechins on Neurodegenerative Diseases. Molecules. 2018;23(6):1297. Published 2018 May 29. doi:10.3390/molecules23061297


Sugar/Artificial Sweeteners: Linked to increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and cancer.

  • Pase MP, Himali JJ, Beiser AS, et al. Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia: A Prospective Cohort Study. Stroke. 2017;48(5):1139‐1146. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.016027
  • Makarem N, Bandera EV, Lin Y, Jacques PF, Hayes RB, Parekh N. Consumption of Sugars, Sugary Foods, and Sugary Beverages in Relation to Adiposity-Related Cancer Risk in the Framingham Offspring Cohort (1991-2013). Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2018;11(6):347‐358. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-17-0218
  • Liauchonak I, Qorri B, Dawoud F, Riat Y, Szewczuk MR. Non-Nutritive Sweeteners and Their Implications on the Development of Metabolic Syndrome. Nutrients. 2019;11(3):644. Published 2019 Mar 16. doi:10.3390/nu11030644

Alcohol: 3rd leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Excess consumption causes liver disease, cancer, ulcers, and osteoporosis.

Fried Foods: Form acrylamides and other dangerous inflammation-causing compounds. Can cause genetic mutations and increase cancer risk.

  • Kumar J, Das S, Teoh SL. Dietary Acrylamide and the Risks of Developing Cancer: Facts to Ponder. Front Nutr. 2018;5:14. Published 2018 Feb 28. doi:10.3389/fnut.2018.00014
  • Semla M, Goc Z, Martiniaková M, Omelka R, Formicki G. Acrylamide: a common food toxin related to physiological functions and health. Physiol Res. 2017;66(2):205‐217. doi:10.33549/physiolres.933381
  • Sun Y, Liu B, Snetselaar LG, et al. Association of fried food consumption with all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2019;364:k5420. Published 2019 Jan 23. doi:10.1136/bmj.k5420
  • Lippi G, Mattiuzzi C. Fried food and prostate cancer risk: systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2015;66(5):587‐589. doi:10.3109/09637486.2015.1056111

White Flour: Associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Highly processed. Body reacts similarly to sugar.

  • Aller EE, Abete I, Astrup A, Martinez JA, van Baak MA. Starches, sugars, and obesity. Nutrients. 2011;3(3):341‐369. doi:10.3390/nu3030341
  • Vatanparast H, Whiting S, Hossain A, Mirhosseini N, Merchant AT, Szafron M. National pattern of grain product consumption among Canadians in association with body weight status. BMC Nutr. 2017;3:59. Published 2017 Aug 25. doi:10.1186/s40795-017-0183-x
  • Della Pepa G, Vetrani C, Vitale M, Riccardi G. Whole grain Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Evidence from Epidemiological and Intervention Studies. Nutrients. 2018;10(9):1288. Published 2018 Sep 12. doi:10.3390/nu10091288
  • Bhardwaj B, O’Keefe EL, O’Keefe JH. Death by Carbs: Added Sugars and Refined Carbohydrates Cause Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in Asian Indians. Mo Med. 2016;113(5):395‐400. 

Processed Meats: Hot dogs, luncheon meats, bacon, etc., are known carcinogens linked to early death.

  • Turesky RJ. Mechanistic Evidence for Red Meat and Processed Meat Intake and Cancer Risk: A Follow-up on the International Agency for Research on Cancer Evaluation of 2015. Chimia (Aarau). 2018;72(10):718‐724. doi:10.2533/chimia.2018.718
  • IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Red Meat and Processed Meat. Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2018. (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 114.) 2. CANCER IN HUMANS. Available from: 

Soda: Damages teeth, increases risk for diabetes, and is also linked to cancer. Often contains artificial colors that create known carcinogens.

  • Gardener H, Moon YP, Rundek T, Elkind MSV, Sacco RL. Diet Soda and Sugar-Sweetened Soda Consumption in Relation to Incident Diabetes in the Northern Manhattan Study. Curr Dev Nutr. 2018;2(5):nzy008. Published 2018 Jan 30. doi:10.1093/cdn/nzy008
  • Kobylewski S, Jacobson MF. Toxicology of food dyes. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2012;18(3):220‐246. doi:10.1179/1077352512Z.00000000034
  • Potera C. The artificial food dye blues. Environ Health Perspect. 2010;118(10):A428. doi:10.1289/ehp.118-a428
  • Cheng R, Yang H, Shao MY, Hu T, Zhou XD. Dental erosion and severe tooth decay related to soft drinks: a case report and literature review. J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2009;10(5):395‐399. doi:10.1631/jzus.B0820245
  • Jain P, Nihill P, Sobkowski J, Agustin MZ. Commercial soft drinks: pH and in vitro dissolution of enamel. Gen Dent. 2007;55(2):150‐168. 

Commercial Baked Goods: High in refined carbohydrates and unhealthy oils which are linked to depression, dementia, and other ailments.

  • Sánchez-Villegas A, Toledo E, de Irala J, Ruiz-Canela M, Pla-Vidal J, Martínez-González MA. Fast-food and commercial baked goods consumption and the risk of depression. Public Health Nutr. 2012;15(3):424‐432. doi:10.1017/S1368980011001856
  • Knüppel A, Shipley MJ, Llewellyn CH, Brunner EJ. Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder and depression: prospective findings from the Whitehall II study. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):6287. Published 2017 Jul 27. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-05649-7
  • Gu Y, Scarmeas N. Dietary patterns in Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive aging. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2011;8(5):510‐519. doi:10.2174/156720511796391836
  • Morris MC. The role of nutrition in Alzheimer’s disease: epidemiological evidence. Eur J Neurol. 2009;16 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):1‐7. doi:10.1111/j.1468-1331.2009.02735.x

Grain-Fed Red Meat: Contains and increases cancer-promoting hormones. High in saturated fat, which contributes to cardiovascular disease.

  • Briggs MA, Petersen KS, Kris-Etherton PM. Saturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: Replacements for Saturated Fat to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk. Healthcare (Basel). 2017;5(2):29. Published 2017 Jun 21. doi:10.3390/healthcare5020029
  • Abid Z, Cross AJ, Sinha R. Meat, dairy, and cancer. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100 Suppl 1(1):386S‐93S. doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.071597 
  • Daley CA, Abbott A, Doyle PS, Nader GA, Larson S. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutr J. 2010;9:10. Published 2010 Mar 10. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-10

Dairy: Studies have shown dairy may be linked to increased risk for prostate, testicular, lung, ovarian, and breast cancers.

  • Fraser G, Miles F, Orlich M, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Mashchak A. Dairy Milk Is Associated with Increased Risk of Breast Cancer in the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) Cohort (P05-026-19). Curr Dev Nutr. 2019;3(Suppl 1):nzz030.P05-026-19. Published 2019 Jun 13. doi:10.1093/cdn/nzz030.P05-026-19
  • Ji J, Sundquist J, Sundquist K. Lactose intolerance and risk of lung, breast, and ovarian cancers: aetiological clues from a population-based study in Sweden. Br J Cancer. 2015;112(1):149‐152. doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.544
  • Aune D, Navarro Rosenblatt DA, Chan DS, et al. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101(1):87‐117. doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.067157
  • Song Y, Chavarro JE, Cao Y, et al. Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality among U.S. male physicians. J Nutr. 2013;143(2):189‐196. doi:10.3945/jn.112.168484

High-Salt Foods: Excess sodium can cause high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, autoimmune and kidney diseases, and stomach cancer.

  • Grillo A, Salvi L, Coruzzi P, Salvi P, Parati G. Sodium Intake, and Hypertension. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):1970. Published 2019 Aug 21. doi:10.3390/nu11091970 
  • Farquhar WB, Edwards DG, Jurkovitz CT, Weintraub WS. Dietary sodium and health: more than just blood pressure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(10):1042‐1050. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2014.12.039
  • D’Elia L, Galletti F, Strazzullo P. Dietary salt intake and risk of gastric cancer. Cancer Treat Res. 2014;159:83‐95. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-38007-5_6
  • Garofalo C, Borrelli S, Provenzano M, et al. Dietary Salt Restriction in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2018;10(6):732. Published 2018 Jun 6. doi:10.3390/nu10060732
  • Sharif K, Amital H, Shoenfeld Y. The role of dietary sodium in autoimmune diseases: The salty truth [published correction appears in Autoimmun Rev. 2019 Feb;18(2):214]. Autoimmun Rev. 2018;17(11):1069‐1073. doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2018.05.007