How to live longer: Add three to four bananas a week to your diet | Health | Life & Style

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How to live longer may sound like a trick question, but the answer is a simple one. Over the years experts have found some simple lifestyle changes can add years into your life.

Quitting smoking can cut your risk of dying from cancer related to smoking and slash your risk of stroke.

And alongside exercise, eating a healthy, balanced diet is crucial to helping you live longer, according to the NHS.

One food recommended by medical consultant Dr Sarah Brewer and dietitian Juliette Kellow is bananas.

The pair say whether you like bananas slightly green or freckly, they all come with high levels of mood-boosting powers. They are also good sources of carbohydrates (fuel for the brain and muscle), and of tryptophan and vitamin B6 (both of which are needed for production of feel-good chemicals).

Dr Brewer and Ms Kellow add that bananas improve digestion and may help regulate blood pressure.

So how often should you eat them?

In their book titled ‘Eat Better Live Longer’, the duo recommend eating three to four bananas a week.

But they do write: “However you like to eat your bananas is a personal preference, but their benefits do vary with their ripeness.”

The duo go on to list bananas’ numerous health benefits.

Reduce the risk of kidney cancer

The women cite a 13-year study of Swedish women where higher stakes of all fruits reduced the risk of renal cancer, but bananas seemed to offer the best protection.

They add: “An earlier study also found eating at least four bananas a week (rather than less than three a month) resulted in a 50 per cent reduction in the risk of kidney cancer.”

Blood pressure help

Studies confirm that increasing your potassium intake (by eating bananas) while reducing your sodium intake can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Dr Brewer and Ms Kellow write: “This is important because the World Health Organization estimates high blood pressure causes around 51 per cent of deaths from stroke.”

Fuel for good bacteria

The duo say: “Bananas are rich in a soluble fibre called fructo-oligosaccharides. This passes undigested into the large intestine where it becomes food for probiotics or good bacteria, which flourish and ‘crowd out’ bad bacteria.

“This increased number of good bacteria are linked to better digestive health and immunity.”

Dr Brewer and Ms Kellow also recommend eating avocados.

The pair say the popular fruit is loaded with good fats that lower cholesterol and protect against wrinkles. They are also packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals that help with everything from keeping eyes healthy to regulating blood pressure.

But how often should you eat them?

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