Nutritionists say two cheap superfoods can help you live longer

People are being urged to eat plenty of apples and switch to wholegrains to transform their diet and health. -Credit:Getty
People are being urged to eat plenty of apples and switch to wholegrains to transform their diet and health. -Credit:Getty

Nutrition experts have shared two budget-friendly dietary additions to help people live longer - by incorporating two cheap and widely-available foods into their diet. The humble apple is one such suggestion, which can effectively tackle cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease due to its mineral and vitamin content.

Adding wholegrains can also significantly impact blood pressure and blood sugar levels, helping to prevent diabetes, cancers and obesity. A study of 8,000 adults, published in JAMA Internal Medicine and analysing hospital and doctor appointments by apple-eaters and non-apple eaters, found those who consumed at least one apple daily were marginally less likely to visit a GP.

The adage of 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' holds some truth - apples contain less vitamin C than oranges but more fibre than melons and double the amount found in pears, reports Gloucestershire Live.

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A key benefit of apples comes from pectin - a type of fibre found in the skin and cord. Registered nutritionist Rob Hobson, author of Unprocess Your Life, said: "Pectin, also found in pears and plums, has been shown in studies, including a review in the journal Clinical Nutrition, to improve blood cholesterol levels. That will help to reduce the risk of heart disease."

Experts are touting wholegrains as a vital component for enhancing health, with foods like quinoa, bulgur, rye, oats, spelt, and buckwheat being highlighted for their essential fibre content.

Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert said: "The bran and inner germ of wholegrains are packed with B vitamins, antioxidants and small amounts of healthy fats. Daily consumption of them is linked to better gut and heart health and the prevention of diabetes, cancers and obesity, yet 95 per cent of UK adults don't eat enough."

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, which followed over 55,000 individuals for 15 years, found eating at least 50g of wholegrains daily - equivalent to a slice of wholegrain or rye bread plus a bowl of porridge - could slash the risk of type 2 diabetes by 34 per cent in men and 22 per cent in women, compared to those with lower intakes.

Research from Tufts University indicated middle-aged people who ate at least three servings of wholegrains each day - one serving being a bowl of porridge, a slice of wholemeal bread, or a portion of brown rice or quinoa - experienced less significant increases in waist size, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels than those who had less than half a serving per day.