Doctor and longevity expert Dr. Mark Hyman swears by these five foods to age well, live longer, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
The 63-year-old with over 286,000 TikTok followers says he is biologically 20 years younger thanks to his daily routine and eating habits. His recent best-selling book Young Forever: The Secrets to Living Your Longest, Healthiest Life promotes the idea that people have some control over the rate at which they age and, therefore, the quality of their later years.
Exercise, nutrition, managing stress, and socialization are all associated with aging well and reducing the risk for chronic conditions that lead to early mortality—although genetics undoubtedly still plays a role.
These are the five foods Hyman eats daily to “ensure my health and to make sure I live a long and healthy life,” he says in a recent TikTok.
In short, these foods “are medicine,” the aging expert says.
Cruciferous vegetables—broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage—are rich in phytonutrients crucial for reducing inflammation and the risk of cancer. They also contain magnesium, folate, and fiber to help with digestion.
“All that stuff contains compounds that activate the cellular detoxification pathways that optimize your mineral status,” Hyman says in the TikTok.
Hyman eats a cup or two of these vegetables each day.
The cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet is cooking with olive oil, and Hyman says he prioritizes extra virgin olive oil each day. The healthy fat contains antioxidants touted for reducing the risk of chronic health conditions and heart disease.
Olive oil can also combat oxidative stress, which harms brain health and can trigger neurodegenerative diseases.
“Good fats are good for you,” Hyman says. “You need to make sure you get lots of good fats, and olive oil is a great way to do it.”
Nuts, including cashews, almonds, and walnuts, have been associated with a reduced risk for diabetes, improving health and life span, Hyman says. They are rich in fiber, making people feel fuller and stay energized for longer.
Dan Buettner, the founder of Blue Zones LLC, also found nuts as a key to longevity in his research centered around the diets of those living the longest—and says to eat a daily handful.
Berries contain a large number of antioxidants and phytochemicals, which can “activate longevity pathways,” Hyman says. They can also keep the gut healthy, fight inflammation, and, therefore, reduce the risk for heart disease and other life-threatening chronic conditions.
Try a handful of blueberries or blackberries in a morning smoothie or as a pick-me-up snack.
While tea isn’t technically a food, it is still a key part of Hyman’s day. Beyond the calming feeling of a warm cup of tea, the beverage can reduce oxidative stress. Green tea contains catechins, antioxidants that can protect the brain from disease and help people age well.
When Hyman was in Icaria, Greece, one of the globe’s Blue Zones, he observed the community frequently indulging in wild sage tea, he adds.