We’re Ranked 34th In Life Expectancy — Eat These Global Power Foods To Boost Longevity [Infographic]
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the average life expectancy in the US stacks up at 79 years.
But despite America’s seemingly endless obsession with superfoods, juice cleanses, diet fads (cough, gluten-free, cough), and SoulCycle, our average lifespan is only good for 34th worldwide, firmly behind traditional health powerhouses like Japan (#1), Switzerland (#2), Italy (#3), Australia (#5), Singapore (#7), Sweden (#8), and France (#10). Yikes.
If only we ranked 34th in obesity, that would be progress. But I suppose stepping down to the #2 spot in the Western hemisphere is progress.
Of all the major contributors to overall life expectancy—including things like smoking, alcohol consumption, vaccinations, disease, work conditions, and the availability of clean water—it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that diet, nutrition, and specific food choices of a given culture have a MASSIVE impact on longevity, just as they do obesity.
Food paradigms and dietary choices ultimately have the ability to suck the life out of a collective culture or propel it to glowing health.
To dig into the disparities, AXA PPP International examined the world’s healthiest (and oldest) countries to uncover the staples that anchor their respective national diets. Unsurprisingly, it’s a collection of powerhouse foods that aren’t exotic, aren’t all that spectacular, and frankly, are quite blasé. And that’s a good thing, because they’re accessible and easy to find. Take a hint from the rest of the world and squeeze as many as possible into your diet on a regular basis. Here are a few of the standouts:
- Japan (#1, 84 years) — Miso. It’s an unprocessed, fermented form of soy that improves digestive health, helps optimize bacteria in the intestines, and boosts immunity. It’s also high in antioxidants and loaded with nutrients.
- Switzerland (#2, 83 years) — Muesli. The Swiss eat muesli as a breakfast staple, usually over probiotic-rich yogurt. Muesli is a combination of oats, fruit, and nuts that forms a crunchier, heartier version of oatmeal. It’s a great source of fiber, and when combined with protein, it makes a well-rounded breakfast.
- Italy (#3, 83 years) — Olive Oil. The Mediterranean staple has tremendous benefits on heart health and CV disease.
- Singapore (#7, 83 years) — Ginger. It’s anti-inflammatory, can help boost immunity, and may even help reduce muscular soreness.
- Sweden (#8, 81 years) — Salmon. The Swedish eat it in the form of Gravlax, which is basically raw salmon with salt, sugar, and dill. It’s rich in heart-healthy omega-3’s, protein, and vitamin D.
- France (#10, 82) — Garlic. It contains a compound called allicin, which is thought to trigger a number of health benefits, including positive effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation. It’s also extremely nutrient-dense as a flavor agent, especially for a food that’s so low in calories.
- Netherlands (#23, 81 years) — Kale. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, mainly fiber, vitamin K, and iron.
For a full look, check out AXA’s interactive “Longevity Lunch“ infographic.
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto.
I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP
, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid
, and all-around fitness junkie.
I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine
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