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Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer

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The hunt for longevity partly relies on staving off chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. While colourful fruit and veg usually do this with gusto, some naughty treats might also be up for the job. From wine to chocolate, hydroxyzine sleeping tablet here are the surprising foods that a 122-year-old woman credits for her long life.

While there’s no secret recipe for a longer life, centenarians often have great advice to share.

Findings by Eden’s Gate found that Jeanne Louise Calment was reported to have been the oldest person in the world, living up to 122 years old. 

When asked about the secret responsible for her long, colourful life, she swore by three simple foods – olive oil, port wine and chocolate.

Celebrated for its anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular powers, olive oil isn’t exactly a surprising ingredient on the longevity menu.

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However, chocolate and wine are often deemed as unhealthy treats. According to Wellness expert Tyler Woodard, from Eden’s Gate, you could reap some health benefits as long as you stick to the dark stuff and port.

Chocolate

Woodard said: “Chocolate is packed with antioxidants along with anthocyanins and phenolic acids which all play a role in improving brain power, protecting cells from inflammation and boosting your immune system. 

“To further this, dark chocolate in particular plays a distinctive role in your health as it is rich in minerals, such as iron, magnesium and zinc.”

What’s more, research, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, suggests that eating chocolate in combination with nuts lowers high cholesterol – the precursors of heart disease and stroke.

While research and Woodard make a strong case for chocolate, this treat shouldn’t be eaten in excess.

Woodard said: “Chocolate should be consumed in moderation, as too much can cause obesity and cardiovascular disease. Research suggests 28-50 grams of chocolate is more than enough to gain the health benefits.”

Port wine

Apart from a sweet fruity taste, port wine offers strong health powers suggested to help with the prevention of heart and autoimmune diseases.

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Woodard said: “[Port wine can] reduce cholesterol levels due to low levels of iron and calcium. 

“Port also includes anti-inflammatory properties, all contributing to a longer life.

“This is advised to be drunk in moderation, as too much alcohol can cause health problems and addiction.

“Consuming one small glass for women and two small glasses for a man is more than enough, as port wine can be quite strong and slightly more vicious than other wines.”

Olive oil

Packed with antioxidants, olive oil offers countless benefits, ranging from boosting your longevity to lowering your risk of dementia.

Furthermore, conditions like heart disease and cancer don’t seem to be immune against its powerful ingredients either.

Woodard added: “This ingredient can be used with nearly everything you cook if necessary, particularly frying vegetables or meat – a very easy ingredient to add into your meals and one you’re bound to have at home. 

“Between one to two tablespoons a day is enough to consume and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

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