We are all looking for ways to make the most of every day of our lives, so wouldn’t it be incredible if you could make a few simple changes to your diet to add extra years to your life? While many of us focus on keeping active to improve our health, our diet also has a huge impact on our wellbeing and quality of life. Let’s take a look at the simple changes you could make to add up to 13 years to your life.

Focus on Following an Optimized Diet

Most of us follow what would be described as a typical Western diet, which contains a lot of red meat and processed foods. To help extend your lifespan, research suggests that we switch to a more optimized diet. This would require you to remove processed meat and red meat and replace these foods with vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. If someone started to eat in this way at the age of 30, it’s believed that they could add between 10 to 13 years to their life. A healthier diet can still be followed at any stage in your life, and even changing your diet at the age of 60 could increase your lifespan by up to eight years.

How to Improve Your Diet

If you think that improving your diet seems like a daunting task, we recommend making small and manageable changes to your routine. The biggest gains can be found from eating more legumes. Easy foods to add to your diet include beans, lentils, and peas, all of which are reasonably inexpensive. You can also add whole grains and nuts, which you could replace your previous sugary and salty snacks with. On top of that, you’ll want to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet each day. Only about 10 to 12% of the population in the US are reaching the recommended daily consumption guidelines for fruit and vegetables, but these are easy to add to meals without increasing your calorie intake significantly.

One of the biggest changes we recommend making to your diet is to reduce the amount of red and processed meat you are eating. These include foods such as sausage, bacon, and preserved deli meats. The less of these foods you eat, the greater chance you’ll have of living a long and healthy life. Red and processed meats are known to increase the risk of bowel cancer and coronary heart disease. By replacing these with plant-based dishes instead, you’ll find that you decrease your chance of disease and feel more energized and vibrant. Plant proteins that you could eat instead include soybeans, tofu, nuts, and quinoa. It’s easier than ever before to follow a plant-based diet, thanks to the options that are readily available to us in stores and restaurants today.

By making a few simple switches in your diet, you’ll find that you can add up to 13 years to your life if you start today. Both men and women can benefit from the tips we shared above, which will help you to live a healthy and happy life for many years to come.