How to live longer: Lycopene-rich Grapefruit could reduce cancer risk and boost longevity

Centenarian reveals SURPRISE drink that helps her live longer

Life expectancy can largely be attributed to a healthy balanced diet. Experts say you should eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, base meals on higher fibre starchy foods, have some dairy or dairy alternative, and eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein. When it comes to fruits, grapefruit is a wise choice due to its powerful components which help prevent against certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases and its ability to boost longevity.

Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that’s rich in the powerful antioxidant lycopene, revealed dietitian Juliette Kellow and nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer.

Regularly eating red grapefruit, specifically, could reduce the amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol in your body, they said.

Everyone should aim to eat a portion of citrus fruits every single day to increase their lifespan, they added.

“Best known for containing vitamin C, which supports the immune system, citrus fruits do far more than just fight infections,” they said in their book ‘Eat Better Live Longer – Understand What Your Body Needs To Stay Healthy’.

“They are linked tight everything from protection against heart disease and cancer to slowing down cataract development.

“Grapefruit help to lower cholesterol levels. [They] come in pink, red, and blond varieties. Pink and red are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.”

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Grapefruit contains large quantities of spermidine.

The compound helps cells grow and mature, and in 2009, researchers in Austria found that when they added spermidine to the diets of mice, it both increased the life span of cells and slowed cell ageing in the mice.

Spermidine has also been found to slow ageing in human immune cells by inducing autophagy – a process that helps our cells regenerate.

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The pink pigment in some grapefruit indicates the presence of lycopene, an antioxidant that combats the body’s cell ageing triggered by harmful free radicals.

Lycopene may also help lower your risk of several kinds of cancer, including prostate, colon and lung.

Lycopene works by inhibiting the growth and induction of differentiation in prostate cancer cells.

In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, lycopene deficiency in ageing and cardiovascular disease was further investigated. 

The study noted: “Lycopene is believed to confer measurable protection against cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and some inflammatory diseases.

“Indeed, a growing body of epidemiological evidence suggests that lycopene consumption is associated with decreased risk of various chronic diseases, while lycopene also demonstrates significant antioxidant activity in a number of in vitro and in vivo systems.

“Depleted levels of lycopene and other carotenoids in older individuals are believed to reflect age-related changes in the intestinal microbiota, which regulates bioavailability of carotenoids and polyphenols in the large intestine.

“Although additional research to explain the causes and mechanisms of lycopene deficiency in ageing is required, it is clear now that correction of carotenoid deficiency in older individuals may have an enormous impact on their health status.

“There is a strong inverse association between lycopene intake and incidence of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, and coronary insufficiency.

“Low plasma lycopene levels were reported by many researchers in hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, and atherosclerosis.”

The study concluded that lycopene is the most powerful antioxidant from the tetraterpene carotenoid family and could help to prevent a number of age-related diseases.

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