The latest longevity superfood is none other than the North American cranberry. We already knew they were good for you -- they contain antioxidants and can help to prevent urinary tract infections, for example -- but recent research has also indicated that cranberry consumption can actually extend the lives of fruit flies. And in a study the American Aging Association received last month, scientists were able to uncover the biological process by which cranberries promote long life in multicellular organisms.
The effects of cranberry consumption on human life span have yet to be studied, but scientists are optimistic that their findings "have important implications in utilizing CBE [cranberry juice extract] to promote healthy aging and combat age related diseases in humans."
In other longevity news, researchers have found that the effects of education level and race on life span have become even more significant in recent years.
It's been well-documented that people who are more highly educated tend to live longer than those who have not completed high school, and white people in the United States tend to live longer than African-Americans (though a recent study suggested that the race gap is narrowing). But in a study released this month in the journal Health Affairs, scientists studied life expectancy disparities for over the past two decades (1990 through 2008), and placed those disparities in the context of the broader "longevity revolution" in the United States. Their conclusion:
"Over the last couple of decades, almost all longevity boats have risen, but there have been some subgroups that have had a drop in life expectancy. It's as if Americans with the least education are living in a time warp. The least-educated black men are living in 1954, black women in 1962, white women in 1964 and white men in 1972."
Check out the slideshow below for other foods that boost longevity.