THE BLOG

A Recipe For Longevity: 33 Of The Healthiest Foods On Earth

06/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Is it possible to live to 125 or maybe 150? It's certainly a possibility, as discussed on Oprah Winfrey's recent show on longevity. She visited me at my farm to learn how, at 86, I am enjoying the robust health, energy, and mental creativity of someone many decades younger. My secret: large quantities of fruit and vegetables, plus an hour of daily exercise.

No pills, not even aspirin, and certainly no supplements ever enter my mouth -- everything I need comes from my fish-vegetarian diet, which incorporates 30-40 different kinds of fruit and vegetables every week. Even though I am Chairman and Owner of Dole Food Company, I do most of my own grocery shopping, and even took Oprah on an impromptu trip to Costco, in a day that included bike riding, exercise in the gym, and juicing vegetables in the kitchen. Oprah marveled at how much I eat, and yet never gain a pound. In fact, I expend a lot of energy in my 50-60 minutes of cardio and strength training every day. Plus there's the fact that fruit and vegetables tend to be lower in calories, but higher in filling fiber and other nutrients that help you feel satisfied.

By eating many fruits and vegetables in place of fast food and junk food, people could avoid obesity. Obesity accelerates aging even faster than smoking, according to scientific research.

We created the North Carolina Research Campus to study the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. It is the only campus in the world encompassing eight universities all working together for the benefit of health and longevity. These include Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University, UNC Charlotte, North Carolina Central University, NC A&T State University, UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State University. We've gathered a comprehensive array of famous scientists and scientific equipment under one roof, including a two-story, 950 megahertz, 8-ton superconducting magnet. It is the largest and most powerful magnet in the world and will help us look at both plant and human cells at the most minute level. We are constantly doing research on all fruit and vegetables, including the ones listed below, which are the mainstay of my diet.

One of my missions in life is to share this kind of knowledge with others, so they can live more vital, active, satisfying lives. Since acquiring major interests in Dole 26 years ago, educating the public on proper diet has constituted the agenda of my Dole Nutrition Institute. We publish the Dole Nutrition News -- enjoyed by 2.5 million subscribers (sign up at www.dolenutrition.com). We create cooking and nutrition videos, cookbooks, brochures, and other educational collateral, like the chart above. We also provide educational support to teachers, parents and kids through www.dolesuperkids.com.

While Arianna and I do not agree on all issues, we both believe in the importance of proper nutrition. I've known Arianna since she arrived in this country, many decades ago, and am godfather to one of her daughters. I've enjoyed many Mediterranean-style healthy meals at her home, and am helping her increase access to nutrition information, which is why I wanted to share some "food for thought" with her intellectually ravenous.

*

Want the latest in nutrition information, articles, recipes and more? Sign up for the FREE Dole Nutrition News to have it all delivered right to your inbox! Click here to receive this online newsletter, free every month!

***


David H. Murdock is Chairman and owner of Dole Food Company, Inc., the world's largest producer and marketer of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, packaged and frozen foods. He is also Chairman, CEO and owner of Castle & Cooke, Inc., a leader in real estate development.

Mr. Murdock advocates healthy eating to promote longevity. His Dole Nutrition Institute is dedicated to nutrition education through an award-winning monthly newsletter, health brochures, cookbooks, videos and the Dole Nutrition website. He recently dedicated the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building, the UNC Nutrition Research Building and the NC State Fruit and Vegetable Science Institute Building at the newly opened North Carolina Research Campus, representing a historic partnership with leading universities to advance knowledge about nutrition and disease prevention.

YOU MAY LIKE