Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Recipe for Long Life

Huffington Post


At an active and healthy age of 86, David Murdoch is a testimonial to the fish-vegetarian diet that he preaches. The list of 33 fruits and vegetables describe their benefits. For example, eat these eight to lower bad cholesterol: artichoke, avocado, cherries, mango, orange, promegranate, raspberries, and strawberries. Or, try these five to promote a healthy brain: blueberries, spinach, broccoli, apple, strawberries. These help dieters to burn off calories and fat or suppress appetite: banana, blackberries, orange, and papaya. Banana and pineapple reduces asthma inflammation. These ones promote a healthy heart and cardiovascular system: red bell pepper, asparagus, butternut squash, mango, and tomato. Kiwi and butter squash can combat wrinkles. To increase bone density, eat more kale and blackberries. Almost all the fruits have some benefits against cancer. Three are especially good boosting immunity: mango, apple, and cantaloupe.

In addition to eating lots of fruits and vegetables, an hour of daily exercise is also important.


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.

The Healthiest Foods on Earth

PineappleSpeeds post-surgeryPromotes joint healthReduces asthma inflammation
BlueberriesRestore antioxidant levelsReverse age-related brain declinePrevent urinary tract infection
SpinachHelps maintain mental sharpnessReduces the risk of cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostateTop nutrient density
Red Bell PepperReduces risk of lung, prostate, ovarian and cervical cancerProtects against sunburnPromotes heart health
BroccoliReduces diabetic damageLowers risk of prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric and breast cancerProtects the brain in event of injury
TomatoReduces inflammationLowers risk of developing esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancerReduces cardiovascular disease risk
AppleSupports immunityFights lung and prostate cancerLowers Alzheimer’s risk
ArtichokeHelps blood clottingAntioxidant SuperfoodLowers “bad” cholesterol
ArugulaLowers birth defect riskReduces fracture riskProtects eye health
AsparagusNourishes good gut bacteriaProtects against birth defectsPromotes heart health
AvocadoLimits liver damageReduces oral cancer riskLowers cholesterol levels
BlackberriesBuild bone densitySuppress appetiteEnhance fat burning
Butternut SquashSupports night visionCombats wrinklesPromotes heart health
CantaloupeBolsters immunityProtects skin against sunburnReduces inflammation
CarrotAntioxidants defend DNAFights cataractsProtects against some cancers
CauliflowerStimulates detoxification Suppresses breast cancer cell growthDefends against prostate cancer
CherriesAlleviate arthritic pain and goutLower “bad” cholesterolReduce inflammation
CranberriesAlleviate prostate painFight lung, colon and leukemia cancer cellsPrevent urinary tract infection
Green CabbagePromotes healthy blood clottingReduces risk of prostate, colon, breast and ovarian cancersActivates the body’s natural detoxification systems
KaleCounters harmful estrogens that can feed cancerProtects eyes against sun damage and cataractsIncreases bone density
KiwiCombats wrinklesLowers blood clot risk and reduces blood lipidsCounters constipation
MangoSupports immunityLowers “bad” cholesterolRegulates homocysteine to protect arteries
MushroomsPromote natural detoxificationReduce the risk of colon and prostate cancerLower blood pressure
OrangeReduces levels of “bad” cholesterolLowers risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, breast and stomach, and childhood leukemiaPectin suppresses appetite
PapayaEnzymes aid digestionReduces risk of lung cancerEnhances fat burning
Plums & PrunesCounter constipationAntioxidants defend against DNA damageProtects against post-menopausal bone loss
PomegranateEnhances sunscreen protectionLowers “bad” cholesterolFights prostate cancer
PumpkinProtects joints against polyarthritisLowers lung and prostate cancer riskReduces inflammation
RaspberriesInhibit growth of oral, breast, colon and prostate cancersAntioxidant DNA defenseLower “bad” cholesterol levels
StrawberriesProtect against Alzheimer’sReduce “bad” cholesterolSuppress growth of colon, prostate and oral cancer
Sweet PotatoReduces stroke riskLowers cancer riskProtect against blindness
WatermelonSupports male fertilityReduces risk of several cancers: prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral and pharyngealProtects skin against sunburn
BananaIncreases Fat BurningLowers risk of colorectal and kidney cancer, leukemiaReduces asthmas symptoms in children

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 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

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.

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