Protect your body from aging
Wish there were an easy way to slow aging to a crawl? There is! Research proves protecting the tiny caps on the ends of your chromosomes (called telomeres) is the key to a longer, healthier life! You can protect them by:
Women who drink two cups of regular or decaf coffee daily have longer telomeres, a study of 4,780 women in The Journal of Nutrition shows. “Coffee is a major source of anti-inflammatory polyphenols, helping fight chronic inflammation. This, in turn, can help keep your telomeres nice and long,” says Max Lugavere, coauthor of Genius Foods. ■ Tip: Choose light roasts over dark ones; over- roasting reduces the antioxidants in coffee beans.
Nixing stress with a novel!
“Any woman who is highly stressed can attest to the fact that it ages you,” says Stacy Doyle, M.D., founder of Foodtherapymd.com, and science confirms it! The telomeres of chronically stressed women look 10 years older than those of less stressed women, probably due to an uptick in inflammation. The fun way to nix that effect? Read! A study in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing reveals enjoying a good book triggers a significant drop in stress and anxiety within minutes, helping you live longer in the process!
The telomeres of middle-aged folks who exercise for 30 minutes three or four times a week are as much as 75% longer than those of other folks. “Exercise helps prevent shortening of telomeres by increasing vascular function, decreasing oxidation and inflammation, while also releasing endorphins and counteracting cortisol,” explains Edison de Mello, M.D., PH.D.
Breakfasting on berries!
Foods high in vitamins C and E, such as blueberries and raspberries, protect telomeres from oxidative damage. Want to boost that benefit significantly? Follow your berries with a multivitamin. In one study, telomeres of women who took a daily multi were 5% longer than those of nonusers! “About 90% of us are deficient in at least one essential nutrient needed to keep telomeres strong,” says Lugavere. “A multivitamin gives your body what it needs to fight aging.”
Eating whole-wheat pasta!
Enriched whole- wheat pasta provides up to 25% of your daily fiber needs, which is important because fiber helps shield telomeres from free radical damage. Plus, the pasta contains about 160 mcg. of folic acid, “a nutrient that optimizes the activity of telomerase, an enzyme that makes telomeres longer,” says Dr. de Mello.