ADVERTISEMENT

The anti-aging secret for every cell in your body

At the end of every chromosome is a telomere, a layer of extra DNA that helps cells divide.

The anti-aging secret for every cell in your body

Strengthen your chromosomes with these 4 life hacks

There’s no magic pill that will keep your skin smooth, your biceps big, and your manhood hard forever. But there are simple strategies to benefit your body more than 30 trillion ways at once. Seriously: That’s how many cells your body has, and each cell contains chromosomes.

At the end of every chromosome is a telomere, a layer of extra DNA that helps cells divide. But with every split, your telomeres fray, which contributes to aging, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. You can take steps to protect your telomeres and slow down the clock.

Here are four tips from Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and Elissa Epel, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at UC San Francisco and author of The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer.

ADVERTISEMENT

Anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna, shield telomeres from damage. On the other end of the spectrum, certain foods act like telomere toxins. “Processed red meat and sugar stand out for their potent negative effects on telomere maintenance,” says Epel.

Minimize your intake of those foods and eat free-range, organic meats whenever possible. Finally, steer clear of supplements that tout telomere-lengthening benefits. These haven’t been proven safe or effective.

We’d love to peek inside Lewis Black’s cells because cynicism, hostility, and pessimism are hard on telomeres. “Daily stress is a part of modern life,” says Epel. “What matters is how we approach these situations and recover from them.” As you grasp at negative thoughts, you pump out stress hormones, which sabotage telomeres.

ADVERTISEMENT

Try a strategy known as thought distancing: Imagine the stressful situation as a movie scene. You’re just in the audience watching it go by.

Exercise is the single most important tool for protecting telomeres because it busts two bad influences: Inflammation and stress. “The very time when you don’t want to exercise is the best time to do it for your telomeres,” Blackburn says.

Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, done three days a week for 45 minutes, may even double the activity of an enzyme called telomerase that helps repair frayed telomeres.

However, a warning to weekend warriors: Don’t save your exercise for one big mega-workout, since overtraining actually harms telomeres.

ADVERTISEMENT

Instead of lounging on a beach, take a trip that will refresh you in a different way. Epel and Blackburn recently found that a six-day meditation retreat helped people fend off telomere damage.

More and more travel companies now offer wellness and meditation retreats, but you can also practice mindfulness on your next vacation no matter what the destination. Unencumbered by your day-to-day obligations, you can use vacation as a perfect opportunity to practice new stress-resilience skills, says Epel.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.
ADVERTISEMENT

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

These are the 3 most error-prone types of people you'll ever meet — run from them

These are the 3 most error-prone types of people you'll ever meet — run from them

10 ways to avoid getting electrocuted when using a vibrator

10 ways to avoid getting electrocuted when using a vibrator

Here is your sign to stop dating that broke girl

Here is your sign to stop dating that broke girl

Fun, Networking & Tech: Everything you need to know about UnwindFest (TechUnwind)

Fun, Networking & Tech: Everything you need to know about UnwindFest (TechUnwind)

Before you date a rich girl here are 4 things you should know

Before you date a rich girl here are 4 things you should know

I was with my sister in the delivery room — 3 things shocked me about childbirth

I was with my sister in the delivery room — 3 things shocked me about childbirth

5 important reasons architects install air condition vents on buildings

5 important reasons architects install air condition vents on buildings

Pulse Bizarre Bites: Okro soup & rice, a combo for Nigerian millennials or just odd?

Pulse Bizarre Bites: Okro soup & rice, a combo for Nigerian millennials or just odd?

Masturbation voted as the most difficult addiction to break

Masturbation voted as the most difficult addiction to break

'I felt like I'd been thrown off track' – food blogger Sisi Yemmie on having twins

'I felt like I'd been thrown off track' – food blogger Sisi Yemmie on having twins

What's the best age difference in romantic relationships?

What's the best age difference in romantic relationships?

3 easy ways you can warm eba

3 easy ways you can warm eba

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT