6 food rules proven to slow cellular aging

As women, we coat our faces in firming moisturizers, glycolic acid serums, and retinol-infused day creams to prevent and reverse the signs of aging.

But if we’re not addressing the aging that’s happening inside our bodies, we’re fighting a losing battle.

That’s because whatever’s happening with your skin — the sagging, the wrinkles, the age spots — is just an outward reflection of what’s happening with your cells.

So, why not get straight to the root of the problem? Stop worrying about skin aging and start worrying about cellular aging. The rest will take care of itself.

I know slowing cellular aging doesn’t sound like an easy task. It feels like your cells just kind of do what they want, and you have no say in the matter. But influencing your cells isn’t as hard as you might think.

The simplest things can slow down cellular aging, so you look and feel better — like your diet.

Healthy eating keeps your telomeres long

A new study from the University of Michigan School of Public Health shows that if women want to slow down aging, they just need to eat healthier.

These researchers found that the healthier women ate, the longer their telomeres were.

Telomeres, in case you don’t know, are little protein structures at the end of your chromosomes that protect your DNA. The shorter your telomeres, the more vulnerable you are to DNA damage, which causes physical aging and disease.

Now, it’s natural for telomeres to shorten with age. That’s because they shorten a little bit every time your cells divide. But women who eat healthy may be able to stave off shortening telomeres…

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Researchers looked at diet and telomere length for 5,000 healthy adults, and women who ate diets that were like the Mediterranean diet, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet or two commonly used measures of diet quality developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture had longer telomeres.

So, eating healthy could turn those age-related skin problems around much quicker than your anti-aging creams. But that’s not all…

Slowing cellular aging is about more than how you look. It also protects you from age-related diseases, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

Diet rules that keep your cells young

You may have noticed that women in the study didn’t follow one specific diet to get longer telomeres. They ate different variations of healthy diets and still experienced anti-aging benefits.

Related: The clean 15 and dirty dozen fruit and veggie guide for 2020

So, how should you approach healthy eating if you want to slow cellular aging?

Well, the diets that helped women maintain longer telomeres in the study have a few features in common. Women with longer telomeres:

  1. Ate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
  2. Chose whole grains over processed grains
  3. Focused on plant-based protein
  4. Limited sugar intake.
  5. Reduced sodium intake
  6. Ate red and processed meat sparingly

There you have it — the simple secret to looking and feeling youthful from the inside out. So, next time you’re tempted to splurge on an expensive anti-aging cream in a high-end department store, high-tail it out of there and head to the health food store instead.

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  1. Healthy diet linked to healthy cellular aging in women — MedicalXpress
  2. Diet Quality Indices and Leukocyte Telomere Length Among Healthy US Adults: Data From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2002 — American Journal of Epidemiology
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.