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If you want to turn back the clock on cellular aging, research shows that it’s not really that hard. A few simple lifestyle tricks can help your cells stabilize their inner workings and hamper the processes that lead to heart disease and cancer.
These lifestyle changes help your telomeres, the protective end caps located on DNA, lengthen and defend your DNA against deterioration.
“Our genes, and our telomeres, are not necessarily our fate,” says researcher Dean Ornish. “So often people think ‘Oh, I have bad genes, there’s nothing I can do about it.’ But these findings indicate that telomeres may lengthen to the degree that people change how they live. Research indicates that longer telomeres are associated with fewer illnesses and longer life.”
In a study at the University of California San Francisco and the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, scientists found you can help your cells by eating a plant plant-based diet (high in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains, and low in fat and refined carbohydrates); embarking on moderate exercise (walking 30 minutes a day, six days a week); and engaging in stress reduction (gentle yoga-based stretching, breathing, meditation). The study participants also enjoyed group support.
The men in the study all had localized, early-stage prostate cancer. They were engaged in active surveillance: Their cancer was closely monitored with screening and biopsies.