Now there is another reason to eat healthy and work out at least three times a week…….TELOMERES.
What are telomeres?
Telomeres are protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. These caps help keep our genetic material from getting damaged. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres get a little shorter. Recent research has found that when telomeres get shorter, the affected cells stop working properly.
Telomerase (fountain of youth) to the rescue?
Telomerase enzyme slows the rate that telomeres shorten. Healthy people with longer telomeres tend to have less risk of developing some age-related illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Targeted telomerase boosting strategies
- Eat an omega-3 rich diet. Look to include black beans or kidney beans, edamame, wild rice, walnuts, canola oil, flax, pasture-raised meats as well as omega-3 enriched dairy and eggs.
- Exercise! Break a sweat at least three times a week, to get the de-stressing benefits of exercise. Stress is a known telomere shortener. Walking, or swimming for at least 30 minutes a day are also great forms of exercise.
- Manage stress. Whether it is quiet meditation, yoga, talking to a close friend or family or breathing exercises, stress management has been shown to improve telomerase production.