9 Key Tips to Lengthen Telomeres and Your Life
First off, telomeres shorten over time as a natural part of aging. For instance, the typical telomere length of a newborn baby is 10,000 base pairs, naturally dwindling down to an approximate 4,800 base pairs at 65 years old. Short telomeres are one the primary reasons human cells grow old, though the natural aging process can be counteracted with basic tips to lengthen telomeres.
How to Lengthen Telomeres Naturally
1. Eat Colors of the Rainbow
Produce is colorful in nature and offers rich phytochemicals that are shown to protect telomeres, all thanks to the potent antioxidant effects they offer. Antioxidants are suggested to protect cells and their telomeres from damage. So snack on naturally-sweetened berries when the sweet tooth knocks, enjoy a veggie at all core meals, and become adventurous by trying new colorful produce that may give you a fair chance of finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
2. Cut Out Processed Meats
The worry of processed meats heightened when the WHO published the link to cancer risk. But if the new data regarding processed meats and its link to cancer was not concerning enough, add on their effects to telomeres. In fact, according to The Telomere Effect, “Telomeres hate processed meats like hot dogs, but fresh, whole foods are good for them.” To reap the significant benefits of protein, direct attention to plant-based and lean products, including these sources.
3. Consume Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids not only protect against its well-recognized role in heart disease, but telomeres, too. Rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, such as tuna, herring, and salmon; flaxseeds and flaxseed oil; walnuts; and olive oil may be key in lengthening telomeres and your life.
4. Exercise Regularly
The American Heart Association encourages individuals to obtain at least 30 minutes a day, five days of the week, of aerobic exercise. But being physically active is not only beneficial to the heart, but pumps its benefits to telomeres, as exercises that promote cardiovascular fitness are suggested to be great for telomeres. So dismiss a sedentary lifestyle and step to these 21 benefits of walking, get active with LISS cardio, or begin this 4-week workout plan.
5. Practice Stress-Relieving Techniques
Although some days may entail more stressful moments than others, it is imperative to set stress-relieving techniques in place for whenever they may be needed. Meditation and yoga are particularly encouraged to reduce stress and lengthen telomeres, in addition to devoting time for yourself.
Telomeres can get tired, too! In fact, particularly in older individuals aged 70 and above, less than 7 hours of sleep each night has shown to shorten telomeres, with longer sleep hours showing to lead to longer telomeres. Sleep has also been touted to combat against accelerated aging, along with other benefits to health, and described in more detail here.
7. Stop Smoking
Smoke cessation is hyped across the board when it comes to health, including telomeres. And while smoking can have a laundry list of health problems, the effects on telomeres were varying up until recent data. A 16-year old study posted in the American Journal of Epidemiology not only found a stronger link between smoking and telomere health, but helped explain the inconsistencies in previous data, including the flaws of self-reporting and fluctuating smoking patterns and behaviors.
8. Reduce Toxin Exposures
According to The Telomere Effect, you should reduce intake or exposure to the following toxins: animal and dairy fats, high heat cooking methods, pesticides in produce, harmful household cleaners and paints. And while short-term exposure or sporadic practice may not immediate consequences, they are worth paying attention to lessen compromised telomeres and health.
9. Relish in Social Support
Sensing social support and strong relationships is imperative throughout life’s entirety. Feelings of loneliness and isolation may facilitate depression and start impeding on telomere health. Continue nurturing connections already established and seek additional support wherever and whenever you see fit.