We’ve had it drummed into us that Aging is an inevitable part of life, like taxes. But is it? When you look into the science, you find some interesting results that suggest that aging, in principle, is avoidable. Since the 1930s, scientists have been able to put mice on diets and extend their lifespans by up to 50 percent. For years, they didn’t know what produced this effect, but since around the year 2000, understanding has improved immensely. Today, researchers at Harvard University have a pretty good idea of what drives the aging process and how to slow it down. Pexels – CC0 License A structure that sits on top of the cellular DNA called the epigenome controls the rate of aging in people. Its purpose is to read information from our genetic code and convert it into proteins that our cells can use. Over time, it loses the ability to read this information accurately, causing cells to create misfolded proteins. And eventually, this effect shows up in what we would recognize as aging in another person. Interestingly, though, this process doesn’t continue regardless. Instead, there is an army of genes that restore the epigenome to its youthful state, allowing it to continue its work. What’s more, your actions can affect the efficiency with which it operates. For this reason, it turns out that there are many things that you can do to reverse the effects. So what are they? Keep Your Brain Youthful The brain is the master regulator for the body. How you feel often winds up impacting everything else – something you know if you’ve ever experienced emotion-related gastric problems. Keeping your brain youthful, however, is relatively simple. The first thing you can do is reduce stress levels. All the longest-living populations in the world lead relatively stress-free and socially-supported lives. Next, you can go for regular checkups. For instance, a hearing test can tell you whether you need to take steps to prevent lasting damage to your ears. The same applies to your eyes and cardiovascular system. Finally, you can keep your brain youthful by being open to new experiences. Try learning new things and avoid patterns of thinking that make you get stuck in your ways. Focus Your Diet On Veggies Pexels – CC0 License Vegetables contain chemicals that directly stimulate cells to repair the epigenome. Some are famous, like broccoli and green tea. Others are less well known, like pistachios and cucumber. Even so, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds signal to your body that it needs to work harder to remain youthful. The more greens you pack on your plate, the better off you’ll be. Do Intense Exercise Occasionally You don’t have to exercise for hours every day to stay healthy. Science shows that intense bursts of physical activity are actually just as good as routine, daily activity. The reason? It signals stress to your body, telling it to focus on repairing systems instead of letting them become damaged and decay. Eventually, anti-aging is going to become mainstream. We have the knowledge – it’s just a question of putting it into practice.
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