If you haven’t heard of telomeres yet GET READY because they are the subject of many clinical studies involving age related diseases and we all have them in our DNA.
In fact, telomeres are a measure of cell aging and are the end sections of human chromosomes that are the main part of our DNA.
Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age. They are combinations of DNA and protein that protect the ends of chromosomes and help them remain stable. As they become shorter from chronic stress, poor quality food consumption and lack of exercise, their structural integrity weakens, the cells age and die quicker. Shorter telomeres equate to a shorter life expectancy of our cells…and us! Longer telomeres are shown to improve overall wellness and longevity.
Recent studies indicate shorter telomeres have become associated with a broad range of age-related diseases including cancers, stroke, vascular dementia, cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes.
How can we slow this rate of telomere wear and tear? Lowering chronic stress levels, regular exercise (all forms appear to show benefits) and eating a nutrient rich diet.
A nutrient rich diet includes plentiful amounts of whole food– low in high fat foods but rich in omega-3 fatty acids; soluble and insoluble fiber from whole grains (oats, brown rice, quinoa); vegetables and fruit; vitamin D (salmon, tuna, low fat dairy); vitamin E (dark green leafy vegetables, moderate amounts of olive oil, almonds) and avoidance of highly processed, sugared, and fried foods.