Age is just a number, or so the saying goes. But what if your age really was just a number? And what if that number was higher than it should be? It is no secret that the older we get, the more susceptible we become to health problems. Many people believe that this is simply because our bodies wear out over time, but research has shown that this may not be the case at all. In fact, a large portion of the problems we face as we age may be due to biological age – or the rate at which our cells are aging. Luckily, there are steps we can take to slow down and even reverse cellular aging. Check out these five tips to start reversing your biological age today!
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Aging refers to the accumulation of changes in a person over time. Age can affect many different systems and functions in the human body, including:
- The skin
- The immune system
- Sex drive
- Sleep patterns
However, aging does not only refer to the physical changes that occur in the body over time. There is also such a thing as biological aging, which refers to the rate at which our cells are aging. The good news is that, unlike chronological age, biological age is not set in stone. In other words, we have some control over how fast our cells age.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to cellular aging, including:
- Free radical damage
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Exposure to toxins
Fortunately, there are also a number of things we can do to help slow down and even reverse cellular aging. The first step to reversing your biological age is understanding what causes cellular aging in the first place. Our cells are constantly replicating and dividing, but they don’t do so perfectly. Every time a cell divides, it loses a tiny bit of genetic material. This accumulating damage is known as “telomere shortening” and it is one of the main drivers of cellular aging.
In addition to telomere shortening, our cells can also be damaged by free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells, proteins, and DNA. They are produced naturally in the body as a byproduct of metabolism, but they can also come from external sources like pollution, UV radiation, and cigarette smoke.
Inflammation is another factor that contributes to cellular aging. Inflammation is a natural process that helps the body heal, but when it becomes chronic, it can damage cells and lead to a number of age-related diseases like heart disease and arthritis.
Stress can also cause cellular aging. When we are stressed, our bodies produce a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is designed to help us deal with short-term stress, but when it is produced on a chronic basis, it can damage cells and lead to inflammation.
So, now that we know what causes cellular aging, what can we do to reverse it?
Here are five tips to help you get started:
1. Limit Sugar Intake
Sugar works in our bodies by binding to proteins and forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These AGEs then damage cells, leading to inflammation. Sugar also affects our skin. It damages collagen and elastin, which are the proteins that keep our skin looking young and supple. So, if you want to keep your cells healthy and prevent cellular aging, it is important to drastically reduce your sugar intake. [i]
Tip: One way to cut down on sugar is to avoid processed foods and eat more whole, unprocessed foods. For example, fruit is a better choice than fruit juice.
2. Eat More Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Antioxidants are important for cellular health because they help to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals refer to unstable molecules that damage cells, proteins, and DNA. Free radicals damage cells, leading to inflammation. So, by eating foods that are rich in antioxidants, you can help to protect your cells and prevent cellular aging. [ii]
Tip: Some good sources of antioxidants include berries, dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. Incorporate these foods into your diet by adding them to smoothies, salads, or stir-fries.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise has a number of benefits for cellular health. First, it helps to improve blood circulation and deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells. Exercise also helps to remove cellular waste products. In addition, exercise helps to reduce stress levels, which can damage cells.
Tip: To get the most benefit, aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. For example, you could go for a brisk walk, swim, or bike ride.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important for cellular health because it gives our cells time to repair themselves. When we sleep, our bodies produce a hormone known as growth hormone, which helps to repair damaged cells and promote cell growth. Additionally, sleep helps to reduce stress levels, which can damage cells.
Tip: Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you have trouble sleeping, there are a number of things you can do to improve your sleep habits. For example, avoid caffeine in the evening, establish a regular sleep schedule, and create a relaxing bedtime.
5. Drastically Reduce Processed Oil Consumption
Processed oils are one of the worst things you can consume if you want to prevent cellular aging. These oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are associated with inflammation. In fact, studies have shown that a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids can actually accelerate telomere shortening. This is because omega-6 fatty acids promote oxidative stress, which damages cells. So, if you want to keep your cells healthy and prevent cellular aging, it is important to drastically reduce your consumption of processed oils.
Tip: To avoid these oils, cook with extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin avocado oil instead. You can also look for products that are made with these oils.
Though you cannot stop the hands of time, there are ways to mitigate some of the effects aging has on our health. By following these five tips for reversing biological age, you can help your body stay strong and functioning well for years to come. Have you tried any of these methods? What have been your results? Let us know in the comments below!