Can your cells hold the secrets to anti-ageing?

Thinking small could help you retain your wellness throughout the years, as ageing begins in some of the smallest molecules in your body. You may already be aware of the different products that can boost wellbeing as you age and understanding how they can make a difference to your health could help you decide which anti-ageing methods could work best for you.

Under the microscope

Cells alter as we get older and they start to work less efficiently – a major reason why we start to look and feel older. In order to keep making new cells the molecules divide, but this ability begins to fade over time. Scientists believe this is down to protective caps on our genes shrinking. Called telomeres, these caps seem to help cells divide quicker, but they get shorter over time and with stress. The shortening and the effects of damaging molecules called free radicals are connected with the ageing process and cell damage, but your lifestyle can limit these affects.

Cook well

Packing your diet full of nutrients is important if you want to look younger, as foods full of vitamins and minerals can protect against cell damage caused by free radicals. But, it also helps to make sure you cook your food with wellness in mind. Advanced glycation end (AGEs) products can be released when some foods are cooked over a very high heat, so nutrients are lost and even more free radicals produced. AGEs are connected with all sorts of wellbeing issues, including stiff joints, hardening of the arteries and wrinkles. So, opt to use lower temperatures when preparing food and cook for longer periods of time. Processed foods can also contain high AGE levels so swap processed cheeses and meats for fresher kinds.

Eat less

This isn’t about dieting to lose weight but eating less to encourage your cell’s natural healing ability to kick in. Experts have found that missing the occasional meal, or only eating at specific points in the day can have an anti-ageing effect on cells. Remember to ask a doctor before you begin new diets to check you’re compatible with the new way of eating.

Speed up and down

Being physically active, even just walking five days a week for half an hour a day, could add seven years to your life, so choose an activity that you enjoy. This could be linked with a hobby, or follow a pastime on its own, as hobbies have been connected to lower levels of stress and longer telomeres. Physical workouts are great for reducing free radicals and retaining muscle tone, but don’t forget about winding down and making sure you have enough time in the day for sleeping at least seven hours a night. This can help to keep your weight healthy and give your immune system a boost.

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