Looking ageless and flawless is something that everybody wants. People are using green tea, nailing the downward-facing dog and slathering their faces with hyaluronic acid to look younger.
So what exactly is a telomere? They are the caps at the end of our chromosomes that protect our DNA. Chromosomes carry all a cell’s genetic information and telomeres are the protective buffers that determine how fast they age and die.
An old person who has a healthy and long telomere will look and feel up to 20 years younger , and are less prone to diseases and they possess an unwavering level of energy. Just like that the shorter telomeres will have the opposite effect. When our cells lose their telomeres, the body begins ageing.
Forget using anti ageing creams in your 30s and start early. Ageing usually begins in the uterus. A pregnant woman can shorten both her and her unborn child’s telomeres by being highly stressed.
But here is a good news.You can actually change the length of your telomeres!
An enzyme known as telomerase adds the DNA to the ends of chromosomes to prevent, and even reverse the shortening process. Researchers advise to advocate simple lifestyle changes for increasing your telomerase.
Here is how:
1. Is beauty only skin deep?
Many company claim to elongate the telomeres by using products like creams, serums and supplements .Skincare products, can they really rebuild the telomere? It at some extent does protect the skin from harmful UV rays and antioxidants are known to revitalize the skin cells. But deep down in the DNA these creams can only protect from the outside.
2. Training the telomeres
Exercise helps in reducing oxidative stress and help increasing the telomerase. One can aim for 45 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity three times a week. Scientist have also shown that more the varieties and effort done in workout the longer will the telomeres become. But too much exercise may damage it due to insufficient rest. Warning signs of that includes fatigue, moodiness, irritability and susceptibility to illness and injuries
3. Sleep Sleep Sleep
It has been shown that sleep is linked to cellular ageing. Sleep deprivation increases the hormonal level that means that we end up producing higher levels of stress hormone, insulin and ghrelin (the hormone which makes you hungry), all of these contribute in shortening the telomeres. Sufficient sleep means you will feel less hungry and less emotional and therefore maintains the length of telomere. A quick trick for better sleeping? Remove all the electronic devices from the bedroom, specially smartphones.
4. Always pick Mind over matter
Having a good frame of mind is necessary for a healthy and longevity. Researches have claim that certain thought patterns (specially the ones that cause stress) will shorten your telomeres. We must have a mindset to clear cynical hostility, mistrust and pessimism, and negative mind wandering. To combat this it is encouraged to have mindfulness, waking up with an attitude of gratitude and self-compassion.
5. You are what you eat, drink and smoke
Telomeres do not care about your weight. However,they do care about your metabolic health, that means the level of insulin and belly fat. Your waist-to-hip ratio predicts greater risk of telomere shortening.
Foods to avoid are refined carbs like white bread, white rice, pasta and foods high in sugar. Alcohol can also damage your DNA and your telomeres. You’ll be pleased to know, however, that the occasional drink is OK. Smoking, unsurprisingly, is not!