Why are your telomeres important? Oh, wait, what are they?
Telomeres are a specific sequence of DNA that for caps at each end of a DNA that protect our chromosomes. Telomeres protect DNA strands from becoming damaged and our cells can’t do their job. Telomeres get shorter each time a cell copies itself, but the important DNA stays intact. Eventually, telomeres become too short to do their job, causing our cells to age and stop functioning properly.
The rate at which telomeres shorten could determine the pace at which you age. Have you heard of your biological age versus your age in years? Scientists view telomere length as a reliable marker of how you will age.
How can we keep the length of our telomeres?
1. Foods: Foods high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory are the best to keep your telomeres long. Such as; beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, red peppers, kale, blueberries, dark chocolate and cloves.
2. Green Tea: In a study in China, adults who drank green tea had longer telomeres than non-green tea drinkers. Jasmine tea is one of my personal favorites!
3. Meditation: The research for overall wellbeing behind meditation or visualization is constantly being discovered. Whatever you choose as your personal practice is awesome! Just try to make it a consistent habit, like brushing our teeth, then we are gold. Personally, for me, my 15 minutes upon waking helps me be a less reactive and stressful human and a more conscious responder in my life.
4. Lifestyle & Stress: Child hood trauma, neglect, chronic caregiving, heavy workloads and financial stress can shorten your telomeres. Seeking professional support to alleviate deep seated emotions is beneficial to lighten your heart and emotional burdens. It is also important to be more honest of your heart’s desires versus living a life that you think you are ‘suppose’ to live. During the Nourish with Heather 6-week course, the nourisher learned about how they chose food from stress, deprivation and a feeling of inadequacy. Take my quiz to learn more about your Food Relationship Type here!
5. Intermittent Fasting: There are few different approaches to Intermittent fasting. Some research recommends eating from 11 am to 6 pm. This is beneficial to help your body digest prior to bedtime and detoxify while you sleep. Another option that I prefer, is organically having a light day of eating for a 24-hour period. Giving your organs and cells a break from processing and assimilating food will allow your body to heal free radical damage that can shorten our telomeres. Remember, learning what works for you is always the best option!
6. Supplements: One supplement that showed up in my research was N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). This supports the body’s production of one of the few and essential internal cellular antioxidants, glutathione. Glutathione is often called the master antioxidant, it boosts the utilization and recycling of other antioxidants, namely vitamins C and E, as well as alpha lipoic acid. The more we can support our body’s intracellular functions, the better it will work for us behind the scenes.
Here is a great recipe to help us “lighten our load” and lengthen our telomeres. Kitchari is a dish in the Ayurvedic tradition and is a great meal to add in!
Check out my NEW recipe book here to get this recipe along with other amazing meals to spark your creative and digestive juices.