Each strand of your DNA is protected by a tiny cap called a telomere. And when telomeres shorten, cells age faster. Luckily, keeping them long can add up to ten healthy years to your life — effortlessly!
Drink two cups of coffee… to be 2 years younger!
Java is an anti-aging elixir in disguise. A study in Nutrition & Metabolism found that for every cup of coffee volunteers drank daily, their telomeres were nearly 34 “base pairs” longer—that’s the equivalent of over a year younger per mug! Coffee’s bioactive compounds keep telomeres long, says William W. Li, M.D., author of Eat to Beat Disease. Tip: Add a splash of milk. Its compounds erase 4.5 years from folks’ biological age.
Marvel at nature… to be 5 years younger!
Puttering around the yard as you admire fall blooms is a serene way to take years off the clock. Dutch research suggests that for every 10 minutes you spend in nature daily, you’ll rewind your age by up to 5 years. “High stress speeds up the shortening of telomeres,” Dr. Li says. But being in nature tamps down telomere-shortening stress in a few seconds. Bonus: University of California research shows moving about for a half hour a day shaves more than eight years from your biological age.
Read six pages… to be 10 years younger!
Enjoying 10 minutes a day with the latest Jill Shalvis romance (or a copy of Woman’s World!) can rewind 10 years from your biological age. The reason: According to research at England’s University of Sussex, reading for pleasure is study-proven to be one of the quickest and most effective ways to lower stress levels responsible for shortening telomeres.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.