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Four lifestyle habits—not smoking, not being obese, 30 minutes of exercise a day, and eating plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, but little or no meat—can turn back the clock 14 years. Of these four habits, diet may be the most important for DNA health. The more servings of fruits, vegetables and beans we consume, the longer we may live. A plant-based diet appears to help preserve muscle mass, boost immunity, repair DNA faster and slow the process of aging, meaning one can enjoy not just a longer life, but a healthier one.

How to stop cancer cell proliferation

The enzyme known as TOR (Target of Rapamycin), which promotes cellular growth and proliferation throughout our lives, can be influenced by diet. Consuming milk and other animal products has been found to upregulate the activity of TOR and may increase the risk of a variety of cancers. Reducing animal protein consumption, on the other hand, lowers TOR activity to an extent comparable to TOR levels achieved through caloric restriction and exercise.

Meat and the Aging Process

Cooked in particular ways, poultry, pork, seafood and beef can be the most concentrated dietary sources of AGEs, or advanced glycation end products, which may accelerate the aging process. This may be the reason why meat consumption is associated with living a significantly shorter life with increased cancer mortality, heart disease mortality and overall mortality.

Restricting methionine intake (largely by restricting animal products) is one strategy for extending our lives. Managing stress through activities such as meditation may reverse the aging of our DNA. Seventh-Day Adventists in California, a mostly vegetarian population, may have the highest life expectancy of any formally described population.

Which foods are associated with better aging?

Antioxidant pills have no apparent effect on aging, though antioxidant-rich foods may. Some foods that appear to protect against aging include: berries (for the brain, skin and eyes), grains (for protection against Alzheimer’s disease) turmeric, corn and spinach (for macular degeneration), nutritional yeast, watercress, cocoa and green and yellow vegetables (to prevent wrinkles).

Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.

Topic summary contributed by Linda and Dawn

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