Anti-Aging and Aglets

Fans for of the Disney cartoon, Phineas and Ferb will immediately know that an aglet is the little plastic cap on the end of a shoelace. What does that have to do with anti-aging? Well, a recent article in Women’s World related this little mostly unnoticed item to telomeres on genes. These little protective caps over genes deteriorate over time, accelerating aging. It can be frustrating to try to lace a shoe when the aglets are ripped or missing, and it can be frustrating to look and feel old before your time.
Thankfully, you can go buy a new pair of shoelaces, and better yet, there are ways to keep your telomeres healthy and whole.

Stop right there
All that racing around is not doing your brain any good. Slow down. Stop what you are doing and relax for at least a half hour a day. Relaxing can mean different things to different people, you can meditate, listen to music or just sit outside. I have a bench in the middle of my garden where I can just sit and watch the flowers grow, it’s good for the soul and according to Dr. Michael Fossel, professor of clinical medicine at Michigan State University relaxing reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol eats away at the telomeres, which in turn, speeds up aging.

Feed your telomeres
Slip those little protectors a power packed tools in the way of a good multivitamin. You can reduce overall cell damage and aging as much as 67% according to a study by the National Institute of Health. But the multivitamin cannot do it all. Be sure to fill your daily diet with dark, leafy greens. These super foods are loaded with antioxidants that mop up free radicals before they can do major damage to the fragile telomeres.

Beet it
Women’s World specifically suggests adding beets to your diet. This red root vegetable may not be familiar to you. Sure, you may know what a beet looks like, but how on earth do you prepare it? You can simply scrub the beets and then grate them, or slice julienne style and then add chopped green onions. Toss with a simple vinaigrette dressing and eat over lettuce with toasted nuts and sharp cheese or on it’s own.
Another simple way to eat a beet, is to chop into chunks and then roast with olive oil and seasonings until tender. Make a very simple beet soup with boiled beets tossed in a food processor with lemon juice and mint leaves. Serve cold with plain yogurt. Beets with strawberries, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice is another good combo.

I love this advice from Dr. Woynarowski, the co-author of The Immortality Edge. He suggests adding thirty minutes of casual motion to your day. Different than the relax tip above, puttering suggests wandering around, picking things up and putting them away. Wandering, and looking around is a unique health tip that comes naturally to young children., (well not the cleaning up tip), so rather than telling a child to hurry up, join them in their quest to putz around.

Women’s World, 5/23/2011
The Immortality Edge

More by Sylvie Branch;
Build a better brain; Anti aging tips for women
Age erasers; 10 Fashion tips that take years off
Grow your own army of superfoods