Health & Wellness

Better Than Botox? The 4 Best Natural Anti-Aging Remedies (+ 5 Shocking Truths About Aging!)

There’s a universal truth of which we’re all aware: With each day that passes, we’re showing signs of aging. Whether it’s physically, with our health and/or appearance, or mentally, with momentary lapses in focus or memory, it’s a common experience that comes along with age. As a result, I’m often asked if I have any “secret,” doctor-approved natural anti-aging remedies.

Now, I personally agree with the Eastern philosophy that aging is a sign of wisdom and should be more appreciated than we tend to do in our Western culture. That said, I do understand the concerns regarding age-related disease and other health conditions.

So, while I wouldn’t call them “secrets,” I do have some general advice along with some natural anti-aging remedies that may help you. And I’m going to share it with you in this article, but first I’d like to explain the science behind the aging process and how science has dispelled some common myths you may have been told.

You see, aging is the result of a change in something called your telomeres. So, that’s exactly where we’re going to start.

 

What You Need to Know About Aging

Believe it or not, much of the aging process is controlled by your telomeres. As a result, the top natural anti-aging remedies focus on the health of your telomeres. Makes sense, right? But what are telomeres and what do they do? Let’s dive in!

In simplistic terms, telomeres are tiny protein chains that sit at the tips of your DNA strands, or chromosomes. You can almost think of them as end caps to your DNA that actually protect your chromosomes from deteriorating (much like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces keep them from fraying).

So, the longer your telomeres are, the more protected your DNA strands will be. But as you age, your telomeres automatically shorten. Accordingly, research has shown that longer telomeres are linked to longer lifespan, a slower aging process, and lower likelihood of disease.

Now, according to molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, who received a Nobel Prize for her research on telomeres, your telomeres are directly impacted by your body’s stress (due to exposure to oxidative stress). And lifestyle-related stress can actually cause your telomeres to become shorter, which can actually cause your cells to basically die. [1]

It’s not really surprising is it? After all, we know that stress is linked to so many health issues. Likewise, research has shown that shorter telomeres are linked to an increased likelihood of cancer, liver dysfunction, anemia, heart disease, diabetes, and more. [2, 3, 4] Shortened telomeres have even been tied to aging skin and wrinkles! [5]

Interestingly, Blackburn authored a book, “The Telomere Effect,” with Elissa Epel, PhD, which shares that you can actually control your own aging process by lengthening your telomeres and, in effect, reverse the aging process! For years, research has shown that there are specific lifestyle choices you can make to help lengthen your telomeres. But there’s more.

Research has also dispelled some of the common myths concerning aging and even anti-aging practices. So, before we discuss some of the top natural anti-aging remedies and how they can lengthen your telomeres, let’s take a look at some shocking truths on aging and anti-aging.

5 Shocking Truths on Anti-Aging

Here are five surprising truths about how your lifestyle impacts the aging process.

1. Your lifestyle choices can directly impact your DNA and how your cells age. 

The great news here? There are elements within your control! You aren’t just stuck with whatever your genetics handed you. And science proves it.

Have you ever heard of epigenetics? It’s basically the idea that your lifestyle habits can cause certain genes to be activated or inactivated. So, for example, if you have a genetic predisposition to a certain disease, you may be able to “switch off” that gene with certain healthy lifestyle habits!

Additionally, studies have shown that certain lifestyle factors directly impact the length of your telomeres. In fact, in a 2014 study on over 4,500 women, researchers found that those who most closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres than those who didn’t! [6]

2. You may not actually need a full eight hours of sleep each night.

Now, I’m a firm believer that you need anywhere from eight to 10 hours of quality sleep each night for your body to fully rest and restore. And science has shown for years that minimal sleep it linked to a variety of health concerns.

But newer studies are actually showing that sleeping at least seven hours each night is enough to help preserve the integrity of your telomere length!

In a 2012 study, researchers studied the sleep habits of 434 senior men and women in comparison to their telomere length. They found that men who reported sleeping at least seven hours a night had telomeres that were, on average, 6 percent longer than those who reported sleeping less than five hours. [7] Interestingly, the researchers found no link between amount of sleep and telomere length in women.

However, in a 2019 study, researchers studied 3,145 post-menopausal women and found that for each additional daily hour of sleep beyond five hours, the women experienced increased length in their telomeres. [8]

3. Extreme exercise isn’t necessary to live a healthier, longer life.

It’s no secret that daily exercise is a standard recommendation for a healthier life. But, interestingly, newer research is showing that intense and/or heavy exercise can actually have a negative effect on middle-aged women’s telomeres. [9] And this is largely due to the fact that extreme exercise results in excessive oxygen consumption, which actually accelerates aging! [10]

Interestingly, endurance activities such as speed walking, jogging, and swimming were found to lengthen telomeres in a 2018 study. [11] There are even more gentle exercises known to fight the aging process as well, which we’ll discuss in the next section on natural anti-aging remedies, so be sure to keep reading!

4. Stress has been scientifically linked to accelerated aging.

As we discussed above, lifestyle-related stress can cause your telomeres to become shorter. And this puts you at increased risk of disease and other health concerns, including a shorter lifespan.

In fact, numerous studies have shown that aging is associated with higher basal cortisol levels. [12] (Remember, cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone,” or the hormone your body produces during times of acute stress.)

Animal studies also have supported the idea that stress can lead to many cognitive deficits. [13] That’s not surprising, since scientists discovered that when your brain is constantly exposed to high amounts of cortisol and norepinephrine, it causes your hippocampus to shrink. And when your hippocampus shrinks, its ability to process and store memories is reduced. [14]

5. Accelerated aging is linked to disease development at a younger age.

Finally, the last surprising truth about aging and anti-aging is that aging at an accelerated pace is actually linked to a higher likelihood of developing diseases.

A groundbreaking 2019 study on young adults revealed a link between accelerating aging and disease development. The researchers discovered that those with a genetic disorder that increased their risk of developing age-associated diseases earlier in life had significantly shorter telomeres in comparison to healthy young adults of the same age.

Furthermore, those with shorter telomeres were more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and/or cognitive decline earlier in life. [15]

 

Natural anti-aging remedies - Dr. Pingel

 

Luckily, as I shared above, there are many natural anti-aging remedies you can incorporate into your daily life to help not only lengthen your telomeres but also reduce your risk of certain age-related diseases. Let’s take a look at things you can start doing today!

4 Natural Anti-Aging Remedies

Here are four of my top natural anti-aging remedies that you can start using to increase the length of your telomeres and help prevent age-related concerns.

1. Eat more avocados.

It’s no secret that I have a fierce love of avocados. But it’s not just the taste I love; I also love the amazing health benefits they offer. And that’s why it’s No. 1 on my list of natural anti-aging remedies.

You see, avocados are a great source of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. And research has shown that people who consume more of this type of fat have longer telomeres!

In fact, a 2010 study revealed eating a diet rich in omega-3s actually helps to reduce the rate of telomere shortening. Meanwhile, the study also revealed that if you don’t get enough of these fatty acids, your telomeres are more likely to shorten at an accelerated rate! [16]

Additionally, the researchers found that women who consumed diets lacking antioxidant-rich foods, such as avocados, not only had shorter telomeres but also a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Meanwhile, women who consumed a diet rich in antioxidants had longer telomeres and a lower risk of breast cancer [17].

Luckily, while I’m partial to avocados, you can find omega-3 fatty acids in many whole foods, such as some wild-caught fish, walnuts, flax and chia seeds, and more. As a bonus, the fish, walnuts, and seeds are great protein-rich alternatives for processed meats, which have been shown to shorten your telomeres! [18]

2. Drink green tea.

Not only does green tea contain a little caffeine, which can provide a nice energy boost, but it also features many anti-aging antioxidants and properties that help promote several health benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure, possibly helping to prevent cancer, helping to boost the immune system, and more. [19]

Specifically, green tea contains a polyphenol called EGCG, which is known to promote skin cell rejuvenation. [20]

But even more impressive? Scientists have found that supplementing with green tea extract for eight weeks significantly increased the length of telomeres in women between the ages of 27 and 48! In fact, after supplementation, the length of their telomeres were roughly twice as long as they were before. [21] How incredible is that?

3. Try noni juice.

If you haven’t heard of noni juice, the name may sound a little out there. But the fruit has actually been used for thousands of years as a beauty product by Polynesians!

Known for its ability to help moisturize the skin, studies have shown that it has incredible anti-aging effects. In fact, in 2012, a six-week clinical trial was conducted on 49 women ages 38 to 55 to examine the effects of noni on the skin.

Amazingly, more than 90 percent of the participants saw visible skin improvements. Additionally, daily applications resulted in significant reductions in fine lines and wrinkles as well as improvements to skin elasticity and firmness. [22]

Finally, noni fruit has been shown to enhance the expression of DNA repair genes in certain studies. [23] Give what we know about epigenetics, is it any wonder why noni commonly considered one of the great natural anti-aging remedies?

4. Practice yoga.

I mentioned above how regular exercise can lengthen telomeres. Well, research has shown that yoga is one of the best natural anti-aging remedies. How? Regularly practicing yoga can slow and even reverse the effects of aging!

A 2017 study revealed that practicing both yoga and meditation can slow aging at the cellular level. After 12 weeks, participants saw not only significantly lowered levels of DNA damage, cortisol, and inflammatory markers, but they also experienced significantly increased levels of total antioxidant capacity, and endorphin levels. Moreover, their telomeres were longer! [24]

If you’re not familiar with yoga, check out this article to help you determine which kind of yoga is best for you. There are even some suggested beginner movements for you as well!

As you can see, while aging is inevitable, there are several natural anti-aging remedies you can incorporate into your daily routine to help increase your lifespan and ward of age-related disease. Isn’t it wonderful to know that you actually have some control over your health—and your future?

 

Key Takeaways

  • Much of the aging process is controlled by your telomeres. As a result, the top natural anti-aging remedies focus on the health of your telomeres.
  • Telomeres are tiny protein chains that sit at the tips of your DNA strands, or chromosomes.
  • Research has shown that longer telomeres are linked to longer lifespan, a slower aging process, and lower likelihood of disease. But as you age, your telomeres automatically shorten.
  • Luckily, you can help lengthen your telomeres with natural anti-aging remedies such as eating more omega-3 fatty acids, drinking green tea, eating noni or drinking noni juice, and practicing yoga.

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